Tech Tip #35
One of the best exercises climbers can do every day is not the pull-up – which is excellent - but the humble press up. The reason it trumps a pull up is that as a climber you’re always pulling up, but rarely working the opposing antagonist muscles (unless you’re a fan of mantle shelves). The humble push up works the chest, arms and shoulders, as well as your core, and helps to stabilise the body and keep everything in balance. For this reason, it’s a good warm-up and warm-down exercise, along with star jumps. Everyone knows how to do a press-up, but the hand release method is a good one to adopt, as you get a full depth exercise, with no cheating. To do this, simply press down until your chest is on the floor, then lift your hands up for a second, then press up again. The best thing about the press-up is that you can do it anywhere, and doing mini reps in the day can really help build up your strength and stamina. Numbers-wise, doing 40 in 2 minutes is a good goal, and I knew someone who used to do ten press-ups every time they had to cross a road when going for a run! As with all exercises, focus on good form, not the numbers, and take it slow and steady.