How to Train for Rock Climbing: Workouts & Exercises

Imagine the thrill of conquering a towering rock wall, defying gravity as you ascend higher and higher. Rock climbing is not just a sport; It is an exciting adventure that challenges both your body and your mind. Whether you’re an experienced climber or just starting out, incorporating specific exercises into your gym routine can significantly improve your rock climbing fitness level. Let’s explore the key exercises to incorporate into your rock climbing exercise routine that will help you develop strength, endurance, and technique for rock climbing. Grab your harness, chalk your hands and let’s embark on an exciting fitness journey!

Rock Climbing Training Schedule

To improve your rock climbing performance, a well-structured training program is essential to keep you on track. Consistency and progressive training will pave the way for successful climbing training. While everyone’s training program will be different, here is a suggested training plan to help you get started:

  1. Monday: strength training
  2. Tuesday: Climbing
  3. Wednesday: cardiovascular and resistance training.
  4. Thursday: rest day
  5. Friday: strength training
  6. Saturday: Climbing
  7. Sunday: Cardio or active recovery – enjoy light activity

Training exercises for rock climbing

Rock climbing is a physically demanding sport that involves many muscles throughout the body. Some of these muscles include the upper body muscles such as the forearms, back, and shoulders, as well as the core, lower, and grip muscles. Regular rock climbing workouts will strengthen and tone these muscles, improving climbing performance.


Lie face down on an exercise mat or on the floor in a push-up position. Place your forearms on the floor, bent at 90 degrees and aligned with your shoulders. Engage your core to maintain proper form and avoid arching your back. Hold this position for as long as you can. Planks are excellent exercises for working out your upper and lower body and developing core strength.


Build overall upper body strength by performing pull-ups, starting with assisted variations if necessary. While it may seem like a simple exercise, it can challenge the muscles in your upper body. Stand under the bar and reach up to grab it with an overhand grip (palms facing out). Stand up and bring your chest to the bar. Then lower yourself back to the starting position by extending your arms.


Strengthen your chest, shoulders and arms with the classic push-up. Start with your hands on the floor slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your legs extended behind you. Bend your arms to lower yourself to the floor and keep your elbows close. at your sides. Push and extend your arms to lift your body.

wrist curls

Wrist curls are a simple but effective exercise to strengthen your forearm muscles. Sit with your feet flat on the floor and hold a dumbbell or barbell with a downward grip. Place your forearms on a surface and flex your wrists as you lift the weight. Tighten your wrist flexors at the top of the movement and keep your forearms steady throughout the exercise, using only your wrists to move the weight. Lower the weight again while maintaining a slow, controlled movement.


Squats are a fundamental exercise that targets your core and lower body muscles, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Engage these muscles by performing bodyweight squats or adding resistance for an extra challenge.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing straight, spine neutral, and shoulders relaxed. Push your hips back and bend your knees simultaneously as if you were about to sit in a chair. Maintain a balanced weight distribution across your feet. Push with your feet to get up and return to the starting position.


Improve leg strength and balance with these bodyweight exercises for lower body. Or you can add resistance for a bigger challenge. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and step forward with your right foot, ensuring a comfortable stride length. Keep your upper body upright and engage your core muscles for stability. Bend both knees simultaneously to lower your body toward the ground until your front knee forms a 90-degree angle in line with your front ankle. Also, make sure your front knee doesn’t bend past your toes. Push through your front heel to lift your body back to the starting position and repeat with your left foot.

kettlebell swings

You can use kettlebells to build muscle through various exercises, one of which is the kettlebell swing. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outward. Rotate your hips, pushing your hips back and bending your knees slightly. Drive your hips forward explosively, using the power of your lower body to move the kettlebell upward. Let the momentum swing the kettlebell forward and up to chest height or slightly above. Allow the kettlebell to come back down as you rotate your hips and push your hips back. Control the downward swing using your hips and core muscles and keep your arms relaxed to guide the kettlebell between your legs.

Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging leg raises are effective for working the abdominal muscles, particularly the lower abs.. Look for a stable pull-up bar or any sturdy elevated structure. Grip the bar or frame with your palms facing outward in an overhand grip and keep your arms straight and shoulders relaxed. Keep your legs together and begin by bending your hips to lift your legs.

Use your lower abs to initiate the movement and avoid rocking or excessive momentum. Continue lifting until your thighs are parallel to the floor and slowly lower your back while maintaining control.

Conquer new heights with Chuze Fitness

By incorporating these rock climbing exercises into your gym routine, you’ll develop the strength and endurance needed to conquer any climbing surface.

If you need a place to start your rock climbing exercise routine, we’ve got you covered at Chuze Gym. With locations nationwide, find a location near you It has never been so easy. Plus, with personal training and fitness classes, you can find a supportive community to encourage your rock climbing habits and journey.


Health line. What muscles do planks work?

No gym. Hanging leg raises.

Reviewed by:

Ani is the Vice President of Fitness at Chuze Fitness and oversees the Group Fitness and Team Training departments. She has had over 25 years of career in club management, personal training, group exercise and instructor training. Ani lives with her husband and her son in San Diego, CA and loves hot yoga, snowboarding, and all things wellness.

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