Kettlebell Routine - Training for Rock Climbing

 Steven climbing at Smith Rock.   

Steven climbing at Smith Rock.

 

Hello rock climbing friends! Juan Rodriguez here with another training post to help you get fit to crush. Spring season is with us in Portland and while it may still be a little wet, there have definitely been more and more sunny days taking over our weeks.

The weather at Smith has been awesome year round for the most part but the best days are now upon us. Hopefully you've been making good training use out of the winter weather and you're ready to head out and tick some new routes or test pieces that you didn't get to last year. For this last episode in our kettlebell training series my friend Cameron is going to wrap up with a cool routine to help jump start your warmup or post rock climbing workout. For more detailed information be sure to check out our last three posts on the kettlebell swing, clean, and high pull. These posts are a great way to get familiar with each exercise individually; the information will help you understand the benefits that these movements can bring to your climbing.

When we train, we always need to be aware of the benefits of progress versus the consequences of injury. Most of us, myself included, would love to train like professional athletes to reap the rewards of climbing at an elite level. Training in that fashion requires time (and money) that most of us students, 9-to-5'rs, parents, and spouses don't always have. When we try to fit this type of training into our busy schedules, we often wind up injured, burnt out, or both. When injuries occur, we don't have climbing's elite medical professionals on speed dial to diagnose and treat us but we still have all our normal priorities to attend to.

 Juan and Cameron climbing at French's Dome.

Juan and Cameron climbing at French's Dome.

While we may not have 30+ hours a week to train and cross-train, and sponsors and competition purses to supplement months-long trips to exotic climbing destinations, we do have at least a couple of hours a few times a week to get in and crush plastic or get out and climb rocks. My suggestion is to make use of that time with training that compliments reasonable goals for busy weekend warriors like ourselves.

The focus of this kettlebells series has been to cast a light on quick and effective exercises comprised of compound movements with compound benefits. First up, injury prevention! By adding some kettlebell exercises into your oppositional exercise routines, you can help to strengthen your connective tissue which consists of your tendons, ligaments, fascia, and cartilage. Did you catch those first two? Stronger tendons and ligaments! By strengthening the connective tissue you will now be able to better transmit all that muscle power throughout your body while being more resistant to injuries or recovering faster when they do occur.

Next up is time management. Traditional lifting techniques tend to isolate muscle groups and require a detailed schedule of what to work out and when. This is a lot of time spent in the gym in addition to the time you already need to set aside for climbing. Furthermore, this style of lifting is great for shaping physique but you need to ask yourself if you can see a direct benefit to your climbing as a result? Compound exercises like the ones my friend Cameron and I incorporate into our training cut down or post workout time, and work various parts of our body at once; we thereby lessen the chances of injury and over-training.

Lastly, we can see a very important benefit resulting from training with kettlebells that positively affects our climbing. Kettlebell movements are very much hip-based and require a lot of core and balance during dynamic movement. Doesn't that sound like words you could arrange in a sentence to describe effective rock climbing technique? By learning how to use your hips, legs, and core you become more efficient in your technique. You find yourself pushing your way through a route rather than always pulling your way across it.

In this quick video tutorial, Cameron and I try to keep a straight face through his kettlebell flow (routine). It consists of 1 minute sets of all the previous exercises we documented. Check out our video below and be sure to subscribe to the AntiGravity Equipment YouTube channel for more videos to follow.

  • Use a weight that safely allows you to complete each exercises with proper form
  • 1 minute sets alternating arms after each complete cycle
  • 45-60 second rest in between
  • 3 sets
  • 3 times per week

We hope you enjoyed our posts on exercises for your post rock climbing workout routine. If you want to get in touch with Cam about a training routine that will compliment your climbing, you can reach him at camrock25@gmail.com. We often work together to construct training programs for climbers and he can always be found making the rest of Team SW/AG cry on the floor next to the climbing shop. Music for this video is from our friend Joey Ramz from Cold Lampin

 Juan and Cameron climbing at Smith Rock.

Juan and Cameron climbing at Smith Rock.

Drop us a line in the comments section if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for future posts. If you are in the Portland metro area, stop by AntiGravity Equipment, your one-stop-shop for all things climbing, and say hello. We're connected to Stoneworks Climbing Gym.

-Juan Rodriguez