Last week, when I made a one-minute video talking about building climbing-specific core strength, I realized I unintentionally excluded a significant portion of rock climbers for participating in the exercises.
That guide prompted two significant lines of questions:
- I can’t do a pull-up, but I’d like to do one. What do I do?
- I can hang from a bar, and do knee lifts, but can’t do egg rolls. How do I train for those?
I answer both questions below this video (this is the original one I made a week ago):
Lets deal with the first question: How to do a pull-up?
Of course, like a good internet-er, I headed to youtube to see what people said about pull-ups, and came across
trash information like this:
3/4ths of the tutorials featured shirtless guys blabbing away for ten minutes into the camera.
Finally, I don’t think that pull-ups correlate well with climbing ability. Pulling strength is a great thing to have, though, so here’s a short guide to starting to build good pulling power:
Beginner’s guide to building pulling strength
Please note that this doesn’t mention how to do a pull-up, or how to train for that. Honestly, I don’t know how. I’ll figure it out and share it, but until then I know that no one needs to worry about doing a pull-up until they can hang from a bar with tight shoulders.
This other guide is a step-by-step breakdown to get to both egg rolls and leg lifts, by improving your core strength.
Incremental core strength progression
I’m staying with my in-laws this week for the holiday, so pardon the messy basement.
Two questions for you:
- Can you do pull-ups?
- If you can do pull-ups, what sort of core exercises can you do? Knee lifts? Egg rolls? Something in between?
PS If you like this information, drop in your email. I’ll send you an email a week about being better at climbing. I’ll actually spend very little time talking about physical fitness.
PPS Want a recommended format of reps/sets for these exercises?
I would recommend this format for the tight shoulders/tight core exercises:
1. Hang with tight shoulders (and core) for seven seconds
2. Relax and “rest” with loose shoulders for three seconds (this tight/loose cycle is one rep)
3. Repeat until failure.
For the other exercises:
1: Hang with tight shoulders (addressed above)
2. Hang with tight shoulders and tight core (use same format as above)
3. Knee lifts: sets of five knee lifts, with 30 seconds of rest between sets. Go until failure.
4. High knees: Same format as knee lifts. sets of five lifts, 30 seconds of rest, five lifts, until failure.
5. “Assisted” Straight leg lifts: Same as above knee lifts. Go until failure.
6. (not shown in video) straight leg lifts: Same as knee lifts
If at any point you can do more than four or five sets before failure, bump the number of reps per set up to seven or eight.
Always be aiming to move to the next level of difficulty, too. Don’t worry about doing 10 sets of 10 reps of knee lifts – by that point, you should be doing high knees or assisted straight leg lifts.
Does this help? Let me know if it doesn’t!