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Climb Like a Girl: Training Tips for Peak Performance

by Josi Salvoch

getting the most out of your home climbing wall

Whether you're new to the sport or a seasoned pro, one thing we can all agree on is that climbing like a girl comes with its own set of strengths and challenges. As a female climber myself, embracing our natural advantages and tailoring our training routines accordingly can make a huge difference in our performance on the wall.

 

For me, and many other female climbers, it's all about balance-focused, technical climbs over the juggy, steep routes emphasizing upper-body strength. Our lower center of gravity can give us an edge on those delicate foot placements and intricate sequences where finesse and agility shine. These are the climbs where we often excel and where muscle-focused men tend to struggle to match our agility and flexibility.

 

To boost our climbing game, understanding our powerful female bodies can help us maximize gains in strength, endurance, and mental resilience.

 

Health and Diet

While we all have our send-days and off-days in climbing, there's more than meets the eye regarding what influences our performance on the wall.

 

One aspect often overlooked in climbing is how our hormones and menstrual cycles impact our training and performance. During the low-hormone phase, typically in the first half of our cycle, our bodies are primed for strength and endurance gains. However, fatigue and mood may affect performance in the high-hormone phase, especially around PMS. It's essential to adjust our training during our cycles and know when to rack on the weights or focus on active recovery and moderate climbs.

 

Nutrition plays a crucial role, too. Women benefit from a balanced macronutrient intake. You should add whole grains like quinoa or brown rice to your diet for complex carbs, which provide lasting energy. Remember to include lean proteins like chicken, fish, or tofu to help your muscles recover. Healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and olive oil will keep you feeling full. It's time to kickstart that meal prep you've been meaning to do and pack some protein snacks for your next day at the crag!

 

Training Routines

When it comes to training routines, mixing it up is key. Strength training sessions should target not only the upper body but also core stability and leg strength, which are key power sources for female climbers. Regularly lifting heavy weights helps develop the crucial muscles needed for dynamic movements on the wall. Try a tension board routine focused on core engagement for overall strength. Dust off your hangboard and strengthen those tendons. And don't overlook the importance of stretching to enhance flexibility, especially for those tricky high-foot placements that we female climbers often love.

 

Let's not forget the mental game in climbing—it's as important as the physical challenge. As women climbers, we often double-check knots and think through every move and fall. But it's about embracing confidence and pushing ourselves beyond what we think we can do.

So, fellow lady climbers, let's celebrate our unique strengths, listen to our bodies, and climb like the badasses we are. Whether you're gearing up for a project or just hitting the gym for a training session, remember: climbing like a girl isn't just about reaching the top, it's about enjoying the journey and empowering ourselves along the way.

 

Featured Climbing Training Gear


Maverick: The on-the-go, bring it anywhere hangboard. On a family road trip to keep your fingers in shape. We like to bring this to the crag with us to keep our fingers warm—without losing skin on mediocre warm-ups—at that steep, thuggy sport crag.



Pinch Blocks: Don't let pinch strength stop you from sending! Use it while hanging, lifting, and even for one arm hangs; featuring various widths for pinching, a 20 mm edge, and a jug.





The Rock-Stah: Our handcrafted version of a traditional hangboard, with curving crimp rails to help alleviate unnecessary strain on your pulleys. Because ain’t no one got time for a finger injury…



The Rocket Wall: Available in 6’ and 8’ widths, it’s been tough for us to keep up with the demand for this innovative home climbing wall solution. Slightly overhanging, the Rocket Wall is big enough to set routes on, or to build a systems board.


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