Yoga is the perfect supplement to a climber’s training programme. Whether you’re just starting out on your journey in this sport or are working towards a more specific climbing goal, there are heaps of benefits and ways regular yoga improves your climbing.
This post originally appeared in our email newsletter. We share fortnightly articles to help you improve your technique, build your expertise and enhance your training as a climber.
It’s a Great Warm Up
Warm ups are often neglected, particularly when it comes to climbing. It’s too tempting to head straight for the wall when we arrive at the centre. However, jumping straight into our climbing session increases the chances of developing long term injuries, as we place excessive strain on muscles that haven’t had the chance to properly warm up. Yoga classes purposefully focus on all the body’s main muscle groups, working them in a controlled manner and at a slower pace. This makes yoga an effective dynamic warm up method before your climbing session, as the poses are similar to movements you will likely use on the wall.
It Improves Your Flexibility
Regular yoga sessions will improve your flexibility over time, which directly benefits your climbing. Joint extension helps us reach for holds and an increased flexibility will provide you with more options to try out when it comes to sending your routes. Flexibility also reduces your risk of injury, as your body is accustomed to performing within this wider range of motion and can withstand more physical stress. Using yoga class to cool down after a session is a great way to work on building your flexibility as a climber.
It Builds Core Strength
Climbers of all abilities will reap the benefits of developing a stronger core. Developing a strong core will improve your balance and enable you to tackle steeper routes. It will also increase your chances of recovering your climb if for instance one of your feet slip off a hold midway through a problem. Yoga is a great, low impact method of strengthening your core, while also improving you posture. Engaging your core to transition between yoga poses will also improve your balance over time, a useful skill for climbing, particularly on slab routes.
It Increases Body Awareness
Yoga is all about self-control and developing your awareness about your body, both physically and mentally. Being aware of how your body holds technical positions, transitions between poses and its overall strengths and weaknesses will hugely benefit your climbing. Routes can often be solved multiple ways, depending on your preferred technique. Learning how your body best performs and its natural tendencies will help you better problem solve, send more challenging routes and feel more accomplished on the wall.
It Focuses Your Mind
Climbing is as much a mental workout as it is physical. Problem solving is a pivotal part of this sport to help you read routes, overcome setbacks and work on mental blocks. Yoga sessions work your mind as well as your body, teaching you the importance of breathing, focus and intention setting to help you achieve your goals. All these meditative skills directly translate to your climbing, as well as improving your overall mental health and wellbeing too.
These are just some of the many ways yoga improves your climbing. We run yoga classes every Tuesday and Thursday at The Tide Climbing Centre. Find out more about our sessions and book your place here.