“Climbing is as close as we can come to flying.” – Margaret Young
Do you rock climb? Whether on actual mountains or in a climbing gym! If you do, then you are well aware of the strain it puts and requires of certain parts of your body. The areas that if you don’t warm up and stretch regularly will be left quite sore after a climbing session.
In this practice we are going to target three main areas:
1. The Rhomboids: the muscles behind your back that help pull the shoulders back, which will help to counteract the forward lunging motion of climbing.
2. The Core: these poses will work to strengthen the abdominals, which will help you stay close to the wall and as a result have more control.
3. The Hips: this practice works to increase flexibility and mobility in this area for better range of motion, allowing you to reach further with the legs.
These 6 poses come from one of my early classes on my YouTube channel, but the practice stands the test of time (even if my filming quality has drastically improved). Check the 25 minute practice out here.
1. Puppy Pose – With your hips over the knees, gently lower your chin and chest to the ground. Reach your palms forward, and let the heart start to melt towards the mat. Press the palms together, bend the elbows and reach fingers to the back of the neck.
2. Gate Pose – From table top, reach the right leg out, kneeling on your left knee. Bring the hands to the hips, on an inhale reach the left arm up. Move in to a side bend, with your left fingers reaching across, and slide the right palm along the right leg. Return to neutral and then bring the left hand to rest on the mat on the left side. Reach the right arm up and over, feeling a stretch all along the right side body. Repeat on the opposite side.
3. High Push Up or Plank – Set your shoulders up over the wrists and extend the legs back behind you coming into a plank position. Curl the tailbone down and reach the heart forward to find a long spine. Try to hover one leg off the ground at a time. With the legs and feet together roll the heels down to the left side, back to center and then to the right.
4. Forward Bend – From downward dog, walk your palms toward the feet, coming into a forward fold. Bend your knees as much as needed. Interlock the fingers behind your sacrum, reaching the knuckles up and over. If you feel pinching in the low back, bend the knees further. Let your head be heavy and relax the neck.
5. Half Splits – Come first into a low lunge. Starting in the forward bend, step the right leg back and lower the knee to the ground. Reach the arms up over head, stacking the shoulders above the hips. Curl the tailbone under to keep the low back flat. Return the hands back to the mat, shift the hips back, straightening the front leg. Keep your spine nice and long.
Switch to do the forward bend, low lunge and half splits on the other side.
6. Dolphin Pose – Return again to hands and knees. This time bring your forearms down to the mat, with the elbows underneath the shoulders. Curl the toes under and send the hips up and back. Open through the shoulders, relaxing the neck and keep head from touching the ground. Bend your knees as needed. Lift the heels up from the mat, lifting one leg at a time skyward. While the leg is lifted, keep the hips squared to the ground.
If you want to see even more poses, and flow through them, come practice with me over on my YouTube channel.
If you enjoyed this practice, please subscribe to my YouTube channel to support the content I produce for free every week.
Thanks for reading,
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