We all have those days — those days where you just can’t go to the climbing gym.
Maybe you’re busy.
Or your climbing gym is closed because…well, you know.
Yet, you’d still like to get a little workout in so you can keep getting stronger. Luckily, there are simple workouts you can do from the comfort of your own home that will help you build strength for rock climbing.
This article cover 19 of these rock climbing home workouts. The workouts target some of the most important muscle groups for rock climbing and most can be done without any equipment.
Ready? Let’s dive right in!
Which Muscles Would You Like to Work Out?
You worked hard to develop all that upper body strength.
Now use these workouts to make sure you don’t lose it when you can’t make it to the climbing gym.
1. Dumbbell Shoulder Presses
While standing or sitting, take a dumbbell in each hand. Raise the dumbbells to shoulder height one at a time, with wrists oriented so the palms of your hands are facing forward.
Press the dumbbells upward until they touch at the top. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to shoulder height.
Full description: Dumbbell Shoulder Press
2. Tricep Dips
Place your hands shoulder-width apart on a chair or bench with your legs extended out straight in front of you. Bend your elbows to lower your body to the floor until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Then press down to straighten your elbows and return to the starting position.
Full description: Tricep Dips
Do I even need to explain this one? 🙂
If you can’t do regular pull-ups, you can make them easier by placing a chair underneath the pull-up bar and putting one foot on the chair while pulling up.
Normal push-ups are great for working your antagonistic muscles. They can help your body balance out a little bit and lose some of that climber’s hunch.
If you want to mix up your push-up game, consider these variations:
5. Bicep Curls
Hold a pair of dumbbells at your side while standing or sitting upright in a chair. Curl the weights by bending your elbow. Curl them until the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Then slowly lower the dumbbells back down to your sides.
Full description: Dumbbell Bicep Curls
If you’re stuck at home for the night you can still work your core. All you need is a floor and your body weight.
Try these exercises while watching Netflix, why don’t ya?
Get into push-up position. Bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms. Hold this position for as long as desired.
7. Side Plank
Lie on either side with your legs extended and stacked one on top of the other. Prop your body up using your forearm, forming a straight line from shoulders to ankles.
Hold this position for as long as desired. Switch sides and repeat.
Lie on your back with your feet flat on the ground. Place your hands behind your head. Roll your shoulders off the floor, pushing your head towards your knees, until your shoulders are about four inches off the ground. Lower your head back down to the floor.
9. Bicycle Kicks
Lie on your back with your hands flat on the floor. Lift your feet off the ground. Bring your left knee towards your chest while extending your right leg. Then bring your right knee towards your chest while extending your left leg.
Full description: Bicycle Kicks
10. Six Inches
Lie on your back with your legs extended and hands by your sides. Lift your legs six inches off the ground. Hold for as long as you can.
11. Flutter Kicks
Lie on your back with your legs extended. Place your hands under your butt to lift your legs a few inches off the ground. Flutter each leg up and down a few inches without having them touch the ground.
Full description: Flutter Kicks
Fingers & Forearms
You know how important finger strength is, so make sure to target your digits when you’re working out from home.
These basic workouts can help you retain and build finger strength on your non-gym days.
12. Basic Hangboarding Routine
Have a hangboard at your house? It’s time to finally use it.
Try out a basic hangboard routine to build finger strength at home.
13. Pulley Sprain Prevention
Place a rubber band around the tips of your fingers on one hand. Spread your fingers as far apart as you can without bending your wrist.
Full description: Pulley Sprain Prevention
14. Wrist Curls
Sitting in a chair, take a dumbbell in each hand. Place your forearms against your legs with your wrists hanging off the front and palms facing up. Curl your wrists upward towards your body. Then slowly lower them back down.
Full description: Wrist Curls
15. Reverse Wrist Curls
Sitting in a chair, take a dumbbell in each hand. Place your forearms against your legs with your wrists hanging off the front and palms facing down. Curl your wrists upward towards your body. Then slowly lower them back down.
Full description: Reverse Wrist Curls
Though often overlooked when climbing, you can take some time at home to work out your lower body.
These home-friendly climbing exercises can all be done without any equipment. So no excuses!
16. Bodyweight Squats
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Squat down by bending your knees and hips. Go as far down as you can. Then press up, reversing the motion and returning to the standing position.
Full description: Bodyweight Squats
Stand comfortably. Step ahead with one foot and then lean forward until your front leg is at a 90-degree angle and your back leg is parallel to the ground. Return to the standing position and repeat with your other leg.
Full description: Lunges
18. Wall Sits
Lean against a wall with your legs straight out in front of you. Slide your back down the wall until your knees are at right angles and you are in a sitting position. Hold this position for as long as you can.
19. Calf Raises
Standing comfortably, place the balls of your feet on a raised surface such as a stair. Raise your heels. Lower them back down to complete a full rep.
You can hold dumbbells in each hand to make this exercise more difficult.
Full description: Calf Raises