The At Home Exercise series was designed and filmed during the pandemic of 2020; a time when we weren’t able to use the climbing walls or crags at all and exercise was limited to walking, running or cycling and only once a day.
To help climbers during this period, several episodes were designed and filmed in my home using little more than what the average person would find in their own house; with some added bonuses using fingerboards and the like for those that have.
The whole collection can be found here on a Showcase on my Vimeo account or scroll down to see each video in turn.
Episode 1: Footwork Drills
A video with five exercises to be done at home with nothing but the floor (one exception at the end).
Please check the environment and don’t hurt yourselves. If there’s pain, stop.
Episode 2: Finger Strength
Episode 2 in our series of At Home Exercises focuses on working your finger muscles with items you’ll find around the house. It’s split into two parts: warming up your fingers and working your fingers.
PLEASE BE CAREFUL especially with the door frame drop exercise – where a pad or a spotter are advised – and the make shift pull up bar – where it is important to choose a bar that is strong enough, you should keep your hands close to the chairs and consider some padding underneath in case of failure. Please use judgement, don’t burden your local hospital with avoidable accidents and DON’T injure yourselves. Other than that, have fun!
Episode 3: Pyramid Training
Episode 3 of our At Home Training series looks at using Pyramid training to structure our sessions further. I look at breaking 100 press ups into five sets that will help to build muscle mass and keep interest, among other advantages also discussed.
This process can be applied to many different exercises. For a written explanation, please see here.
Episode 4: Dynamic Training
The fourth instalment of our At Home Training series looks at exercises to practice our dynamic movement. Dynos and dynamic movement primarily come from the powerful leg muscles and these exercises are designed not only to work those muscles but also to get you thinking of how and when to engage them when completing a move.
This one is done with nothing more than a box and a cross drawn on the floor (exception being the last exercise which requires a wall to kick off). All you need is a bit of space. For those with plenty of room, there’s the opportunity to really get creative and i particularly enjoyed the exercise with jumping into the box – so much so it delayed the making of the video for a while so i could play…
As usual, these exercises come with the caveat for you to be careful, especially with the kick off the wall. They are designed for climbers with a sense of risk assessment so assess before you start and take the appropriate steps to stay safe and not burden your local hospitals.
Episode 5: Action Plan
This episode of our At Home Training series focuses on what you can do to stay on track and not simply train random attributes. Train smarter, as it were. It comes in Four Stages with each one broken down into several smaller parts for you to work on.
This is a pen and paper exercise, rather than a physical one and is a bit less exciting that the others. However, combining this with the other videos in the series will allow you to adapt your own training and let you progress with much more direction.
Episode 6: Balance
We’re looking at Balance in this episode of At Home Exercises, mainly using a cup of water. Remember to use a non-breakable cup and to try not to spill any when completing the exercises. And of course the usual caveat to be careful not to fall and hurt yourself and cause any injury.
There is scope in this episode to make it harder and easier and i touch on some tactics in here too: using the gaps in between efforts to analyse was it too hard/easy? How do you make it easier/harder?
Remember also to look at your own body positions and to find a bit of intrinsic feedback to find what works well and what works less so. The main question here is whether it is easier to use hands and feet on the same side or opposite sides. Try it to find out. One option is to film yourself and watch it back and i’d love to see some of your efforts and variations.
Episode 7: Antagonists
After spending five of the previous videos working our agonist muscles, this one looks at working the antagonist muscles. Some of the equipment used is climbing kit but can easily be supplemented for something else.
As usual, use your judgement and care not to injure yourselves. Please be careful.
Episode 8: Core
We’re looking at Core exercises this time, including some more climbing specific exercises involving guidebooks, where you could add in the variation to pause at the top and read the guide if you want to make it really tough. The last exercise utilises a fingerboard but can be done with any pull up bar or device.
Episode 9: Slopers
A short one this time to continue the At Home Exercises series, looking at slopers. For this, we’re looking at engaging the biceps with an open hand.
It’s a tough one this and will require some creativity from yourself to make it work. Still, as a common area of weakness – and an area that often requires attention – it is one that is well worth trying to see how you get on.
Episode 10: Series Notes
We’ve made it into double figures with the At Home Exercise Series and as such, i’ve taken this chance to reflect on some of the things we’ve learned since the start of lockdown. This episode is entitled series notes and features some snippets of advice to accompany the previous episodes.