It’s important to properly warm up before climbing. However, it’s not always easy to do a complete warm up every time because you just want to get right down (or up rather) to your bouldering session. Unfortunately, skipping a warm up session is very risky.
What Can Happen If You Don’t Warm Up Before Climbing?
Not warming up before a climbing session can lead to some pretty serious injuries, including ones in your legs, fingers, elbows, and shoulders. When your muscles and joints aren’t properly warmed up, they won’t be as flexible and can get hurt a lot easier.
What Are The Best Ways to Warm Up for a Climbing Session?
Increase Your Heart Rate
Before bouldering, it’s important to increase your heart rate through cardiovascular exercise. This will activate your muscles to be better prepared for more dynamic and endurance-related moves. For example, you can jog on a treadmill or ride an exercise bike for a minimum of five minutes. You can also do jumping jacks, skip rope or run in place. By the time you are done, you will have worked up a bit of a sweat and feel more energized. Remember, more rigorous and intense workout practices, like bouldering, require a level of physical readiness. Proper warm ups should be conducted prior to climbing to prevent injuries.
Practice dynamic stretches to warm up the tendons and joints. One of the best stretches you can do before a climbing session is a head roll. It will help you avoid injuring your neck when you have to look up. Just roll your head around in a circle five times in both directions.
Walking lunges are also a great stretching exercise because they prepare your lower body for an intense climbing session. Walk forward with one leg and fall down to a lunge. When you get back up, walk forward with your opposite leg and drop down into a lunge. Aim to do about 10 lunges on each leg.
To loosen up the joints in your shoulders, do some windmills. While your arms are straight, swing them in a full circle. Repeat this exercise five times in both directions.
Want to kill two birds? A few rounds of Sun Salutations should get your heart pumping and work in some dynamic stretching. Or opt for a shorter and gentler flow of several climbing focused yoga poses. Consider attending a Grotto Yoga Class for Climbers.
How Do You Know If You Have Warmed Up Enough?
If you have adequately warmed up for your bouldering session, every part of your body should feel warm and loose. If you feel any stiffness in your fingers or shoulders, for example, it’s likely that you need to spend more time getting your body ready.