After running our dynamic workshops recently, we started to realise that there are a whole host of reasons why so many climbers (including several of our staff members) avoid dynos like the proverbial plague.
Along with the obvious fear of what throwing yourself around with speed could lead to, from dodgy landings to holds getting in the way, many climbers just simply can’t generate enough power for them to have any confidence of a decent success rate when trying a dynamic move.
We’ve been picking the brains of our in-house PT Marisa Gifford for some exercises that don’t require any expense, or anything much bar a little bit of floor space and that might stand a chance of helping with improving dynamic movement. Her first suggestion was a HIIT workout. Now don’t roll your eyes - we are well aware there are plenty of climbers for whom the idea of a cardio based workout is akin to medieval torture, but Marisa does have some very good reasons for suggesting this first up.
“HIIT is a good way to measure fitness, and slowly build week by week. By increasing the number of circuits or the workout to rest period ratio, you can easily measure your progress and ramp it up to continue progression.”
HIIT is a well known, quick way to burn fat, but in what way can it benefit climbers?
“If you choose explosive style exercises, they will not only use big muscle groups that are key in climbing, but will also build muscle memory,” explains Marisa. “Your body will be more used to those movements, so it should be easier to implement them on the wall in dynamic style climbs.”
So for those of us - mentioning no names - who think static is king and dynos are just for those parkour comp wall blocs that aren’t ‘real climbing’ cough cough, where does she suggest we start?
“Anything that rapidly raises the heart rate and ideally powers from the legs, which are part of the key to successful dynos. Think squat jumps, explosive star jumps, burpess, jump lunges, press up burpees, that sort of thing.
“The aim is to get your body used to driving up from the floor through the legs.”
And what does Marisa suggest for a starting block of training?
“I’d pick five exercises, 20 seconds on, 20 seconds rest which maximises muscle strength, power and size. Four rounds if you can, if not start with two rounds and add a round each week or aim to increase the amount of reps you complete in the 20 seconds. Aim to complete the session three times a week.”
And to build endurance?
“Bump up the time - 40 second on, 20 seconds rest."
You’ve heard it here - explosive HIIT workouts are the starting point for building climbing fitness and improving dynamic movement. As for the co-ordination part of dynos, stay tuned and we will be giving us some tips for that soon!