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Training Exercises for Bouldering

Training Exercises for Bouldering

Going to the bouldering gym to crush your project is a satisfying and fun way to climb, but what about those days when you want something a little less intense while still getting in a good workout? Try out one of these exercises next time you’re bouldering and incorporate them into your climbing habits to improve in a fun and productive way.


            Same as the lead exercise – pick a route and climb it four times in a row without stopping, rest for four minutes, then repeat. Make sure you pick a route that is a few grades below your highest grade; the route should be easy enough that you feel comfortable climbing it four times, but hard enough that you feel pumped by the third climb. Once climbing a route four times becomes too easy, pick a harder route or do more reps (making sure to rest for as many minutes as you do reps; eg: 6 reps would mean resting for 6 minutes).

            What it trains: Power-endurance

Molly Burdick (c) Dave Burdick Photography


            With a partner, pick a large stretch of wall where you’ll be able to climb undisturbed. Choose a start hold, then the first person makes a move off that hold. The next person has to repeat that move, then add their own move. This continues until someone can’t complete the move.

            What it trains: On-sighting


            On a bouldering route that’s easy for you, do the first move, downclimb, then do the first two moves, downclimb, etc. Once you reach the top, downclimb the first move, then climb back up to the top, then downclimb two moves, climb back up to the top, and continue until you reach the top.

            What it trains: Power-endurance

            Pause Drill

Pick a route a few grades below your highest grade. Before you grab each handhold, pause for three seconds. Do this all the way up to the finish, then downclimb like normal.

What it trains: Technique

If you liked this article, you might also like these:

Bouldering in Findland: Part One

Bouldering. 101.

Bouldering in the Falklands

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