Kettlebell High Pulls - Training for Rock Climbing

Kettlebell high pull juan rodriguez antigravity equipment climbing portland training fitness cameron apple.jpg

Hello Portland rock climbing community! I just got back early this week from an awesome trip to Red Rocks where I taught a 3 day technique class so I'm a little late on this week's training post. This week Cameron and I are sharing the final kettlebell exercise in this series before we put it all together for you into a fun and challenging routine.

If you're just joining us for this blog series, you may want to check out the previous posts on the kettlebell swing and the kettlebell clean at some point. It will help to practice these and read up on some of the benefits in case you want to try the routine we have coming up next week.

This series has been focused on the many benefits that kettlebells can have on your post climbing workout routines. Mainly, the research (and our personal experience) shows that incorporating some of these exercises can help you stay healthy and balanced by strengthening your connective tissue (tendons, ligaments, fascia, and cartilage) by making it more resistant. That means you're going to be less injury prone from the high demands that rock climbing places on your body.

Kettlebell exercises often use hip-driven momentum to move heavy weight around at variable speeds. This means that you'll have to work many parts of your body simultaneously to maintain balance and it will teach you to be in tune with movements from the hip. This is very important for efficient climbing so that you spend less time pulling yourself up or across the wall and instead push your way up as often as possible.

Since kettlebells recruit many parts of your body to work together at once, you can get a very efficient full-body workout in very little time. This lessens the chances of overuse injuries brought on from traditional weight lifting exercises which tend to focus on isolation of muscle groups.

Now, without further delay, we introduce the kettlebell high pull. Grip strength will definitely come into play to keep this dynamic exercise under control and in good form. The intensity is pretty high once you get going on this one so expect to see some cardiovascular benefits once you get a good breathing rhythm going. Neglect this last part and you'll be huffing and puffing before your set is done!

Like in our last two segments, you'll want to use your hips to drive the kettle bell up exactly the same way as you would for the swing. At the apex of kettlebell's lift (when it seems to float for a split second), you'll want to pull the kettlebell back towards you're shoulder creating a horizontal plane from your shoulder to your elbow, and a 90 degree bend from your elbow to your hand. Then you'll lightly push the bell back out in front of you and complete the swing in reverse. You'll need to recruit your quads, your lower back, your abs, your mid back, your shoulders, and your grip strength to complete a single rep!

Please be careful not to damage your good looks when you drive that weight backwards. Wear a umpire mask if you're unsure and please send us any outtakes that don't involve you in the ER.

  • Make your movements hip-driven. Avoid lifting the kettlebell by using your shoulders.
  • Pull the kettlebell back at the floating stage of the upward movement.
  • Gently push the kettlebell back out being careful not to let the weight drag you forward.
  • Let it swing back down and repeat the movement.
  • 3 sets, 10 reps on each side.

Thanks for checking out our workout videos. If you're in the Porltand metro area, stop by AntiGravity Equipment and say hello!