The physical demands in climbing are more than just crimping and locking off. Complete body strength is needed to overcome all aspects of an ascent and this strength starts with the core.

After five weeks of training beta, I think you know that building a balanced core regimen is easy to get wrong. Avoiding the pitfalls of over developing the global muscles or ignoring the planes of movement are essential to encourage a strong and stable trunk. Always keep your training fresh. The exercises I’ve shared with you are perfect for building a foundation, but your core will not adjust and adapt if the same exercises are churned out every day. Rotate them, pick four or five for a session, being conscious of working all planes. Then progress them, add to them, experiment with them.


Swiss ball mountain climbers

Traditionally done on the floor, this version using the ball cranks up the difficulty level and requires a substantial amount of core stability.

1. With your hands placed on the swiss ball, assume a press up position, engage the core.

2. In a controlled movement, bring your right leg up to your chest, keeping your left foot firmly on the floor.

3. Bring the right leg back and come up with the left.

4. Repeat, always maintaining control of the ball.

Swiss ball press up hip rotation with a kick

It sounds more complicated than it is. This exercise is very demanding and targets the entire core, local and global.

  1. With your feet on the ball assume a press up position.
  2. Perform a press up. As you return to the top, engage your core and slowly draw your left knee to your chest.
  3. Pivot your hips to the left, extending your left leg out to the right, bracing yourself with your core.
  4. Hold the position briefly, then slowly return the leg back and repeat with alternate leg.

If you are going to take anything from these articles, take this: think about natural climbing movements and what they need from your core. Never sacrifice form for quantity. Train hard and train regularly. It’s been a pleasure.


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