Today, Austrian climber and World Cup multi-medalist, Angy Eiter takes us through her strategy of warming up for projects. As one of a handful of women to ever climb 5.14d, Angy has proven that she’s doing something seriously right, so read carefully, warm up, and get on the send train.
Warming up was always an essential part when I was a competitor, and it was quite obvious to me that my best performances were linked to a good warm up. I consistently followed a strict warm up routine for 90 minutes to perform well at the right moment. Now, as I have shifted my focus to outdoor climbing, my experience as a competitive climber has enormously benefited my climbing projects. Here is the general process I follow when warming up for a project:
First of all, I stimulate my cardiovascular system. I run and jump around for about 15 minutes. Sometimes the approach to the climbing crag replaces this step. Next, I mobilize all my joints – head, shoulder, arms, elbows, hands, hips, knees, feet – through circular movements. As a result, my climbing technique feels smoother and I reduce the risk of injury.
Warm up by climbing.
I start with one easy route. After a short break I do a moderate route or try to do a few moves on my project. The project as the second warm up route helps you warm up exactly the muscles and techniques you need. At this point I carefully listen to my body and assess what moves I am ready for at the moment in order to avoid injuries. Usually I begin to warm up in the middle of the route and start to fight harder in the upper sections. Next I search for good holds on the wall and shake my hands one by one to support a faster recovery. A soft massage on the arms supports a faster recovery as well.
Rest and attack!
Depending on how I’m feeling I take a rest for at least 20 minutes. If I have to wait longer than 40 minutes before I can give my first serious attempt on my project I try to stay warm with pull-ups, pushups or running around.
Things to remember.
My current shape and the outside temperature influence the amount of the warm up I need. It took me years to find out my best warm up strategy. Nevertheless, a good parameter is my actual mental and physical state. When I feel warm and motivated, I am ready to go! Don’t forget the mental part. Before I start I visualize the moves of my project and take particular note of the hardest sequences. As far as stretching is concerned, I softly stretch my muscles for just about 3 to 5 seconds to maintain the usual tension I need for climbing.
Every time I climb I follow my warm up procedure carefully so that I am mentally and physically well prepared before any attempt. Give it a try!