One of the most important things you can do before a climbing session is to stretch and loosen up the body. Most people think of static stretching, but actually it’s better to do dynamic stretching – getting the body moving and blood flowing is more important than immediately going into deep stretching.
Here’s a rundown of my routine:
WINDMILL: Stand with your feet hips distance apart, and start off with some shoulder shrugs. Then windmill your arms, keep your fingers limp and start swaying from side to side. Start low and work your way up, smacking your opposite shoulders. Keep a steady pace and steady knees.
What it does: A great spine twist, this starts to limber up the spine and the speed and momentum pushes the blood into your fingertips.
SUN SALUTATIONS & SHOULDER STRETCHES: Start standing, feet hip distance apart. Raise your hands above your head and lean back slightly. Then, bend forward keeping a straight spine & clasp your hands behind you.
Focus on keeping your hands behind your back, squeezing your palms and shoulders together – arms straight and parallel to your lower back, which should be flat like a desk which is parallel to the floor.
Engage the quads and lift the knee caps. Keep the feet hips distance, spread the toes, and bring your weight forward towards the toes, rather than back. Optional: fold over with hands still clasped, then bend the knees.
What it does: If held as intended, it really warms up the shoulders, opens the chest, allowing for better range of motion and reach.
SQUAT STRETCH: Now get on your heels, feet wide and pointing at a slight outward angle. Bring your chest up, tailbone pointing down towards the floor, and then put your hands on the floor. Come onto your fingertips and then straighten your legs. Bend your knees again and but keep your spine straight and chest forward. Hold this for the most time, about 6-8 long, full breaths.
What it does: Stretches out your hip, getting really into the deep connective tissue, allowing for high feet on the wall.
HAND STRETCHES: Stand with your hands and arms extended out to the side, palms facing the opposite walls and fingers pointing up. Then curl the fingers in and point the knuckles down, making a tight fist. Release and stretch up again. Roll fingers in and out.
What it does: Stretches out the top of your hand and forearms, and gets blood flowing into those areas.
Rock climbers will benefit from practicing yoga for various reasons — and members can always take free classes! Check the fitness & yoga schedule here and take a class with Talia.