• Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Part 7
  • Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Part 6
  • Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Final Part
  • Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Part 5
  • Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Part 4
  • Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Part 3
  • Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Part 2
  • Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Part 1
  • Rock Climbing Training: Gain Confidence by Learning Not to Fear Falling
  • Rock Climbing Training: The Unnatural Way to Climb
  • Rock Climbing Training: Get Better When You Are Scared and Pumped
  • Rock Climbing Training: Never Get Pumped Again
  • Rock Climbing Training: Should You Add Weight or Use Smaller Holds on a Hangboard
  • Rock Climbing Training: Pushing Past Your Training Plateau
  • Rock Climbing Training: How to Power Train for Climbing
  • Rock Climbing Training: How to Mentally Train
  • Rock Climbing Training: Boost Power With Eccentric Training
  • Rock Climbing Training: Tips for Better Onsighting
  • Rock Climbing Training: Should You Lose Weight or Get Stronger?
  • Rock Climbing Training: Is Protein Important?
  • Rock Climbing Training: Getting Strong After a Layoff
  • Rock Climbing Training: Does Running or Biking Improve Your Climbing?
  • Rock Climbing Training: Training While Hungry
  • Rock Climbing Training: HowTo Use Microcycles
  • Rock Climbing Training: Improving Slab Technique
  • Rock Climbing Training: How to Unlock a Crux
  • Rock Climbing Training: Using Your Hangboard the Right Way
  • Rock Climbing Training: Using a Weight Belt For Training
  • Rock Climbing Training: Training During Pregnancy
  • Rock Climbing Training: Maximizing a Small Home Wall
  • Rock Climbing Training: How to Stay Psyched
  • Rock Climbing Training: How to Prevent Bonking
  • Rock Climbing Training: Best Ratio of Resting to Bouldering
  • Rock Climbing Training: The Importance of Finger Strength
  • Rock Climbing Training: Regaining Confidence After a Fall
  • Rock Climbing Training: Overcome Anxiety and Send!
  • Rock Climbing Training: Maximum Training in Minimum Time
  • Rock Climbing Training: Dynamic vs. Static Stretching
  • Rock Climbing Training: Do Forearm Trainers Work?
  • Rock Climbing Training: Ultimate Strength
  • Rock Climbing Training: The Secrets of Warming Up
  • Rock Climbing Training: Periodized Training For the Year-round Approach
  • Rock Climbing Training: Resting the Perfect Amount
  • Rock Climbing Training: How To Recover On Route
  • Rock Climbing Training: Does Creatine Work?
  • Rock Climbing Training: Recovery Supplement Truths
  • Rock Climbing Training: Euro Training Secrets
  • Rock Climbing Training: Can Old Guys Get Stronger?
  • Rock Climbing Training: Training With an Injury
  • Rock Climbing Training: How to Beat Fear
  • Rock Climbing Training: How Often Should You Rest?
  • Rock Climbing Training: Warming Up Without Warm-Ups
  • Rock Climbing Training: How to Develop Sloper Strength
  • Rock Climbing Training: Beating the Lactic Acid Pump
  • Rock Climbing Training: Avoiding the Gear-Placement Pump
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    Rock Climbing Training: Warming Up Without Warm-Ups

    20-Oct-2009
    By

    I have a project at a crag that has only hard (for me) routes. All the routes have low cruxes, right off the ground, as well as hard, tweaky climbing throughout. How do I warm up at a place with no warm-ups? —Jeff Jackson, Basalt, CO

    This is a great question as it's just the sort of thing they forget to tell you in the how-to books. Properly warming up is the biggest determinant of how well you will climb that day. When you simply can't do the good old pyramid-style build-up of three routes in ascending grade order, do a pulse raiser such as a jog-on-the-spot or jump rope for five minutes. Next do some mobility exercises such as shoulder circles and finger clenches. Then, if the crag lends itself, some pull-ups with feet for assistance on a few jugs at the base and some hangs on the least tweaky holds. Next up, and again if the crag lends itself, some low-level traversing, but it sounds like in this case the crag is pretty tough. In which case keep your pump on and simply walk along the base while you traverse with your hands on the holds. If the cliff is overhanging you will be able to recruit the relevant muscles and tendons in a controlled way without tweaking them. (This is also a useful tip for warming up on a steep and difficult woody.) If traversing of any kind simply isn't possible, then get on the least tweaky route. At Rodellar I was once forced to abandon a 5.10 with a mono move and switch to a neighboring 5.11a that had kinder holds. Grab draws, and if the route is way beyond the level of your usual first route, then ask your belayer to take. This way the sequence becomes more like a bouldering warm-up than a traditional-routes warm-up, and hence can work almost as well. You should also stretch your forearms while hanging on the rope. If the terrain is really fierce, simply pull on the draws instead of the worst holds. Forget how this might look to others. You'll be the one smiling when you send your project. The next step is to incorporate some sort of warm-up pump, but you can probably do this on your project by doing links. It's always the first part that will be trickiest at a tough crag. The thing that we love and hate about climbing is that you can't always simulate the gym environment at the crag, but with a little shrewdness you will be able to get yourself in gear without anything going twang.

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