• Building a Better Climber: Part Four
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  • Building a Better Climber: Part 2
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  • Catch of the Day
  • The Unnatural Way to Climb
  • Too Hard for a Caveman
  • Never Get Pumped Again
  • Should You Add Weight or Use Smaller Holds on a Hangboard
  • Injured? Train Your Core!
  • Cheap Tricks
  • How to Mentally Train
  • How to Power Train for Climbing
  • Boost Power With Eccentric Training
  • Tips for Better Onsighting
  • Should You Lose Weight or Get Stronger?
  • Does Running or Biking Improve Your Climbing?
  • Is Protein Important?
  • Getting Strong After a Layoff
  • Training While Hungry
  • HowTo Use Microcycles
  • Improving Slab Technique
  • How to Unlock a Crux
  • Best Ratio of Resting to Bouldering
  • Training During Pregnancy
  • Using Your Hangboard the Right Way
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  • How to Stay Psyched
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  • Using a Weight Belt For Training
  • Regaining Confidence After a Fall
  • Dynamic vs. Static Stretching
  • Overcome Anxiety and Send!
  • The Importance of Finger Strength
  • Do Forearm Trainers Work?
  • Maximum Training in Minimum Time
  • Dialing in Crampon Technique
  • Ultimate Strength
  • Periodized Training For the Year-round Approach
  • The Secrets of Warming Up
  • Beat the Ice-Climbing Pump
  • Resting the Perfect Amount
  • How To Recover On Route
  • Does Creatine Work?
  • Can Old Guys Get Stronger?
  • Recovery Supplement Truths
  • Euro Training Secrets
  • How to Beat Fear
  • How Often Should You Rest?
  • Training With an Injury
  • Avoiding the Gear-Placement Pump
  • How to Develop Sloper Strength
  • Warming Up Without Warm-Ups
  • Beating the Lactic Acid Pump
  • Video Spotlight
    A Little Bit of Gunks: Some Bouldering Classics
    A Little Bit of Gunks: Some Bouldering Classics

    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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