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10 Minute Workout Routines For Post Climbing Sessions

10 Minute Workout Routines For Post Climbing Sessions

Climbers frequently associated their struggle to finish a climb with two main problems: strength and technique. Though technique is best learned on the rock wall, there are many exercises off the wall that will improve strength faster than additional climbing time. With that being the case, many climbers suggest strength training to give yourself an additional edge in climbing. If you are like me and don’t love weight training or traditional exercising, then these quick ten-minute strength training routines may be the perfect option for you.

I recommend doing one routine after each session and switch up the routine every time so you don’t have two days of the same routine in a row. The short training period will help prevent over exhausting your muscles and allow you to recover by your next climbing session. 

Routine/Exercise Overview

For each of these exercises, you will need a timer. I recommend an interval timer app on your phone or watch. You will do as many reps of each exercise for 1 minute and then rest for 30 seconds. At the end of each routine is 2 minutes for stretching. DO NOT skip stretching – stretching is an important part of muscle recovery as well as increasing performance.

Each exercise is explained in the exercise overview section at the end of this article.

Shoulder Exercise Routines

You shoulders are a very important aspect of your climbing performance and experience. In addition to the strength that shoulders provide while climbing, exercising the muscles that you don’t use in climbing should be exercised as well to prevent unbalanced muscles, hunched back and rotator cuff strains, etc. Shoulder rotator cuff strains, for example, are one of the most injured parts of a climbers body so it is specifically important to train. If you want to learn more about common injuries in climbing, check out this article (5 Common Injuries in Climbing and How To Prevent Them). Here are a couple 10 minute routines that you can do after a climbing session to strengthen and prevent injury.

Routine A

What You’ll Need:

  • Resistance Bands
  • Dumbbells 

Workout Routine:

  • Exercise 1: Pushups
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 2: Shoulder Rotations with Resistance Bands
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 3: Front Raises
  • Exercise 4: Lateral Raises
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 5: Pushups
  • Exercise 6: Shoulder Stretches

Shoulder Routine B

What You’ll Need:

  • Dumbbells 
  • Inclined bench or exercise ball

Workout Routine

  • Exercise 1: Pushups
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 2: I’s Y’s and T’s
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 3: Shoulder Press
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 4: Reverse Fly
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 5: Pushups
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 6: Shoulder Stretches

Arm Exercise Routine

Arms are an important part of climbing as they are important for pulling your body up. Men are notorious for leveraging their arms more than any other part of the body compared to women who are more likely to use their legs. Climbing inherently increases arm strength but if you want to level up your climbing a little faster, then additional arm strengthening will be helpful. Here are three quick routines to choose from for a great finish to your climbing routine.

Arm Routine A

What You’ll Need:

  • Bench
  • Dumbbells 
  • Pull-up bar
  • Timer (I recommend an interval timer app)

Workout Routine:

  • Exercise 1: Pull-ups
  • Rest: 30 Seconds 
  • Exercise 2: Tricep Dips
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 3: Bicep Curls
  • Rest: 30 Seconds 
  • Exercise 4: Pull-ups
  • Exercise 5: Arm Stretches

Arm Routine B

What You’ll Need:

  • Dumbbells 
  • Pull-up bar
  • Timer (I recommend an interval timer app)

Workout Routine:

  • Exercise 1: Pull-ups
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 2: Hammer Curl 
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 3: Neutral-Grip Triceps Extension
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 4: Pull-ups
  • Exercise 5: Arm Stretches

Arm Routine C – Push-Up/Pull-Up Pyramid

Complete as much of the push-up/pull-up pyramid as you can in 8 minutes and then stretch for 2 minutes. This arm routine is a little different than the other exercises outlined in this article because it is based on repeating the same two exercises over and over again. If you aren’t proficient with pull-ups and push-ups, this may be an exercise that you work toward but aren’t able to complete at the beginning.

For this exercise, you will need to know how to do push-ups and pullups, which are outlined in the exercise overview section at the end of this article. The pyramid goes like this – start with 10 push-ups, then do 10 pull-ups. Then do 9 pull-ups and 9 push-ups. Then do 8 pull-ups and 8 pushups. And so on until you do 1 pull-up and 1 push-up. 

It’s likely that you won’t be able to complete the full pyramid the first time, but the stronger you get, the closer you will be able to finish the pyramid in 10 minutes.

Core Exercise Routine

Your core is crucial for climbing. Body tension, moving your limbs, keeping your feet on and moving efficiently all revolves around the core. The stronger your core, the better you can climb, plus a solid core looks great. The nice thing about your core is that it can take a lot of work without being overused. With that being the case, you can always finish your climbing session with one of these great 10 minute exercise routines for your core without worrying about overusing it.

Core Routine A

What You’ll Need:

  • Timer (I recommend an interval timer app)
  • Yoga Mat (optional)

Workout Routine:

  • Exercise 1: Oblique Knee Raise Plank
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 2: Mountain Climbers
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 3: High Boat, Low Boat
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 4: Oblique Knee Raise Plank
  • Exercise 5: Core Stretches

Core Routine B

What You’ll Need:

  • Timer (I recommend an interval timer app)
  • Yoga Mat (optional)

Workout Routine:

  • Exercise 1: Hanging Leg Lift
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 2: A-Frame Arm Drop
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 3: Oblique Knee Raise Plank
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 4: Hanging Leg Lift
  • Exercise 5: Core Stretches 

Leg Exercise Routine

Your legs are one of the main muscles used in climbing. They are the main muscles for pushing your body up the wall. Women are known for leveraging their legs more than any other part of the body. Especially compared to men who are more likely to use their arms. Leg muscles are built through climbing but if you want to level up your climbing faster, then a quick leg exercises after your climbing session can help. Here are two 10 minute routines to choose from for a great finish to your climbing training that will help build your leg muscles.

Leg Routine A

What You’ll Need:

  • Timer (I recommend an interval timer app)
  • Yoga Mat (optional)

Workout Routine:

  • Exercise 1: Single-Leg Squat (30 seconds on each leg)
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 2: Side Plank Adductor Lift With Hip Flexion (30 seconds on each leg)
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 3: Kettlebell Swing 
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 4: Single-Leg Squat (30 seconds on each leg)
  • Exercise 5: Leg Stretches

Leg Routine B

What You’ll Need:

  • Jump Box – A wooden box that is stable to stand and jump on
  • Timer (I recommend an interval timer app)
  • Yoga Mat (optional)

Workout Routine:

  • Exercise 1: Toeing Squats
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 2: Step Up to Reverse Lunge (30 seconds on each leg)
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 3: Explosive Sprinters Lunge (30 seconds on each leg)
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 4: Toeing Squats
  • Exercise 5: Leg Stretches 

Full Body Exercise Routine

Sometimes a quick full-body workout is the perfect way to top-off your climbing exercise. Whether you just want a little more blood pumping or a bit more sweat, a quick exercise can make you feel accomplished after a climbing session. Here are three quick ten minute exercises for a full body workout after your climbing session.

Full Body Routine A

What You’ll Need:

  • Dumbbells
  • Timer (I recommend an interval timer app)
  • Yoga Mat (optional)

Workout Routine:

  • Exercise 1: Oblique Knee Raise Plank
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 2: Hanging Leg Lifts
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 3: Explosive Sprinters Lunge (30 seconds on each side)
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 4: Pushup with Single Arm Row Exercise
  • Exercise 5: Full Body Stretches 

Full Body Routine B

What You’ll Need:

  • Timer (I recommend an interval timer app)
  • Yoga Mat (optional)

Workout Routine:

  • Exercise 1: 10 Pushups and 10 Pullups = 1 rep, repeat rep for 1 minute
  • Rest: 30 seconds to 1 Minute
  • Exercise 2: 1 Leg Squats (30 seconds on each leg)
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 3: Oblique Knee Raise Plank (30 seconds on each leg)
  • Rest: 30 Seconds
  • Exercise 4: Side Plank Hip Flexor Raises (30 seconds on each leg)
  • Exercise 5: Full Body Stretches 

Full Body Routine C

Choose 10 floor ab exercises (crunches, leg lifts, etc.) and do each for one minute, without resting. If you choose to do a plank, I recommend you do a variation of the plank that includes movement to get more out of it.

Arms/Shoulders Exercise Overview/How-To:

Pushups

In high plank position, place your hands shoulder-width apart. As you bend your elbows and lower toward the ground, keep your elbows at a 45-degree angle to your body and lower until your elbows bend reaches at least 90 degrees (further is better) and then push your body back up to a high plank position. If you can’t do multiple pushups, then do as many as you can on your feet and then drop to your knees for a modified pushup for the rest of the exercise.

Pull-ups

To complete a pull-up, grip the bar with your palms facing away from you and with your hands shoulder-width apart. In one movement, pull your body up until your chin is higher than the bar and your arms are in a full-lock-off position (your shoulders touch the back of your hands) and then let yourself back down until your arms are straight. If you can’t do pull-ups or can’t do multiple pull-ups, then do negative pull-ups. Negative pull-ups are when you start with your elbows/arms at a full lock-off position (chin above the bar) and then you slowly drop down to straight arms.

Shoulder Rotation with Resistance Bands

For this exercise, you will need a resistance band wrapped around a bar or pole. To complete a shoulder rotation, you will hold the end of the resistance band in the hand associated with the shoulder you are rotating. Bend your elbow 90 degrees and hold it level with your shoulder so there is a parallel line between your upper arm (between the shoulder and elbow) and the floor. While maintaining the 90-degree angle and parallel line, rotate your shoulder sideways or up and down depending on what rotation you are exercising. Here are 4 shoulder rotations: 

  • Internal (Side) Rotation (One shoulder at a time): Start with your elbow out to your side and bent at a 90-degree angle. While keeping your upper arm parallel with the ground, rotate your shoulder inward until your elbow is in front of your body. 
  • External (Side) Rotation (One shoulder at a time): Start with your elbow out in front of you and bent at a 90-degree angle. While keeping your upper arm parallel with the ground, rotate your shoulder out until your elbow is to the side of your body.
  • External Rotation Down: Start with your elbow out to your side, level with your shoulder and bent at a 90-degree angle with your hand straight up. While keeping your upper arm parallel with the ground, rotate your shoulder down until your hand is level with your elbow and shoulder. 
  • Internal Rotation Up: Start with your elbow out to your side, level with your shoulder and bent at a 90-degree angle with your hand level with your elbow and shoulder. While keeping your upper arm parallel with the ground, rotate your shoulder up until your hand is directly above your elbow

Warning: Exercise one elbow/rotation at a time. If you haven’t done rotation exercises before, then go slow and if you become sore, stop and allow yourself to recover.

Front Raises

To complete a front raise, you will need dumbells in both your hands. While standing, hold the dumbbells on your thighs with your palms are facing you. Keep your arms straight and in one movement raise the dumbbells in front of you to shoulder level. Then lower the dumbbells back down to your thighs.

Lateral Raises

To do this exercise, you will need dumbells in each hand. While standing, hold the dumbbells at your side with your palms facing inward toward your body. Keep your arms straight and in one movement, raise the dumbbells out to your side until they reach shoulder level. Then lower the dumbbells back to your starting position.

I’s Y’s and T’s

For this exercise, you will need an inclined bench (45 degrees) or exercise ball and small dumbells. If this is your first time doing this exercise, try it without dumbells first. 

  • I’s: With your chest facing the bench, extend your arms in front of you with your arms straight. While keeping them straight move them above your head so your back, shoulders, elbows and hands are all in line, making an I shape.
  • Y’s: with your chest facing the bench, extend your arms straight. Imagine a large clock in front of you and while keeping your arms straight, extend your hands to the 2 and 10 o-clock so your arms make the shape of a ‘Y’
  • T’s: With your chest facing the bench, place your arms at your side and then while keeping your arms straight, bring your hands up to the side so that your arms make the shape of a ‘T’

Shoulder Press

For this exercise you will need dumbells for each hand. To start the exercise, place the dumbells level with your shoulders and your elbows fully bent. Raise the dumbbells above your head until your arms are completely straight. Then return to the starting position and repeat. 

Reverse Fly

For this exercise you will need dumbells. To get into a proper stance for this exercise, keep your back straight, press your hips back and bringing your chest forward (almost parallel to the floor). Let the weights hang straight down with your palms facing each other. With straight arms, raise both arms out to your side while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Avoid hunching your shoulders up during the movement and focus on your shoulder blades coming together.

Tricep Dips

To complete a tricep dip, place your hands on the edge of a bench and put your legs out in front of you so that you are holding your body with your hands on the bench and feet on the floor with nothing is below your butt. Bend your arms and lower your body until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle. Then straighten your arms and push your body back up to the starting position.

Bicep Curls

To complete a bicep curl you will need dumbbells in each hand. While standing with the dumbbells at your side, palms facing out, use your bicep to pull the dumbbell up into your shoulder, then slowly lower the dumbbell back into the starting position.

Hammer Curl 

For this exercise, you will need dumbbells in each hand. To complete a hammer curl, stand with dumbbells in each hand at your side and your palms facing toward your body. In one movement, keep your palms facing inward/toward each other, bend your elbows and pull the dumbbell into your shoulders. Slowly lower the dumbbell down to starting position at your side.

Pushup with Single Arm Row Exercise

For this exercise you will need dumbbells. With your hands gripping dumbbells, complete a pushup and then when you return to high-plank position, pull the dumbbell into your chest, one arm at a time.

Neutral-Grip Triceps Extension

For this exercise you will need a bench and dumbells. To complete a neutral-grip triceps extension, get into starting position with your back flat on the bench, legs secured and a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing each other. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and raise the dumbbells to be above your head. In one movement straighten your elbows while maintaining the position of your upper arms. Then slowly bend your elbows back to 90 degrees. 

Core Exercise Overview/How-To:

Oblique Knee Raise Plank

You don’t need anything to complete this exercise, but a yoga mat is recommended. Start in a plank position with your hands directly beneath your shoulders. Bend one leg and bring the knee toward your shoulder on the same side while keeping the upper body stationary throughout the movement. Repeat on each leg.

Mountain Climbers

You don’t need anything to complete this exercise, but a yoga mat is recommended. For mountain climbers, you will remain in a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. With your core engaged, bring your right knee forward under your chest, with the toes just off the ground and then return to starting position. Switch legs, bringing the left knee forward and so forth at a pace that feels like running in place while in a plank position.

High Boat, Low Boat

You don’t need anything to complete this exercise, but a yoga mat is recommended. You will move between a high boat position and a low boat position. For high boat, start seated on mat with bent knees and feet flat on the mat. Lean back until your back is at 45-degree angle and straighten legs and arms up in front of you so you are a v-shape balancing on your tailbone. For low boat, lean back until your hands and legs are 2-3 inches off the ground.

Hanging Leg Lift

For this exercise you will need a pull-up bar. Start the exercise with your hands gripping the pull-up bar and your body dangling down. In one movement, bring your knees into your chest. Then let your legs back down. To make this exercise more difficult, keep your legs straight and pull your legs up until your legs are at a 90-degree angle (or less) to your torso.

A-Frame Arm Drop

You don’t need anything to complete this exercise, but a yoga mat is recommended. To get into position for this exercise, you will sit on the mat with your knees bent at 100 degrees and feet on the ground. Lean back and lift your feet off the ground so you are balancing on your tailbone. Create an “A” shape with your arms, so palms together and elbows are straight. Twist your body side to side touching your fingertips to the ground on each side of your body.

Explosive Sprinters Lunge 

This is a core and leg exercise. You do not need any equipment for this exercise. To complete a sprinters lunge, you will begin in a lunge position. Both legs bent at a 90-degree angle with one leg in front of your body and one leg behind your body, in line with your hips. In one movement, put all of your weight on your front leg and straighten it completely with all of your weight on that leg. Then pull the opposite leg up (the one that was behind you) so that your upper-leg is parallel with the ground and your hip is at a 90-degree angle. Repeat on both legs.

Legs/Hips Exercise Overview/How-To:

Single-Leg Squat

To complete this exercise, you don’t need any equipment. Start the exercise standing up with your feet shoulder width apart. Balance on one foot with the other foot out in front of you and squat down as far as you can and then return to standing position. Try to keep the leg that isn’t bearing weight straight in front of your body throughout the movement for an additional challenge.

Side Plank Adductor Lift With Hip Flexion

For this exercise, you will need a bench. A yoga mat is recommended, but it isn’t required. Hold your body in a side plank position for the duration of the exercise with your top foot on top of the bench. Straighten your body and legs and support your body weight on your elbow and foot on the bench. Slowly raise your hips as high as you can and then let it back down. Repeat on each side.

Toeing Squats

For this exercise you don’t need any equipment. To complete a toeing squat, you will keep your feet together and stay up on your toes throughout the entire movement. Bend your knees until you are in a sitting position (or lower) and then straighten your knees and stand as high as you can on your toes.

Step Up to Reverse Lunge 

For this exercise you will need a sturdy box that you can put your weight on (most gyms have these). To complete the step up reverse lunge, you will be making multiple movements. Start with the box 5-10 inches in front of you. ( Movement 1) With one leg, step on the box and push your body up until you are standing on top of the box while balancing with one leg. (Movement 2) Bring your other leg up into your torso, bending your knee as needed. (Movement 3) Using the same leg that is against your torso, step back down from the box distributing your weight between both legs – the one on the ground and the one on the box. (Movement 4) Move your foot from on top of the box to behind you and bend into a lunge position. Repeat the movements with the opposite legs.

Explosive Sprinters Lunge 

You do not need any equipment for this exercise. To complete a sprinters lunge, you will begin in a lunge position. Both legs bent at a 90-degree angle with one leg in front of your body and one leg behind your body. In one movement, put all of your weight on your front leg and straighten it completely with all of your weight on that leg. Then pull the opposite leg into your torso/chest. Repeat on both legs.

Side Plank Hip Flexor Raises

You don’t need anything to complete this exercise but a yoga mat is recommended. To start this exercise, you will need to be in a side-plank position. A side plank position is like a plank, but instead of your both feet on the ground and both hands on the ground, you will be on your side. Once you are in a side-plank position, raise your top leg as high as you can in a controlled move and then back down. Repeat this movement on both sides.

Choose 1-3 routines/week and push yourself

If you want to level up your climbing performance without long strength training exercises, you can start your strength training journey with a quick 10 minute exercise after each climbing session. These are just a couple 10 minute exercises that are a great way to top-off your climbing session. If you noticed, these exercises all rely on how much you are able to do in one minute for 10 minutes so you can push yourself as hard or as light as needed. You can track your strength progress by recording how many reps at how much weight per exercise and then in a month you can re-evaluate to see your improvement. Ideally, you push yourself a little harder each session so the improvement is more substantial.

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