When I think back on one of the proudest moments of my climbing career, I almost immediately remember one of my worst experiences climbing. Both occurred at Indian Creek, Utah.
Above photo: Approaching the crux on Cannibals, 5.12d at Donner Summit. This isn’t going to be another train harder, work out more, get stronger fingers-type article—because, while these articles are important and valuable, they’ve already been written. Instead, this is what I do mentally when I want to climb harder. Let’s face it, we all want to get better. It’s why we love climbing. There’s always a challenge, whether you’re looking to climb your first 5.10 or 5.13. In my 14+ years of climbing, these are my time-tested tips on how to push your climbing level to the next grade.
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If you've ever felt like a fear of falling is holding you back from climbing through hard cruxes of routes or problems, you're not alone! Fear of falling is something that all climbers, even those with years of experience, manage regularly. It can be one of the most scary parts of climbing. However, falling is a part of climbing and learning how to take practice falls is a skill that should be practiced.
The best climbers I know aren't just climbers on the wall. They are climbers as a lifestyle. I'm not talking about the dirtbag climber lifestyle, and I don't mean these people train all the time. I mean that they practice the principles of effective climbing in their daily lives, and view their daily lives as practice for climbing.
When one thinks of areas of your body to strengthen and stabilize, many focus on shoulders, hips, etc, but strong ankles are an incredibly important foundation for many of the movements we make with our bodies. Lack of strength or stability in the ankles can lead to instability or overcompensation in the knees or hips, which can lead to bad running technique and climbing technique. Think about it, weak ankles make standing on small holds difficult, which makes controlling your body position harder to control. So let’s strengthen those ankles! We’ve got three warmups and three exercises that help improve ankle strength and ensure that your ankles are strong and stable for activity and use down the road.
The key to a good life is to have balance and what better way to test your skills than walking along a suspended length of flat webbing tensioned between two anchors, also known as slacklining? If you’ve never heard of slacklining or would just like a few extra tips, we’re here to help!
Foam rolling is a type of myofascial release. Fascia are the connective tissue surrounding your muscles and over time, fascia can become unhealthy due to overuse or injury. The goal of foam rolling is to try to release tension in your muscles and fascia. Foam rolling stretches and loosens the muscles and connective tissue in the area being rolled, releasing tightness and tension that has built up from use or stress.
I could open this blog with a faux-inspirational intro about building a better tomorrow for yourself. Or about how no one is holding you back from being the best person you can be, except the doubts in your own mind. But I know you, mysterious reader. You’re too busy designing your plan of attack to smash your climbing and fitness goals into smithereens—you’ve got no time to tolerate platitudes and pontificating. So, without further ado, check this beta for maximizing your workouts in order to crush your climbing goals.
Most Americans typically give up on their new year’s resolutions two weeks into every new year. Climbers seem to be a different breed. If I’ve noticed anything at Earth Treks Englewood over the last few weeks, it’s a committed focus towards crushing your climbing goals in 2019. Conversations I’ve overheard in the last week: “I’ve kind of plateaued in my climbing over the last year. I really want to break into the next number grade” “There’s this bouldering project I’ve been eyeing on Mountain Project, but it feels WAY out of my pay grade.” “I’ve only been climbing for a few months, but I’m so stoked. I can’t wait to see what I’m climbing by the end of the year!”
As a personal trainer and fitness guru at Earth Treks, I hear a lot of the same mindset: “All of my climbing goals involve tall climbs on ropes. Why would I boulder?” At first glance, the logic behind the thought seems sound. If you want to run a faster mile, you spend a lot of time running miles. If you want to lift heavier weights, you… well, you lift heavier weights. The fact is that rock climbing, especially leading sport routes, demands a very precise ratio of power, strength, endurance and mental fortitude. That’s where bouldering comes in.