Do you enjoy wall climbing?! Have you always found joy in getting to the top of those coloured indoor rock climbing walls or do you enjoy the outdoors and climbing out in nature? Do you enjoy a challenge and always strive to tackle the next hardest wall? Have you been struggling recently or are you finding it increasingly hard to make it to the top? If you have answered yes to any of those questions, have you considered adding Pilates as an adjunct to your sport?
Pilates can be a wonderful addition to your wall climbing experience as it aids in increasing trunk, pelvic and extremity strength and endurance. Greater body control on the walls allows for increased performance and decreased risk of injury. Now who doesn’t like the sound of that?
So how exactly can Pilates help me with rock climbing?
Pilates works by increasing the strength and control of your stability muscles, which provide you with the support you need when climbing. These muscles include your deep core, deep neck flexors, gluteal muscles and shoulder stabalising muscles. Increasing the strength of these muscles aids with posture, stability, and strength to allow you to optimise your performance. Pilates corrects your muscle imbalances so that you can be in equilibrium when climbing. Pilates also aids with flexibility, allowing you to reach high, stretch longer and feel better when climbing. Flexibility not only helps you perform better but it also aids with injury prevention, something we can all do without!
What Exercises can I do to help my rock climbing?
So with all of this talk about gluts, core and stability; what exercises are best for you?! Below I will list the top 3 exercises to help you get to the top of any wall!
You can’t say stability without including the shoulder bridge. Two key areas that really benefit from stability exercises are the front of your hips and the back of your pelvis. The shoulder bridge is the best one for the job, challenging you to maintain the stability of these key areas by activating the core and glutes whilst you perform the exercise.
Breast Stroke prep
The breast stroke prep is your best bet when thinking about stability and strength around your back. This exercise helps you gain strength around your mid back as you gain control and stability around your neck and front.
Ever do sit ups and end up with back pain following just a few repetitions? Ever wonder why? The Pilates abdominal prep is the safest way to get the abs you want while avoiding that unwanted pain. While getting abs, your also gaining strength on the wall as the positioning of the abdo prep is just the movement you do while climbing at your highest.