Get a grip

Im­prove your boul­der­ing abil­i­ties with th­ese five tips from climb­ing-wall route set­ter Rich Hud­son

Men's Fitness - - Up Your Game -

‘If you can’t com­plete a par­tic­u­lar route (known as a “prob­lem” or “bloc”) even if you’re cer­tain you’re strong enough, watch other peo­ple do it,’ says Hud­son. ‘There might be a bit of tech­nique you are miss­ing. Dif­fer­ent things will work for dif­fer­ent body shapes.’

‘Once you’ve com­pleted a prob­lem, do it again,’ says Hud­son. ‘Get that mus­cle mem­ory so when you try an­other prob­lem that re­quires a sim­i­lar move, the brain will kick in with a so­lu­tion. As with any sport, though, if you prac­tise in­cor­rectly it takes longer to un­learn and re­learn the right way.’

‘Think a prob­lem’s too hard? Do it any­way,’ says Hud­son. ‘Don’t be afraid to push your­self and over­load the body and brain a lit­tle. That’s how you im­prove.’

‘Most blocs re­quire be­tween four and 12 moves, so you use your anaer­o­bic and lac­tic en­ergy sys­tems, and some­times that means you can’t do a move be­cause you’re too tired when you get to it,’ says Hud­son. ‘To build en­durance, do a bloc a few grades un­der your peak abil­ity four times in a row, rest for the same amount of time and do it four times again.’

‘Put some time in at the bar. Your prime movers are the pulling mus­cles in the up­per body,’ says Hud­son. ‘When you do pull-ups, change your grip, change the width, use a towel. Grip strength is what keeps you on the wall, so it’s vi­tal to de­velop it.’

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