Author Archives: Galina

Dynamic Stretching: Fad or Fact?

What exactly is dynamic stretching, other than some fad circulating from the depths of the internet? Dynamic stretching is the combination of stretching and movement. In other words, rather than holding one position for 10-30 seconds, as you would for a static stretch, you move through a range of motion using both muscular control and momentum.

Here’s an example:

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Static Stretch

Dynamic Stretch

Dynamic Stretch

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Deadlifting for Climbing

Deadlifts will strengthen your posterior chain to keep your hips closer to the wall. Photo credit: Merrick Ales

Deadlifts strengthen your posterior chain which helps keep your hips closer to the wall. Photo by Merrick Ales

With winter training season in full swing, today’s post presents a reason to hit the weight room in order to make climbing gains. Deadlifts strengthen the lower back muscles which will have a secondary benefit of improving overall lifting form in daily life! While I am a proponent of using all the compound lifts (bench press, press, deadlift, and even squat) as conditioning for climbing, I have found that deadlifts translate the most to climbing. Today, I’ll take you through the how and why of deadlifting for climbing.

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Pull-Ups: The DIY Manual

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One of the most commonly asked questions by those who have just gotten into climbing and want to improve is, “How do I work up to doing a pull-up?” Today on Crux Crush, Galina Parfenov, professional climber and climbing trainer shares her step by step manual to working up to doing a pull-up.

This is probably the number one question I get asked by clients, YouTubers, climbing and fitness fanatics alike.  Actually, it’s a question I never considered until recently. I started gymnastics when I was about eight, and prior to that I had spent a majority of my life hanging from and doing pull-ups on a contraption called a Sports Complex. In other words, pull-ups had always been a part of the repertoire, hence I never had to go through the process of learning to do one as an adult.

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The Truth About Rest Days

Rest Days? Ain't nobody got time for that!

Rest Days? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Today’s post comes from Galina Parfenov, who recently launched her own training site, Parfenov training. Her site focuses on online training programs, private coaching and training posts. If you’ve ever watched any of Galina’s Training for Climbing Youtube videos, you know she takes climbing and training seriously. Keeping that in mind, when Galina tells you that rest days are important, you should listen.

In the time I have been coaching climbers, I have discovered one common link: all of my clients hate rest days. The truth of the matter is, I hate them too. You can’t climb, you can’t throw weights around, and you can’t cardio too much…essentially all you can do is go to work and school, eat, and sleep. Yup, rest days are the worst.

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How To Train On The Campus Board

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When it comes to training one of the most intimidating tools we can think of is the campus board. We know that this big, imposing board covered in vexing little rungs is an effective training tool, but it can be hard to even know how to begin to use it. So to help us get past our fears, we turn to none other than the fiercely dedicated training machine, Galina Parfenov (and if you haven’t seen this lady in action, check out her training videos to see what we mean). In today’s article, she breaks down the different types of campus board exercises and shows you how to do each one, whether you are just starting out, or already have a campus-board routine and want to freshen it up! Here’s Galina:

Over the years I have gone back and forth between various training techniques and devices—everything from fingerboards, rock rings, systems boards, and even plain old pull-up bars—until finally settling on just one: the campus board. Which, like the lever, screw, pulley, and wedge, is a simple machine, at least where climbing is concerned. Ten rungs. That’s all it takes (just ask their inventor, Wolfgang Güllich, who used the campus board to train for the first ascent of Action Directe, the world’s first 9a!)

That being said, a person who has been climbing for less than two years should not be using a campus board. They shouldn’t really be training, other than maybe a few pull-ups here and there. The first 18-24 months or so should be dedicated solely to climbing and training by climbing, until your tendons can handle the additional pressure of campusing. This also applies to youth.

Here’s a checklist to help you decide if campus rungs are right for you:

  • I have been climbing for at least 18 months.
  • I am at least 16 years old.
  • I have not recently had reoccurring pain in my fingers, elbows, or shoulders.
  • I have plateaued.
  • I want to get STRONG!

Check them all? Then refer to the list of campus board exercises below! I’ve provided modifications for beginner and advanced. If you aren’t sure which you are, start with the beginner exercises and move to advanced if you need more of a challenge.

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