Do you warm up on crag days before you just onto the rock?
Do you condition on rest day?
How about cool-downs after a hard gym session?
For some athletes warming up can be almost meditative. This is the time where your body and mind hone it in and get dialed. Warming up on the rock can be fun, and definitely helps to get the blood pumping and those muscles stretching, but there is so much more you can do to maximize your warmup and cool-down routines, at the crag, the gym and at home.
Porta-Hang offers two great training accessories designed to help you warm up, condition and cool-down more easily and effectively. Today we look at the importance of warming up and how Porta-Hangs training tools can help!
Work your grip strength anytime, anywhere.
Are you wondering how such a seemingly simple, small tool can make such a big impact? When used together in sequence, the Forbidden Donuts offer many workout options. Let's take a look at a few…
The Basics - In our post titled “The Forbidden Donuts - Your new Secret Weapon” we broke down the basics on what the Forbidden Donuts are, and a few of their basic benefits - working your grip and crimp strength, and stretching those fingers out. If you haven’t read that post yet, we recommend starting there and then continuing on here after, to familiarize yourself with these gems.
When to use them and why
Warming Up - Anytime you climb you should be warming up first - Outside, at the gym, or at home on your Porta-Hang hangers. When you work out you should warm up first. When you are conditioning and recovering from an injury… you guessed it! Warm up first.
So, why do we warm up? We warm up to prepare our bodies and minds to undertake an elevated physical stress load when we climb or work out. This is very important to climbing at your best. The increase in blood flow helps to raise the body's temperature and increase circulation. This allows the muscles, tendons and ligaments to become more flexible, reducing the risk of injury, and increasing your control and power.
It’s no coincidence that the appendages we rely on the most in climbing - our fingers - also have among the highest injury rates across all climbers. Our fingers require a significant amount of attention to warm up correctly - for those of you with low circulation, you know what we’re talking about. Yet our fingers tend to be one of the most overlooked parts of the body in warmups.
Repetition is key in warming up properly. With the Forbidden Donuts, reps are the name of the game. Start easy (green) and get those motions happening.
Get started with 5 on, 5 off squeezes with Green (the lowest resistance). Alternate hands - 5 squeezes with the right hand, and then 5 with the left. Rest for a moment and repeat! Aim for 3 sets of 5 to get you started. Don’t rush these sets. Start slowly and trust in the mastery of the Donut.
If you’re feeling good after 3 sets, it’s time to step it up!
10 on, 10 off for 3 sets.
Now take some time to stretch and shake out a little.
If you haven’t progressed to Red yet, that's ok. Repeat the 10 on, 10 off again on green.
If you’re ready to step it up, it's time to move to Red. We recommend following a similar pattern to Green. But don’t be afraid to tone it down a little bit. Afterall, we’re just warming up today, this isn’t our feature event of the day.
3 on, 3 off is great to increase blood flow and make you work a little.
These exercises shouldn’t hurt. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort throughout your reps, stop and take it back a step.
Opposition training can be a game changer in climbing. Our Finger Stretcher lets you work those tissues through your fingers and thumb, right down into your wrist. Don’t be fooled by its low profile, this one will make you work for it!
Warming Up - Don’t over do the reps on this little number. You’ll be surprised how much you can engage in only a few short flexes with the Finger Stretcher.
Similar to the Donuts, aim to start with short sets, and focus on movement more than force. Start gradually and build up your stretch. Focus on moving all of your fingers and thumb together at first.
Aim for 3-5 reps for 3 sets to start, with a short rest between each set. Then switch hands and repeat.
Keeping the stretcher higher on your fingers will put more emphasis on working your fingers directly. To augment your sets slightly, move the stretcher down farther on your fingers to create more opposition for your knuckles and through the back of your hand.
Try alternating sets between the Donuts and Stretcher to work those inward and outward forces together for the best warmup action.
And finally, don’t forget to stretch before you climb or work out! Our training tools help in many ways, but we still recommend some good old basic stretching to help loosen those muscles and prep your body for action.
Ok #PortaGang, now that we’ve got our warmups dialed in, lets get sendy!
Follow us on Instagram and tags us in your warmups and workouts with #PortaTrain to share your progress!