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Lower Body Mobility and Flexibility Challenge

Professional climbers recognize the importance of mobility and flexibility and spend a significant time on training. Most professional climbers have reported spending between 30-60 minutes every day on training these two things. Janja Garnbret, for example, in her earlier years as a professional youth climber, was recognized for spending half of her climbing session focusing on mobility.

However, mobility and flexibility training is also the most neglected by beginner and intermediate climbers focus on. This challenge was created to help climbers add mobility and flexibility to their daily lives. By adding a little bit of this training to your daily regimen, you will be that much closer to getting the gains you want in climbing.

Challenge Overview

Who Should Participate?

There have been an embarrassing amount of times where I thought to myself, “if I could get my foot a little higher, I could finish that route.” This type of thinking is exactly what this challenge is for. It’s to help everyone who participates be more mobile and flexible so they can send more routes.

What Equipment Is Needed?

This challenge is based on bodyweight flexibility/mobility flow training and doesn’t require any equipment. Some people may prefer using a yoga mat. However, a yoga mat is not necessary.

What Does The Challenge Entail?

Every morning and night, complete this 5-minute flexibility and mobility routine from Calisthenic Movement for 30 days.

Challenge Routine Overview

It isn’t a follow-along video like I hoped for so here is the outline of the flows in case you want a copy of it:

The Routine:

Flow 1:

  • Deep squat
  • Pike stand reach
  • Cobra

Flow 2:

  • Archer squat
  • Shaolin sit

Flow 3:

  • Toe touch
  • Easy bridge

Instructions:

Hold each position for 3-5 seconds

Reps: Repeat the routine 3 times with NO REST

Frequency: Morning and Night

Here is a printable PDF

Why This Routine?

For this challenge, I researched and found over a dozen programs that would be viable for lower body mobility and flexibility training. However, I realized that I needed to be more strict with my criteria if I wanted others to benefit from it as well so I created criteria to narrow things down.

Criteria:

  • Mainly focus on lower body, specifically the hips
  • Anyone can do it, no matter there’s flexibility
  • 20 minutes or shorter (easier to commit to)
  • Free to access
  • Capable of repeating daily
  • Can be continued after the challenge periods ends 

This criterion narrowed down a lot of options but I still had to sift through half a dozen videos to find the right one. In the end, I landed on two YouTubers that are well known for their flexibility and mobility. However, in the end, I decided to go with the one that seemed would be the easiest to memorize and see progress. Plus, it’s less than five minutes long so there isn’t an excuse for missing a day.

What is Mobility and Flexibility?

Before we get into the ins and outs of the challenge, it’s important to understand what mobility and flexibility is and how they work together.

Many people associate mobility and flexibility as the same thing, but they have two different functions. Flexibility is a means of being able to stretch and hold a specific form such as the splits. Mobility is the ability to freely move your limbs to that form, such as raising your leg to an adjacent hold that puts your body into that formation.

A way of looking at this is by considering the movement of your leg, which requires strength, the mobility side of the form. The ability to stretch your muscle and hold the form can be considered the flexibility of the form. In this way, they work together, but just because someone is flexible, that doesn’t mean they are mobile.

There would be very little use of being able to drop into the splits on the ground when it comes to climbing. Instead, you need to not only be able to stretch your legs that far apart, but you’ll also need to be able to raise your leg and actually put weight in your legs while at full extension.