By Nick Hollander, Instructor
We all know our core is important in climbing, but training your core to be stronger is only half the battle. It is also important to teach yourself how to USE your core when climbing. Your “core” is actually made up of a lot of muscles and your brain has to tell them all to “turn on” at the same time to generate body tension. Climbers use body tension to keep pressure through their feet while climbing through difficult positions.
My core workout is about teaching your brain to turn all of those muscles on when you need them, not just to make your core muscles stronger. As such, it is very important that you focus on turning all of your core muscles on while you perform these exercises. This requires a lot of concentration, so it’s important to pay attention when training and not simply go through the motions.
All of these workouts require a great deal of focus to do correctly. They are also easy to cheat with bad form. As such, it’s important that you take your time and do them as slow and controlled as possible. If you can’t do very many sets at first, that’s okay.
A strong core is required for many difficult climbing moves, but how strong your core is doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to use it when you need it. Pay attention to what it feels like when you are doing these exercises and try to recreate that tension next time you’re on the wall.