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Staying Fit for Summer Rock Climbing

rock climbing

Winter weather can make it impossible to play outside. So, we retreat to our cozy couches and our screens. (After all, cold weather and Netflix go together like hot chocolate and cookies.) Being lazy by the fire during winter is lovely, but it can be too much of a good thing, especially when warmer weather comes around and it’s time to play outside.

A favorite spring and summertime activity of mine is rock climbing. While indoor rock climbing is certainly possible during winter, some people have trouble accessing a gym. If this sounds like you, here are four indoor moves that will keep you in shape for the wall.


Any avid rock climber knows climbing works every part of your body. Core muscles are used almost constantly when you are climbing, particularly when you’re tackling overhangs with tricky holds. The plank is an intense ab exercise that is excellent for balance, wall movement and positioning.


Upper-body strength is king (or rather, queen) when it comes to rock climbing. There is no getting around it. Pull-ups are a killer workout that will strengthen your shoulders, back, arms and core. It works the most important muscles you need for climbing, making it an intense but effective workout.

Standing Military Press

If you have access to weights, the standing military press is a bomb exercise for your shoulders and upper arms. This simple exercise is a great way to stay strong for the rocks. Start with the barbell resting on your collarbone, then lift the weight up until your arms are nearly fully extended. Finish the rep by bringing the barbell back down to your collarbone.


Building endurance is an important component to climbing. Climbers who ignore cardio entirely will not have the aerobic strength to complete longer routes and will tire easily. Recover more quickly and climb longer by adding a little cardio to your routine. Focus on running or swimming to build stamina for stellar summertime climbs.

Despite chilly winter days, warmer weather is quickly approaching. Stay in shape and stay strong, so you can climb natural rock like a boss.

What are your favorite adventure sports? How do you stay conditioned for them during the winter months? —Alex

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