Enhance bouldering performance with these exercises. (Photo by Pavel Danilyuk via pexels)

6 Best Exercises That Can Help You Be Better at Bouldering

Bouldering is a tough sport that challenges the entire body holistically. It requires immense strength, fitness and the right technique to succeed in it. But what can you do to become better at bouldering? The best thing you can do is practice certain exercises to help ensure that your muscles don’t give up easily in your next climbing session.

There are exercises you can do to strengthen your legs, arms, abs and back to improve your climbing. These exercises can be done at the gym or from the comfort of your own home depending on your preferences. Try them out regularly and see how quickly you can improve your bouldering performance.


Here’s an overview of some of the best exercises that can help you become better at bouldering.

1. Pull-ups:

No other exercise is as productive for climbing as standard pull-ups. This exercise trains the entire upper body, especially your biceps and back, and also challenges your neck and shoulders. Plus, it also helps improve your finger and hand strength, which plays a crucial role in climbing.


How to do it?

  • Stand below a pull-up bar and with an overhand grip, place your hands on the bar wider than your shoulder width.
  • Start to lift your feet so that you are hanging from the bar and make sure to keep your core muscles engaged by contracting your belly button towards your spine.
  • As you lift your body, pull your shoulders down and back and bend your elbows while lifting your upper body until your chin gets over the bar.
  • Breathe easily at the top position and then lower your body back to the start.

2. Speed skaters:

Speed skaters is a wonderful exercise that increases your heart rate and challenges your balance and stability, which are significant for bouldering. Along with this, it also helps develop ankle and lower-body strength.

How to do it?

  • Standing with your feet at a shoulder-width distance, bend your knees and keep your core muscles engaged.
  • Now leap to your right and slide your other leg just behind you while bringing your opposite arm in front.
  • Continue to move from side to side and as you do this, keep on increasing your speed.

3. Dumbbell chest press:

Dumbbell chest press mainly targets your pecs, which are an important muscle in your upper body used for bouldering.

How to do it?

  • Lie down on your back and grab a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Your arms should be straightened and you must hold the dumbbells over your chest.
  • Now bend your elbows while resting your triceps on the ground, press up and extend both your arms over your chest.
  • Move slowly and then lower the weights back to the initial position.
  • Repeat.

4. Goblet squat:

You need to have great leg strength when it comes to climbing. The best way to develop strength in your legs, glutes, trunks and buttocks is the goblet squat.

How to do it?

  • Standing straight with your feet at a hip distance apart, hold a dumbbell or kettlebell with both hands at your chest.
  • Lower your body into a wide squat by bringing your hips back and down while lifting your chest.
  • Now press through your heels and squeeze your glutes to get back to the starting position.

5. Push-ups:

Climbing requires proper balance and stability from your body, and push-ups are one such effective exercise that helps keep your body balanced.

How to do it?

  • Start the exercise on all-fours. Place your hands wider than your shoulders and straighten your legs and arms.
  • Lower your chest until it nearly touches the ground, and then push yourself back up to the start.
  • Repeat.

6. Forearm plank:

Along with fitness, muscle endurance and balance are also key in bouldering, and forearm planking is the best exercise you can do to achieve this.

How to do it?

  • Take a push-up position while bending your arms at your elbows so that your entire weight rests on your forearms.
  • Engage your abs, squeeze your glutes and make sure to keep your body straight and stable from your head to your heels.
  • Stay in this position for as long as you can.

To make this exercise more challenging, you can switch between forearm support and push-up positions while holding. You may also add weight plates to your back or bring your knees towards your chest.


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Edited by
Nicolaas Ackermann
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