Fit for Climbing

Last updated 18.12.2019MatheaMathea

Summer is just around the corner and with it the main climbing season in Tirol. However, before you hit the rocks, it is a good idea to prepare your body for the specific demands of rock climbing. Strong arms are, of course, important, but climbers also need a strong core.

Austria’s climbing world champion Jakob Schubert shows you five exercises requiring no equipment to get you ready for the climbing season.

Let’s get started!

Climbing world champion Jakob Schubert in action. Photo: Heiko Wilhelm

We recommend doing 4 x 12 reps of each exercise with 90 seconds rest in between each set. These exercises are also a good way to warm up before a climbing session.

1. Leg Lowers

Leg Lowers are a great way to train the lateral stomach muscles.

Here’s how it works:

  • Lie down on your back
  • Push the lower part of your back against the ground
  • Tense your stomach muscles
  • Move your legs up and down (easier variation: bend your legs at the knees)
  • Complete the exercise in a slow, controlled way

Important: When lowering your legs, make sure your lower back stays on the ground.

2. Bicycles


Bicycles help train the muscles on the side and at the bottom of your stomach.

Here’s how it works:

  • Lie down on your back
  • Tense your stomach muscles
  • Make sure your lower back stays on the ground
  • Pull one knee forward, then the other
  • Twist your upper body diagonal to your knees

Important: This exercise should be carried out slowly. Do not use your legs to generate momentum. Keep your lower back pressed against the ground at all times.

3. Y-Extensions

This exercise strengthens your shoulder muscles.

Here’s how it works:

  • Lie down on your front
  • Tense your stomach muscles
  • Stretch your arms out to the side and pull your shoulder blades together
  • Keep your feet on the ground

Important: Try to maintain muscle tension in your back throughout the exercise.

4. Mountain Climbers

Climbers need good cardiovascular fitness. Mountain Climbers are a good exercise to get your heart pumping and train your core muscles at the same time.

Here’s how it works:

  • Assume the push-up position
  • Keep your back straight at all times
  • Maintain tension in your stomach muscles
  • Pull one knee up towards your elbow, then the other – as fast as possible

Important: Keep your back as straight as possible and parallel to the ground. Try to maintain tension in your stomach muscles throughout the exercise.

5. Mobilisation

The final exercise is aimed at mobilising the shoulders in order to keep them flexible and supple.

Here’s how it works:

  • Bend your knees slightly
  • Keep your upper body straight
  • Stretch out your arms and move them back and forth in a circular motion (make a fist or hold a tennis ball in each hand)

Important: This exercise should be carried out in a slow, controlled way.

Fit for Sports in Tirol

An outdoorswoman with a passion for sports, Mathea is always looking for authentic stories about Tirol. You can usually find her in the backcountry, surrounded by good people.

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