This is a re-post of my write-up “Leg toughness as a Limiting Factor” released in 2009. I’ve to update it with a few more ideas and a couple of videos that better illustrate the exercises.

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Sure, your fingers peel off the hold and you fall, however is it constantly the fingers’ fault? How solid must her fingers get before they room “strong enough?” because that novice climbers, finger strength and arm strength are real and legitimate limiters, frequently holding the climber at a low level the performance till these facets of strength catch-up through the remainder of the body. For many intermediate and advanced climbers, finger stamin is pretty fine developed. The truth of the issue is that until the edge of the rise hits horizontal, you’re act the heavy lifting through your legs. At the very least you need to be…

See, your legs are much stronger 보다 your arms; in an median person, the legs room able come push about four times as much weight as the arms can pull. What’s more, the legs have actually an even better advantage once it involves endurance. Give this a try, just so you check out where I’m comes from: view how plenty of pull-ups you have the right to do in 5 minutes and compare the to the variety of unloaded squats you can do. This should give you a an excellent approximation the the endurance ratio. If you’d favor to test out the stamin ratio, switch over to one-leg step-ups ~ above a bench or action a little greater than knee-level. Check out how many of these you can do with just one leg. Then go ahead and also do as numerous one-arm pull-ups you deserve to do in the exact same amount that time.

It’s a yes, really rare climber that can do much more with his arms than through his legs in either among these tests. We all understand the legs are strongest, but are they solid enough? can you was standing up ideal now, placed your foot up on the desk, and also stand top top the desk using only that leg? How countless times have you placed a foot top top a an excellent edge (or ledge) and also still had to pull like crazy to wake up on it? The legs are qualified of doing numerous work, so let’s make certain they room doing everything feasible to save that valuable and minimal arm strength.

A great place to begin is with an excellent old squats and also step-ups. If you’re among the many climbers that obtain stuck in a load room for much of their training you can do these exercises there. Because we never use both foot in the same airplane and in ~ the same pack in the real civilization of climbing, I like the following unilateral exercises for building leg strength:


Single-Leg Squat

Rear-Foot Elevated (Bulgarian) split Squat

For building strength, you’re going to desire to stick with low reps and also full ranges of motion. Take your time functioning up to heavy weight if you’re not provided to training favor this.

Secondarily, we deserve to look at the toughness of the reduced leg, foot, and “posterior chain,” most notably the hamstrings.

For increase these assistance groups, we use similar loads, yet different exercises.

Calves and also hamstrings don’t watch a the majority of concentric motion in climbing, yet they do see some. For these teams we aim because that slow, managed repetitions or also static holds.

The exercises:

Calf progressive (+Calf Raise v hold)

Deadlift (or Romanian Deadlift)

Suspended foot Curl

How regularly should you perform these? My quick answer is just often sufficient to proceed to progress. If you require it in terms of days every week, I’d to speak 2-3. How plenty of sets? A couple. How plenty of reps? start with 4-6 per leg. Your ideal strength gains will certainly come with lower reps, but if you haven’t been training strength, you’ll desire to spend some time discovering the motions under lighter loads.

Once you’re in the groove gaining strong, start using it to climbing. Try to think around how to use the huge strong legs you’ve discovered to take weight off her hands. Among the most valuable things I’ve ever before done in my climbing is to watch exactly how my wife does a move and also to then try and replicate it. Although she is very strong, she doesn’t often tend to garbage this energy when she can be an ext economical by making use of her legs. Simply this trick alone led me to my an initial major action up the qualities in end ten years.

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It takes about twenty sessions that climbing with “use your legs” in the front of your mind prior to you can do it without thinking. When you with this point, you’re much better already and can move on to fixing various other weak links, and I’m ready to gambling it’s no weak fingers.