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Warm up and Stretch

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Warm Up and Stretch

The Warm Up:

A good 10 - 15 minute warm up before

a training session is essential to you

getting the most out of your session

and avoiding injuries. I like to keep my

warm up simple and try to include all

the important muscle groups and joints.

I almost always do the same warm up,

no need to get all experimental here.

By having a standard warm up program you are sure not to miss out anything and you do not have to be creative before your mind is in full training mode.

Activation, motivation and getting excited!

To start off, I like to get the pulse up a bit by doing jogging, skipping or hopping on the spot, combined with some twists, star jumps, knee raises, punches in all directions and arm swings. Actively breathing deeply and strongly in and out to improve oxygenation of the blood. I then warm up my shoulders, elbows and wrists followed by a good warm up of the fingers, shaking out the arms in between. In order to recruit as many climbing muscles as possible I do some push ups, the plank with some alternating leg raises followed by some gentle arm hangs, assisted pull ups and lock offs on large holds and gentle finger pull ups on smaller holds. In short...

Get pulse up, hips, waist, shoulders, elbows, wristes, fingers, recruit fingers, arms and core. Send your route!

Getting centred and focused:

Some slow deep breathing and stretching of the shoulders, trunk, legs and forearms will get rid of any stiffness. I finishing off with some more hops and jumps to get the pulse up a bit, this will have you wide awake and ready for action.

Some easy climbing will end off a good warm up. If your are at a crag and there are no easy routes, climbing a harder, known route with many rests so that you do not get too pumped will be perfect. If I'm going for a hard red point I like to use the time to put the quick draws in as a good warm up.

Throughout the whole warm up you should try and breath deeply and try and focus the mind on the training or climbing that is coming up. During the active part I like to motivate myself, get excited, start switching my mind into climbing/training mode. During the stretching I try to slow down a bit and try to focus more on the actual climbing/ training that is coming up.


Flexibility is a very important aspect in

any sport and is very often over

looked or underestimated. Not only

does stretching give you more

flexibility, but it also helps the muscles

to recover after a session and make

them less prone to injury. 

All stretches should be held just on the edge of your comfort zone for 30 - 40 seconds, relaxed for a few seconds and then stretched again for another 30 - 40 seconds, relax for another few seconds and do a final 30 - 40 second stretch. You will notice that each stretch will be easier and you should be able to stretch further each time. Take each stretch to the edge of you comfort zone.

Ideally one should stretch after a hot bad or shower, this way the muscles are nice and warm and ready to relax. I start off with the shoulders.


Placing the hand behind the back of your head with the elbow pointing up to the celling. Place the other hand on the elbow and pull until there is a good stretch along the triceps, lats and the area between the arm and ribs (teres muscles).

Back of shoulder:

Reach across and touch your ear with the back of the hand of the opposite arm. Wrap the other arm underneath and twist your hands around one another. Pulling the elbow in and the hand out creates a nice stretch along the back of the shoulder and shoulder blade. Relaxing the shoulder blade will allow for some stretch along the muscles between the shoulder blade and the ribs.


With an arm stretched out to the side hand stretched open and thumb facing up. Now slowly pull your arm backwards while rotating the thumb backwards and dropping the shoulder. You should feel a nice stretch across the chest. Turning the head in the opposite direction increases the stretch. Using a wall to help pull the arm backwards increases the stretch as well.


Locking your hand behind your back and pulling your shoulders back and down lean your head to one side, looking forwards. Then do the same stretch but this time look down into your opposite front pocket.

Back and shoulders:

Reach down and wrap your hands around the back of your knees. Arch your back to create tension along the spine and down the lats. Release your hands from behind your knees and put them on your knees and arch your back in the opposite direction.

Gluteus M. and lower back:

Laying on your back bend your one leg and place the other legs ankle on its knee. Wrap your hands around the knee of your bent leg and slowly apply pressure. Do the other side.

Back and side abbs:

Still laying on your back and the one leg bent stretch the same side arm out to the side. Rotate the bend leg over the straight leg keeping the outstretched arm and shoulder on the floor. Do the other side.


Sitting on the floor with legs slightly apart and straight in front I reach forward with my hands and try to touch my toes. Breathing nice and deeply all the time. I then widen my leg and reach towards the left or right foot trying to bring my head to my knee. This stretch will also stretch the back and lats, a very nice relaxing stretch. 


I then crouch on one leg with the other stretched out backwards with the knee on the ground and the hips at 90 degrees to the stretched out leg pushing forwards.


I then rotate on the bent leg so that the other leg is stretched out sideways, this gives you a good stretch along the inside of the leg. I then focus a bit more on the shorter adductors and take the frog position and force my legs outwards with my elbows, keeping my feet close together.


Stretch the front and the back of the forearms by bending the wrist forwards or backwards and rotating the elbow outwards or inwards.


I like to stretch each finger backwards and then curling each one tightly to stretch the knuckles.

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