7 Core Workouts For Climbers To Develop Stronger Core

Besides maintaining a healthy diet, any climber needs to perform some core workouts to develop a stronger core to have an easy time scaling different mountains. If you have a weak core, be sure that you will be vulnerable to lower back pains and muscle injuries whenever you go out there to hike different mountains. Thankfully, you can engage in several core workouts for climbers and maintain better balance and stability anytime you step out to hike and have fun with friends.

Read on to know crucial workouts to make your core climb-ready. And do not miss the part highlighting the precautions, tips, and tricks.

Core Workouts for Climbers to Prioritize

Most of these are the climbing core workouts at home to perform in-house without even getting to any climbing gym. But you must give them serious consideration as an aspirant or novice climber because a stronger core is integral to climbing progression.

Hanging Leg Lift

During the climbing sessions, foot cuts need a leg-lift for the climber’s feet to return to the wall. Therefore, any avid climber will be more controlled if they can easily perform a leg-lift. You should start on a pull-up bar and then lift your arms straight as you engage your shoulders and legs straight down to perform this exercise.

After that, lift your legs such that your hips are at 90° with your legs. As you do so, avoid bending your knees. Once your lower legs are down, ensure that your body remains still. For optimal results, avoid swinging. After that, move your legs up again without swinging or bending your knees. Perform this exercise 15 times, comprising a single set, and take a 1-minute rest in between the sets. And three sets a day should suffice.

best workout for beginner climbers

Windshield Wipers

Also known as a lying windshield wiper, this exercise targets the core muscles of a rock climber. Unlike other core workouts for climbers, this makes you more mobile whenever you hang on a rock climbing wall. So, to reap the windshield wipers exercise benefits, you should master this practice to get immensely benefitted in climbing.

Lay down, facing up with your back on a carpet or an exercise mat. After that, lift your legs until your calves and hamstrings form a 90° angle. Circularly move your hips and then move your legs to the left. Pause before touching the ground, and repeat the process on the opposite side. If you are looking for a challenging variation, perform this exercise while holding a pull-up bar.

Wheelbarrow Walking

If you were a playful kid in the yesteryears, the chances are that you engaged in this exercise at one time or another. Thankfully, this exercise can help strengthen your core. This makes it to be one of the best core workouts for climbing. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, be sure that you will be able to exercise this workout with utmost precision.

You need to bend down and let your knees and hands touch the exercise mat. Now, ask your friend to hold you by your ankles. Keep your body straight as he holds your ankles. Remember that dipping at the waist may not yield the much-needed results. Look straight and move your right hand about 6 inches and then move your left hand the same distance.

Find a good place for you and your partner to avoid chances of face planting. Go about 30 feet and then switch with your partner. Ensure that you do 5 rounds or even more without compromising the fundamental technique for optimal results.


Unlike other exercises, this one is not exceptionally fun. However, when you think of the best complete core workout, rollouts come to mind fast as they play an instrumental role in strengthening a rock climber’s abdominal and serratus muscles. Besides these muscles, this exercise can help strengthen the iliocostalis muscles of your body. Since all these muscles will get stronger simultaneously, your core will become strengthened tenfold.

Typically, this exercise is done on rings elevated a few inches from the ground. So, start with a push-up position with your hands on the rings. After that, let your hands push outwards until the maximum limit is reached. Ideally, this limit is defined by the longest distance one can push the hands outwards before returning to the initial position.

At first, this exercise might be challenging. However, you will be able to strengthen your ability to hold your feet at a lower position as you try to reach the highest position when climbing a wall. To get optimal results, consider completing at least 3 sets, each consisting of 10 reps.

Air Squats

Among the core exercises for beginner climbers, air squats are perhaps one of the simplest exercises. Whether you are a sports enthusiast, this workout will help you remain fit for longer. Fortunately, this exercise will not take the better part of your day as you can readily do so within 10-15 minutes.

All you need to do is stand with your arms by your side and then engage your core. Sit down until your upper legs are parallel to the floor. After that, hold your arms out and put them in front to maintain your body balance.

As you perform this workout, avoid rounding your back or even letting your shoulder lean forward. More importantly, try to keep your head up and look slightly downward. If you are a beginner, do a few squats in a day and then increase the frequency over time.

core exercises for beginner climbers

The plank

By undertaking this exercise, be sure that you will be able to stabilize your core muscles. More specifically, you will be able to exercise both the erector spine and the transverse abdomen. Apart from this, you will be able to work the leg and back muscles.

If you want to engage in this core workout, you need to lay prone on the ground. Your elbow and toes should be on the floor. As you do this, ensure that you keep your body in one line, from the head to your ankle. As far as your head and neck are concerned, let them be in a neutral position.

Thereafter, engage the core and hold. Maintain that position for about 20 seconds and then lay down flat. Try that for about 30 seconds and see how it goes. To get the much-needed results, carry out this workout for several days. Over time, your core muscles will be stronger than ever.

Precautions, Tips, and Tricks: Make the Most out of Your Core Climbing Workouts

Here you go with expert guidelines to reap the maximum benefits of these core strength exercises.

  • If you think that abs workouts will cut your fat, you will become hopeless as core training will not get you rid of your belly. Yes, you need to deal with your belly fat bugging you, but you have found other ways.
  • Strong abs is not a sign of a strong lower back.
  • You may not include all core workouts suggested here if you run a busy life. In that case, pick ¾ of them and practice the preferred ones three to five times a week. Rest assured, results will show up soon.
  • Do as many sets as your stamina allows. Until you feel the burn, keep increasing your sets. When you struggle to finish a set, stop after this is over.
  • You should make these your daily habit whether you are on or off climbing. And you can resume workouts at any given time of day, whereas many people like it in the morning. But avoid workouts just before climbing.
  • Make sure you rest one or two days a week to let your muscles soothe.
  • Core exercises are high-intensity exercises, so think twice to resume core workouts if you suffer from back, waist, and neck pain off and on.


It is no secret that a strong core is fundamental to any avid climber. From the body tension to being able to move efficiently, many parameters revolve around your core. Besides enabling you to climb mountains with ease, these exercises will help you keep injuries at bay.

Try these core workouts for climbers today, and you will improve your core’s strength tremendously. Consequently, your rock climbing experience will never be the same again.

Afzall Rahman

Afzall Rahman is a college teacher by profession and is a rock-climbing enthusiast from his early childhood. So, anything on climbing keeps him glued to for hours - be it a movie on or related to climbing, book on or by climbers, article or podcast on climbing destinations, skills, gears, or the likes.

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