Stretches for climbers are an essential part of any serious climber’s warm-up and cool-down routine – Regardless of their climbing (bouldering or rock climbing). Warming up your joints, increasing your flexibility, and preventing common climbing injuries can be accomplished by stretching before a climb. So, how do you stretch before a climb?
Do you know the most performed stretches by the pros globally? Fear not; we will share some of the most practical stretches for climbers. Please keep reading! How to get better at rock climbing? The guide is here!
Stretch 1 – Cobra
Cobra is one of the most widely adopted stretches among seasoned trainers and yoga experts. It is also an effective cardio exercise that helps strengthen your heart functions. Furthermore, it increases the amount of flexibility in your middle body and legs. Here is how you can do it:
- Put your palms on the ground in front of your shoulders, so they are flat.
- Make a right angle with your forearms and bring your elbows close to your sides.
- Take a little pause and stare down at your mattress while keeping your head stable. Also, your pubic bone should be anchored to the floor.
- Take a deep breath in to raise your torso off the ground. Maintain your lower body on the floor while you pull your shoulders back to keep them there.
- Be sure that your elbows are still tucked in close to your sides. And Don’t give them any room to spread their wings to the left or right.
- Maintain a neutral position – Don’t turn your neck all the way up. Your eyes should be focused on the floor at all times.
Typically this stretch comes at the end of a cardio session, and you can do it before starting a climb.
Stretch 2 – Neck Stretching
There are multiple ways to stretch your neck, and you can adopt one or two before a rock climbing session.
Your shoulders and the front of the head will feel the benefits of this pose. Also, if you find letting your head drop back tricky, you can support your head with a pillow, the wall, or another prop. Here is how you do it:
- Put yourself in a position where you can either stand or sit comfortably.
- As you pull your shoulders down, be sure to align your face, neck, and spine.
- Raise your chin’s angle while simultaneously lowering your head’s rear.
- Keep your body in this posture for up to a minute.
- Back to the starting location slowly and steadily and perform between 2 and 4 rounds.
Stretch 3 – Hip Stretch
With more flexibility in your hips, you’ll be able to put more pressure on your feet no matter what angle you’re climbing.
Although this seems less vital, you should not consider your hips any less necessary than other joints in your body. It’s essential to focus on upkeep rather than relaxation while extending the joints in your upper torso.
Finally, your goals should include maintaining healthy joints to keep your strength up and stay away from injuries.
Stretch 4 – Shoulder Stretching
Many stretches can help improve flexibility and prevent injuries, but climbers need to be especially careful when stretching their shoulders. That’s because the shoulder joint is particularly prone to instability.
Likewise, the shoulder press is one of the simplest and most effective stretches for climbers.
To perform this stretch:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides.
- Then, raise your arms overhead and press your palms together. You should feel a stretch in your shoulders and chest.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then release.
- Repeat the stretch 2-3 times.
Performing these stretches regularly will help improve the shoulders’ flexibility and prevent injuries.
Stretch 5 – Overhead Reach
It is one of the best stretches for climbers. To do this stretch:
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides.
- Then, reach overhead with both hands and interlace your fingers.
- Next, gently pull your hands down towards the floor until you feel a stretch in your shoulders.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then release.
- Repeat 2-3 times.
Some Benefits Of Stretches For Climbers
It is essential to stretch before engaging in any physical activity, especially before engaging in something as physically demanding as climbing.
Similarly, before you start climbing, it is incredibly vital to perform dynamic stretching, which consists of moving stretches that help warm up your muscles and joints.
Also, it’s best to reserve static stretching, which consists of holding one posture for 15–30 seconds at the end of your workout when you’re cooling down.
The following are a few of the advantages that come from warming up by stretching before climbing.
- Gets your joints and muscles nice and warm. Your muscles will get stiff and used to a range of motion that is more limited if you sit for most of the day. Before beginning a brutal climb, you should stretch to increase blood flow to the muscles and joints, which will warm them up.
- It helps to prevent getting hurt. Also, the most excellent way to avoid getting injured while climbing is to make stretching a regular part of your regimen. In addition, pulls and strains of the muscles are the most common kind of injuries that climbers sustain. Furthermore, properly warming up your muscles before a climb is one of the best ways to get your muscles ready for the force they will endure while climbing.
- Lengthens the muscles in your body and improves your flexibility. Stretching can progressively help extend your muscles, which can make you extra active when trying to climb. Dynamic stretches that target the specific muscle groups used the most during climbing can help improve versatility in those muscle groups. Finally, stretching can also help improve flexibility in those other muscle groups.
To be a world-class climber in 2022, you’ll need to start training now. And that means incorporating some stretches into your routine. We’ve outlined the five best stretches for climbers, so try out a few and see how they make a difference in your performance. Remember, stretching is vital if you want to stay injury-free and keep crushing those boulders!