7 Strength Training Exercises to Build Stamina For Mountain Climbing

Try exercises to boost your stamina for mountain climbing (Image via unsplash/Brad Barmore)
Try exercises to boost your stamina for mountain climbing (Image via unsplash/Brad Barmore)
Aryan Bajaj

Climbing can be a rigorous sport, especially when you're hiking at the top of the mountain. To get better at climbing, you need to try some exercises to build your stamina.

You might find yourself struggling to breathe, which can be dangerous if you’re alone and far from help. Fortunately, there are ways to build your endurance and stamina so that you can perform at peak levels both before and after climbing.

How to Improve Stamina for Mountain Climbing

Here's a look at seven exercises to improve your stamina for mountain climbing: 7

1) Wall-Sit

The wall-sit is a classic exercise that helps build endurance, strength and balance. It’s also a great way to practice maintaining proper posture, as you can use the wall as a reference point for keeping your back straight and shoulders slightly raised.

To perform a wall sit:

  • Stand facing away from a sturdy vertical surface.
  • Place one hand on the surface behind you with your palm flat against it. Your fingers should be pointing forward toward your feet.
  • Use the same hand to help guide you as you bend both knees so that they're just above 90 degrees at first.
  • Lower them till they touch the ground below in front of you, but don't let them rest there.
  • Keep going till both thighs are parallel with the floor.
  • Keep driving those knees down even if it feels like they won't go any farther without hitting something else first.
  • Once locked into position, hold this position for time intervals ranging from 20 seconds up to five minutes.


The duration will depend on how much stamina has been built up through other exercises such as jogging/running laps around a track. After that, you can start workouts for mountain climbing to get an edge over your competition during climbs when oxygen levels get low.

2) Squat

To do a squat, place your feet shoulder-width apart, and lower yourself down by bending your knees. Your thighs should be at least parallel to the floor. Stand back up; bring your hips up first, and straighten your legs.

Squats are great for building leg strength and endurance—you'll need both of them during mountaineering and rock climbing excursions. If you need help getting started with squats, try doing them from an elevated surface like a countertop or chair as shown below:


A good rule of thumb is to do three sets of 15-20 reps per set. You can also increase this number if you want to become more fit.

3) Lunge

Lunges are a great way to target your lower body and build strength in your legs. Lunges can be done with or without weight, so you can choose whichever is more comfortable for you.

Here's how they're done:

  • Start by standing straight up with feet hip-width apart, toes forward.
  • Lower yourself into a lunge by bending one knee and lowering your hips towards the ground till you feel the tension in the back of your thigh (approximately 90 degrees).
  • Keep both knees over your toes as much as possible, and keep your chest lifted throughout the exercise.


4) Push-up

Push-ups are a great exercise to help you build up your strength and stamina for mountain climbing. They're also a great way to help you build up the muscles in your upper body, which can come in handy when you're out ontrails.

To do a push-up, lie on the floor with both arms extended straight out at shoulder height and palms flat on the floor. Your feet should be together but not crossed. Bend at both knees till they form right angles, and lower yourself down till your chest touches or almost touches the floor.


Push back up while keeping your spine straight throughout; don't arch it. When done correctly, push-up is an excellent strengthening exercise that ensures all the muscles around your core remain strong.

5) Plank Pose

The plank pose is a core pose that strengthens your shoulders, arms, back and abs. It's one of the most effective exercises for building core strength. It's a good exercise to do before a mountain climbing expedition, as it'll help you remain stable while exposed to high altitudes and extreme temperatures.


The goal of this pose is to hold yourself in place with your forearms on the floor while keeping your body straight from head to toe. Practise holding this position for two minutes first before increasing it to four or five minutes as you build endurance.

6) Power Lunge

Power lunges are a great way to build your leg strength and endurance. What makes this exercise so effective is that it’s a compound movement, meaning you’ll be working more than one muscle group at a time when performing each rep.

This exercise can help improve your overall mobility, agility and balance as well. The key to getting the most out of this exercise is keeping your core tight throughout the entire movement so that you don't have any sway in your lower back or hips during each rep.


That'll ensure you keep proper form so that no major muscle groups are neglected during this move, especially if you're trying to increase the difficulty level by adding weights.

7) Mountain Climber

Mountain climbers are one of the most popular workouts for building cardiovascular endurance. They also strengthen your core, legs and arms.


Mountain climbers involve a lot of movement, so you know it's an effective exercise for increasing your stamina for mountain climbing.


With the aforementioned mountain climbing exercises, you can build your strength and endurance to get fit for the mountains.

Start with a warm-up routine, and work your way up to more intense workouts like squats and plank poses. You should also mix up your routine by doing different variations of each pose so that you don’t get bored or plateau too quickly.

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Edited by Bhargav


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