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Resistance Band Training for Climbers

Resistance Band Training for Climbers

Whether you do free climbing, mountain climbing, or indoor climbing, you need to work all your body muscles. You need to have strong core muscles to help you climb better and powerful leg and arm muscles for endurance. You also need excellent balance to make crossings or to move up rock faces.

Resistance bands are excellent for a full-body workout that goes easy on your joints and improves your flexibility and balance. When you train with resistance bands, you are strengthening not only large muscle groups but the connective tissues around your joints that can protect you from injury.

Here follows a complete resistance band training for climbers.

Note: Make sure to warm up before exercising with 5 to 10 minutes of easy cardio, such as jumping jacks. Complement this training with 2 to 3 weekly cardio sessions, such as swimming or rowing. Cardio sessions will help improve your climbing endurance.

#1 Banded calf raises

For this exercise, you will need a long resistance band, such as a pull-up assist band (like this one https://victoremgear.com/products/pull-up-assist-band).

Calf raises strengthen your calves and help you when you're slab climbing.

  • Stand on the middle of the band. Your feet are hip-distance apart.
  • Hold the ends in each hand and make sure there's tension in the band.
  • Rise up on your toes and hold at the top, then slowly lower back down.
  • Repeat as needed.

#2 Banded knee squats

This exercise will help build power in your thighs, preparing you for when you're on a climb, and you need a lot of strength to stand up.

  • Stand on the band as in the previous exercise, but with your knees bent into a squat. Keep your back straight. Your feet are facing forward (not turned out).
  • Hold your hands closer to the band's ends so that your hands come up to shoulder height. Your elbows should be facing out, with your arms bent at 90 degrees.
  • As you straighten your knees, keep your hands in the same place near your shoulders. You are making your thighs work hard against the band. The tighter the resistance in the band when you start, the more challenging this exercise will be.
  • Pause at the top and then bend your knees again to come back to start.
  • Repeat as needed.

#3 Banded chest flies

Chest flies work your chest and back muscles, which help you in steeper climbing with compression moves.

  • Wrap the middle of the band around a pole or another stationary object at shoulder height.
  • Hold either end in your hands and stand with your back to the pole and one foot forward. Your feet should be hip-distance apart. Begin with arms straight out to your sides. Bring your arms in together with your palms facing inward.
  • Hold for a few seconds before slowing releasing your arms back out to your sides.
  • Repeat as needed.

#4 Banded side planks with overhead press

This exercise works your triceps, deltoids, and upper trapezoid muscles. These muscles are what will help you pull yourself up during a climb.

  • Wrap the end of the resistance band around a pole or another stationary object about 2 feet above the ground.
  • Lie down on your side with the top hand holding the end of the band. Your top elbow should be bent and close to your waist. Your head is facing away from the pole.
  • Put your weight on your elbow, keep your legs straight, and engage your abs as you come up into a side plank. Keep your chest facing out with your shoulders perpendicular to the mat or floor.
  • While holding this position, straighten your arm so that you are pulling the band up towards your head. The resistance band should be tight throughout the entire movement.
  • Do this for 15 reps, then switch sides.

Note: You can make this exercise more accessible by bending both knees or crossing your top leg over your lower leg.

Here's what this exercise looks like.

#5 Banded Russian twists

Russian twists work your obliques, your hip flexors, your core, and your spine.

  • Sit on the floor.
  • Your legs are extended, your knees slightly bent.
  • Wrap the band around the middle of both feet and hold the band's ends in your hands.
  • Hold your hands in front of you, lean back 45 degrees, raise your legs up.
  • Twist your torso from one side to another. Keep your hands in front and the resistance band taut the whole time.

Enjoy your resistance band training for climbers!

COVID-19 Best Health and Safety Practices at the Whistler Core

Following is a detailed outline of the health and safety practice actions we have taken to comply with Worksafe BC, BC Health Officer, and Best Practices gathered from a variety of Climbing & Fitness professional associations. We are all in this together!

Ventilation and Physical Barriers

  1. Increased outside air flow intake in our air circulation system to a recommended 40%.
  2. Installation of higher grade HVAC filters (MERV 13) in our air circulation system, capable of killing or trapping biological contaminants.
  3. Separating our team and guests from the hazard with plastic barriers between staff and guests at our front desk check-in area. 

Guest Hygiene

  1. If a guest is sick, experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, has travelled and should be in self-isolation, or has recently been in contact with a high-risk individual they are not permitted in the gym.
  2. All guests should respect physical distancing guidelines and allow for appropriate space between other guests and staff. We do have pinch points in the gym where we have posted yield signs,  and distancing distancing cues.
  3. All guests should wash or sanitize their hands frequently – before, during, and after workouts.
  4. All guests should not touch their face while training or without first washing or sanitizing their hands.
  5. All guests should practice proper respiratory etiquette and not cough or sneeze without appropriately covering their nose and mouth.
  6. We recommend wearing a face mask in the Core, but at this time it is not mandatory.
  7. Our staff has the right to refuse service or ask guests who do not follow our desired hygiene protocols or display known symptoms to leave our facility, in fact we have the ability and option to take everyones external temperature upon entering the gym and asking them to leave if they have an elevated temperature.

Facility Hygiene

  1. Several equipment sanitizing and hand sanitizing stations are located in key areas throughout the gym.
  2. Everyone training at the Core is required to have their own towel to be used as a personal protective barrier on the benches and seats. We also recommend having a second towel to be used as a sweat towel. We do have some towels for sale for $5, but will not have any for rent.
  3. Members are encouraged to practice good gym hygiene, including: ● wiping down equipment with supplies provided at the stations before and after use, ● washing hands before, during, and after workouts, as needed, ● practicing physical distancing in all areas of the gym, ● and using personal protective equipment as desired or required.
  4. In addition to our after-hours cleaning, our team has a daily cleaning schedule and certain areas of the gym may close for brief periods during the day for disinfecting.
  5. The climbing rental shoes and harnesses are disinfected after use and then put out of circulation for at least a 24-hour period.
  6. To reduce the number of physical payments our team must process please make pre-payments or contactless payments for your membership whenever possible.

Physical Distancing

Occupancy Limits - we limit the number of people in the gym and monitoring this with a new Density people-counting sensor. You can contact us anytime and find out how busy the gym is and how much room there is to train.
  1. One of the things that makes the Core unique is our different activity zones. This is great because it allows our guests plenty of opportunities to find their own work out space with lots of physical distancing, however to maintain the minimum physical distance you will have to be mindful of other guests and visa versa. Each zone has a maximum occupancy posted at the entrance to that zone.
  2. Physical distancing cues.
  3. Fortunately the entrance to the Core is large with two sets of double doors. To maintain physical distancing, the doors on the left as you enter are used for entering and the doors on the right are the exit doors. These are marked accordingly.
  4. Inside of the Core we have physical distancing cues marked on the floor.
  5. At pinch points in the gym we have "Yield" cues marked on the floor.
  6. Please yield to those in hallways, stairs or anywhere the 6-foot distancing rules is difficult to maintain.
  7. All guests should limit the number of partners that they train with to either household members or a select few friends or family in their social circle.

    Have you completed our new registration/waiver form since we re-opened on May 25th? If not, please go to:

    Rescue Dogs Are a Mountaineer’s Best Pals

    Rescue Dogs Are a Mountaineer’s Best Pals

    Mountaineering, rock climbing, skiing, and hiking are exciting activities that pump up the adrenaline while you enjoy the great outdoors.
    They are healthy activities that improve cardiovascular functioning, strengthen muscles, enhance endurance and stamina as well as flexibility and agility. These sports also foster mental health and improve concentration. Above all, they are social and fun but can be dangerous because of the risks involved.  Factors such as falling rocks, avalanches, ice and injury can happen in addition to altitude and weather issues.  

    When unfortunate events like these occur, rescue dogs have been instrumental in finding lost or injured victims. They are specifically trained to hunt for survivors, scavenge bodies or track wounded mountaineers in alpine surroundings. These animals are tireless in their efforts to recover victims from the rubble of an avalanche or find missing persons who have fallen off cliffs. From recovery and rescue to therapy and healing, man’s best friend is simply incredible. Amazing stories of the brave and heroic acts of rescue dogs can be read in this article.

    Whistler Core Crew Climbing "Yellow Brick Road" Marble Canyon

    Bob and Joe's adventure on Yellow Brick Road, above Pavilion Lake in Marble Canyon, BC. The rock is loose and chossy, but the setting is amazing and yes we would do it again!