Drills For The
Extremitiesby Paul Scott - from
Stay nimble with this
foolproof, made-to-order regimen
Dips are some of the best all-around
exercises for strengthening the muscles needed to stabilize yourself on a
climbing wall or when wrestling a Class IV hole. Grasp two parallel rails, hop
up so you're supporting your weight, slowly lower yourself until your elbows
are bent 90 degrees, and then push back up. If your body weight is too much to
start, have a partner assist you by lifting up on your waist or feet. Do three
sets of ten to 12 reps.
Pulled muscles and tendons often strike
climbers when making powerful but off-balance lateral movements from hold to
hold. To prevent such injuries you need to develop lateral stability. Standing
with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a medicine ball near chin height.
Extend one leg out to the side and, with your torso straight, bend into a squat
while bringing the medicine ball and the majority of your weight down to the
extended leg. Move back to the starting position and repeat. Don't let your
hips dip below your knees, and keep your back straight. Do three sets of ten to
12 reps on each side.
One-Legged Standing Dip
The most common
cause of knee pain is an injury to the iliotibial band, which is there to
decelerate the inward movement of the leg, "like when you're coming down a
steep snow field or trail in snowshoes," says Musnick. You can reduce the risk
of this kind of injury by making your quads familiar with balancing heavy
loads. Stand on one leg atop a knee-high bench, weight on your heel, and dip
your knee in a controlled fashion until your free heel touches the ground. Keep
your weight on your upper foot, your torso upright, and return to standing
position. A cinch? Try holding dumbbells in each hand. Do ten to 12 repetitions
with each leg.
Staggered-Stance Diagonal Row
This movement imitates exactly the sort of real-life kinetic soup that
exploits some miniscule yet consequential hole in your dynamic repertoire. (In
other words, it prevents you from throwing out your back while, say, pulling up
a tent stake.) Stand with your legs spread two to three feet apart with light
dumbbells in each hand. Rotate your torso to the left, bend your left knee 90
degrees, and extend your right arm to bring your right hand outside your left
foot, palm inward. Stand up while "rowing" the weight back to your opposite
side. Do two to three sets of ten to 12 repetitions on each side.