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Stretching will increase your flexibility making it easier to move and maintain good technique.Stretching also decreases muscle soreness. Below I’ll present the stretches I use for climbing. If you’ve participated in any organized sports, most of these stretches will be old news. Two of them, however, are stretches specifically modified for climbing, I’ll start with those…

If you haven’t stretched much, maybe you should read some basic information here or here. I hold my stretches for 20 seconds.

Typical Tricep

This stretch is easily modified for climbing by leaning the torso as shown in the next image.

Modified Tricep

This stretch really gets to lifting muscles and oblique muscles well.

Typical Hamstring

This stretch is fine for runners, but a climber should modify it as shown in the next photos

Modified Hamstring

Instead of just reaching for your foot, bring your opposite hand above your head in a pin wheel motion when reaching to your foot. This will engage your lifting muscles, back, and obliques.
The position to hold is shown above. Notice the difference between this photo and the typical hamstring photo above.

Shoulder Blade
Use a doorway to hold your arm back. Alternately, you could grasp hands behind your back.

This stretch is super important. It translates to good footwork and stemming.


High Step
Back- Torsion

Ever feel tight after climbing steep routes? Try this. It really stretches the lower back. This is a good buddy stretch. Have your partner hold your shoulder down, then move your knee towards the ground, stop when it’s uncomfortable. Hold for 20 seconds.

Lower Back

Another good buddy stretch. Always pair this with the torsion stretch above for best results.

Try to stretch on all your rest days, I’ve found this helps me recover. Let me know if you have any other good ones.

Al - You sure this wasn't just an opportunity for you to post half naked pictures of yourself?November 11, 2009 – 6:59 pm

Eli Powell - Yeah, I knew I'd get a little crap for the pictures. What are ya gonna do?

The post is just part of the process of filling out the Training area of the site. Pretty boring really, but it's part of the process.

ENovember 11, 2009 – 8:37 pm

kris - I don't think it's boring, Eli. I feel training and stretching are far under-utilized. There's likely a lack of knowledge in the area for many people (me included), and it can be overwhelming and intimidating to chart the course. Thanks for offering your suggestions.

Aside from training, taking a break to stretch for a few minutes can sure uplift the course of my day.November 12, 2009 – 11:38 am

lizzil - I think your site might be getting some extra hits because of this article 😉 but in all seriousness I rarely see any climbers stretching before they climb at the gym. I find that when I don't stretch I pull more muscles and when i find myself in major stemming stance without stretching it is painful! Also adding a hip stretcher in there would be good. Like the yoga pose called Pigeon.November 12, 2009 – 8:11 pm

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