Category Archives: Exercise

Climbing Lock-Off Exercises for Stronger Triceps: Why Triceps Exercises Belong in Every Rock Climbing Training Program

While most rock climbers realize that pulling is an essential component of rock climbing, many don’t realize the value of climbing-specific exercises to develop stronger triceps, or pushing muscles. Learn why stronger triceps can improve climbing lock-off power. Then, learn specific triceps exercises to include in a rock climbing training program. Enjoy the benefits of stronger triceps for improved rock climbing performance.

Why Pull-Up Training for Lock-Offs Isn’t Enough

Training pull power is an essential part of every rock climbing training program, but it’s not enough. To become an expert at climbing lock offs, once a climber has pulled a climbing hold down as far as possible, he or she must be able to transition from pulling down to pushing down on that hold. This enables the climber to reach farther. Building stronger triceps helps the climber to develop this crucial climbing lock-off power.

Stronger Triceps Start with Basic Triceps Exercises

Climbers can begin building stronger triceps by using some simple triceps strengthening exercises that everyone knows. These include pushups (or even modified pushups) and dips (or modified dips, see photo A). Effort should be made to move through the full range of motion for each exercise to gain maximal benefits. To start with, aim for one to three sets of 10-12 repetitions, two to three days a week, as a part of a climbing workout.

Climbing-Specific Triceps Exercises Using Exercise Bands

Along with the triceps exercises above, exercise bands allow for more climbing-specific triceps exercises. Again, effort should be made to slowly move through the full range of motion for each exercise to gain maximal benefits from these triceps exercises. Start with the exercise band with the resistance level to allow for one to three sets of 10-12 repetitions. Adjust sets and reps according to personal goals—strength, power, and/or endurance. These include the following exercises:

  • Warm up triceps by performing one to three sets of 10-12 arm extensions. Sit on the exercise band, holding handles in hands behind the head. Then, lift the band to full extension above the head, and lower back down.
  • Affix the exercise band securely overhead. Use the included door attachment that comes with the exercise band, or another safe and secure attachment point. Stand with feet slightly apart and knees slightly bent. Back up to create the proper resistance to be able to pull the band from shoulder height with arms straight, straight down to the waist and then back up.
  • From the same starting position as above, pull the exercise band straight back to the armpit, as if locking off on a climbing hold. Now, push straight down from this position to the waist. Return the hand back to the armpit, and then back to the starting position.

Every Climbing Training Program Should Include Triceps Exercises

The optimal climbing workout program will include climbing-specific triceps exercises along with other essential rock climbing training elements, such as climbing technique and pull power training. Both basic triceps exercises and climbing-specific triceps exercises using exercise bands can help a climber develop stronger triceps to improve at climbing lock offs. Improved climbing lock-off ability can lead to better rock climbing performance.

Exercise Is Helpful for Anxiety and Depression

Systematic reviews of available literature demonstrate that regular exercise confers significant reductions in the symptoms that are associated with both depression and anxiety. These beneficial effects have been reported more commonly in adults than in adolescents, but extensive, high-quality studies have not yet been conducted in groups of young people.

As is the case with other medical conditions that improve with exercise, depression seems to respond better to higher-intensity levels of activity than it does to low-energy exercise. A weekly expenditure of at least 17.5 kcal per kilogram of body weight (about 8 kcal per pound) is required for significant improvement in depressive symptoms. However, in contrast to cardiovascular disease or hypertension – both of which respond best to aerobic conditioning – either aerobic exercise or resistance training seems to offer benefits for persons suffering from depression.

Exercise and Yoga Offer Hope for Depressed Patients

Scientists have discovered that the positive effects of exercise are the same whether depressed individuals participate in supervised group activities or unsupervised exercise in the home or gym. Thus, many forms of activity would appear to be candidates for alleviating depression – particularly those that expend a sufficiently high amount of energy.

Unfortunately, one of the primary symptoms shared by depressed persons is a lack of motivation; for such individuals, less vigorous activities that still conferred benefit would be ideal. Alas, clinical trials that have evaluated the antidepressant effects of low-intensity exercise demonstrate no significant improvement in symptoms among study subjects. For example, meditation, tai chi, and qigong – all more restful, “mind-based” forms of recreation that certainly confer their own benefits – do not appear to ameliorate the troubling symptoms that are typically reported by depressed persons (3).

Yoga and high-intensity exercise, on the other hand, have repeatedly demonstrated their depression-fighting effects in multiple studies. For both anxiety and depression – conditions that share many of the same symptoms and which are often treated with similar medications – exercise and yoga compare favorably with conventional treatments, and both are viable alternatives to standard pharmaceutical and psychotherapeutic modalities.