Training Tips for Climbers: Don’t Skip Leg Day!
Although climbing is a generally upper body dominated sport, especially when the climbing gets steeper, it is still important to have a well trained lower body. Sadly, I have learned this the hard way as I have had multiple lower body injuries over the years. They have often been due to poorly conditioned legs and anyone whose seem them won’t be surprised! It has also often left me stumped by tricky heel hooks and deep drop knees. Ever since I have put more of a focus on training my legs, they have been far more resilient to injury as well as allowing me to complete moves that I have struggled on in the past.
If I could go back and tell my younger self about strength training, I would tell younger Jonny the importance of training the whole body and not just my upper body…
1 – Find exercises that you like doing.
I have never really been a fan of many lower body exercises but for me glute bridges and deadlifts seem to break the rule.
2- Train your legs on the wall
Specificity is king when it comes to training for a sport. Finding climbs where your leg strength is the limiting factor can be a really useful way of training the legs or for translating any strength built away from the wall into climbing specific strength.
3- Don’t over do it if you’re new to training your legs
If you end up giving yourself killer DOMS after your first leg session then you’re probably less likely to continuing training them going forward.