Lisa Rands’ Cross Training Workout for Climbers

Workout with a Local

lisa rands

Climbers do a lot of pulling and compressing with their bodies when they climb. Doing a small amount of additional maintenance work off the wall can make a noticeable difference in a climber's joint health and longevity in the sport. This workout is geared towards helping climbers stay healthy and keeping overall body strength so they can keep doing what they love."


Start by lying flat on your back with your arms extended overhead and palms facing up.

Visualize your hips as the hinge point, and simultaneously lift arms and feet toward the ceiling by squeezing your abdominal muscles so your body creates a narrow V position at the top of the motion.

Slowly return to the start position, keeping your legs straight throughout the entire motion.

Do three sets of 15 reps.

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Back Extensions

Start by lying facing down with arms by your side and palms flat on the ground.

Simultaneously raise hands and arms off the ground by squeezing shoulder blades together while also squeezing your glutes, raising your legs and feet off the ground.

Keep your toes pointed throughout the movement, and slowly release back to start position.

A variation of the exercise can be done by bringing your arms above your head with palms flat on the ground.

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Simultaneously bring arms off the mat and squeeze through glutes to raise legs off the ground, creating an arch in your back while keeping toes pointed.

Pull arms back into a W position while fully arched up.

Slowly release and straighten arms as you return to the start position.

Side Planks

Lying on one side with your body straight, position your lower arm under your shoulder with your forearm perpendicular to your body.

Stack your upper foot on top of your lower foot, making sure your body is in a neutral and straight lengthwise position.

Rest your other hand on your hip, and squeeze through your side muscles as you lift your body off the ground in a plank position.

Do three sets of 15 up-down reps or three sets of 15-second holds on each side.

side planks

Single Leg Bridge

Lying face up with a pillow or rolled towel under your head, place your arms down by your sides with palms flat on the ground.

Keeping your heels on the ground, bend your legs at a roughly 90-degree angle so your knees are in the air.

Lift one leg while using the other leg to raise the lower body off the ground as high as possible.

Leave your arms, upper back, and opposite heel on the ground.

single leg bridge

Make sure to keep the pelvic bone level throughout the movement.

Do three sets of 15 reps on each side.

Side-Lying Hip Abduction

Lying on one side with a rolled towel to support your hip, place your lower arm on the ground to support your head.

Stack your feet and make sure your body is straight and not tilting forward or backward.

Slowly raise the upper leg as high as possible while keeping it straight and the foot still throughout the motion.

Slowly lower back to the start position and repeat.

side lying hip abduction

The upper hand can press into the floor for balance and to help maintain the correct neutral body position.

Do three sets of 30 reps on each side, and add ankle weights for an added challenge.

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