Building Stronger Arms for Climbing
Having strong arms is essential to a climber, complimenting finger and core strength and good footwork.
Getting stronger arms doesn’t mean having massive biceps; you use all of the muscles in your arms when you climb. Grip strength, biceps, triceps and shoulders are all important factors in getting stronger guns.
Ok, so you need to train your whole arm… but how? Not everyone has access to gym equipment, so these exercises are designed to be done at home. It’s worth committing to buying a set of weights if you’re going to take the training seriously. However, there are other options often lying around the house that you can use instead. We used a brick and some metal poles. In fact, the brick has now become a permanent feature of the EpicTV office!
We spoke to personal trainer Joe Groom who gave us the following exercise. All of these should be done for ten repetitions with a 30 second rest, then the whole process should be repeated three times.
We used a brick for this, but as you progress you will probably want to find something heavier.
1. Use your fingers to grip the outside part of the brick and place your thumb on the other side, so you’re pinching it. This is your starting position.
2. Squeeze the brick with your fingers and thumb, and lift. Hold this position for as long as you can.
3. Switch arms and repeat the movements.
1. Stand so that your feet are shoulder width apart with your arms by your sides, holding the weight.
2. Keeping a straight back, lift the weight up so that it is in line with your shoulder.
4. Add more weight when the exercise becomes too easy.
This is how it should be done:
1. Start in a push-up position with the thumb and index fingers of each hand touching, to make a diamond shape.
2. While keeping your elbows as close to your sides as possible, lower yourself down
until your chest touches the back of your hands.
3. Keep everything tight (abs, glutes, thigh muscles) throughout the movement.
4. Push back up to the starting position and repeat.
This is an advanced exercise so be careful. Definitely something to aim for.
1. With your back to the wall, bend at the waist and place both hands on the floor, shoulder width apart.
2. Kick yourself up against the wall with your arms straight. Your body should be upside down with your arms and legs fully extended. Keep your whole body as straight as possible. If you’re doing this for the first time, have a spotter help you. Make sure you look straight ahead rather than looking down.
3. Slowly lower yourself to the ground and inhale until your head almost touches the floor.
4. Push yourself back up slowly and exhale until your elbows are nearly locked.
You’ll need a weight for this one. We just used metal poles, but as you start improving, you’ll need something a bit more substantial.
1. Stand up with your back straight.
2. With your fists clenched together, lift your arms as high as you can while bending your elbows, keeping your hands close to the front of your body.
3. Hold for a count of two and then lower back down slowly.
4. Release your arms back into a relaxed position, fists still together.
All of these exercises are intensive and you must be careful when following them. Never lift with your back muscles and do not increase the weight until you are ready. EpicTV cannot be held responsible for any injuries sustained while following this plan.
Good luck and remember that progress does not come easily. We could only find one person in the entire office who could actually do a handstand push up (although there are now lots of people trying).
For more fitness advice email personal trainer Joe Groom: firstname.lastname@example.org