Elite strength and performance stems from years of training, hours of lifting, and a serious focus on abdominal conditioning. Ab strength is a vital aspect of many sports, but rock climbing requires more than just a standard crunch session.
As a modern day Spiderman, much should be contributed to the core muscles as these athletes keep their bodies suspended at great heights. It isn’t the look of 6-pack abs rock climbers are after, but yet the ability to trek the terrain with safety and precision. The feats of abdominal strength aren’t only for their time on the ropes, but are also utilised when providing support to fellow climbers with assist spotting and belaying. In addition, these muscles work together to provide much more than the ability to scale the sides of mountains. Check out our top five reasons why rock climbers have the best abs.
Working in harmony:
Abdominal muscles include more than the anterior portion of our trunk, but encompasses our lower back, hips and pelvis. Proper strength allows our total abdominal muscles to work as one unit and in harmony. It is only then that a climber can complete a barn door or mantel.
Twists, turn, falls, jumps – a rock climbers body needs to be able to adapt to any situation instantaneously. There are lot of elements when working with nature. Footholds are not promised and the path to the top isn’t always obvious. Being able to quickly adapt to the situation not only keeps climbers on their ascent but helps to prevent injury. Proper abdominal conditioning is the key to training for the needed adaptations.
To hold our bodies in any position requires total body strength and endurance but without that of our abdominals we may as well stay on the sideline. It is the activation of core muscles that keep the trunk protected while allowing the movement of our hips and legs. Having strong ab muscles is what prevents unnecessary, or unintentional, twisting and extending, protecting our spine and bracing it for stability.
The ability to achieve true strength only comes through complete range of motion. Our abdominal muscles include that of our pelvis and hips. Hip mobility is a critical part in being able to tackle a variety of foothold positions and tough terrain.
Balance and Stability:
Fundamentals can never be forgotten. The role of balance and stability is obvious without having to experience the thrill of climbing. But we would like to take the focus to that of the support position. Climbers take turns attempting the routes which means they also all act in a support role of the assist or belayer. It is here that balance and stability are required strengths to which will only be achieved with strong abs.
Mountaineering is a dynamic sport which embraces nature and challenges the body. Fundamentals are never overlooked in training and the foundation of success is reliant upon a strong abdominal program. Scaling vast ranges may not be on your bucket list, but if you are looking for the best way to condition your abdominals, train like a rock climber.
Please Note: Before following exercise routines or changing your fitness regime, please consult a certified fitness professional. Always talk with a medical practitioner before following dietary advice or taking supplements.