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Antagonist home workout for climbers

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In climbing certain muscles get used and developed more than others and some other small muscles and lesser used ones in climbing need to be developed to make progress in climbing and avoid muscle imbalances and injury. Strengthening certain muscles can also help in climbing and staying strong.

We’ve put together a few simple ‘off the wall’ exercises below that will be improve your climbing from the comfort of your own home.

Equipment required:

  1. A tin of food (e.g. A tin of baked beans or soup)
  2. Sufficient floor space

Who is this session designed for:

People of all abilities can benefit from a session like this. If the session is too hard then you can work for 20 seconds and rest for 40 seconds but if the session is to easy then you can work for 40 seconds and rest for 20 seconds. The sets can be repeated too and you aim should be that you are struggling to complete or fail on the last set to ensure that you are working to capacity.

The Session

Each exercise performed for 30 seconds with 30 seconds rest between sets before moving on to the next exercise. The press-ups can be done on your knees if struggling with a full press up. The quality of the reps are more important than the number of reps so opt to go slow and after pushing up from the press up or lifting the tin, lower just as slow to develop different muscles and maintain control.

Narrow push up:

Put hands close together and make a triangle placing thumbs together and fingers. Slowly lower your body with your elbows close to your body until your nose is close to the ground and then push back up just before the arms are fully straight and then lower slowly and repeat.

Wide push up:

With arms shoulder width apart, lower your body slowly with elbows still close to your body and then push back up and repeat before you’re fully extended, remember to engage the abdominals and keep a straight back when doing this.

Tin over-head triceps extensions:

Get a tin in both hands or one in each hand depending on ability and raise both hands above your head and put them together; then lower the tin or tins behind your head keeping the lower arm straight with flexion at the elbow joint, remember to keep the lower arm stable. After the tins are fully lowered then repeat, remember to keep hands together all the throughout this or tins together.

Tin wrist flexor curl:

Get a tin in each hand and hold them down by your side with slightly bent arms and palms facing outwards, curl the tins up raising the hand towards them and then slowly lower and repeat.

Tin wrist extensor curl:

Hold tin in each hand and with knuckles facing away from you then lift the hand up towards the sky and then back down slowly and repeat.


  • Narrow push up for 30 seconds
  • 30 seconds recover
  • Wide push up for 30 seconds
  • 30 seconds recovery
  • Tin overhead triceps extensions for 30 seconds
  • 30 seconds recovery
  • Tin wrist flexor curl for 30 seconds
  • 30 second recovery
  • Tin wrist extensor curl

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