5th Nov 2013


I'm 16 and climbing 7a but I'm a bit stuck on how to improve. I get to the climbing centre about 2-3 times a week, I have a finger board but that's about it but i was wondering if you had any training tips for me that I can do at home.
thanks very much


It sounds like you are getting a fair amount of climbing in at the moment, which is good. If I were you I wouldn't go crazy with the finger board, it is notorious for giving people elbow problems (if over used) and once you have an injury here, it's very hard to get rid of it completely. So once or twice a week is plenty.

What you need to do is try and identify what your weaknesses are; for example how is your body tension? This is very important to being a strong climber, how are your triceps? Again very important not to neglect your antagonistic muscles. You could get a few dumbbells and do some work on your arms and back.

There are lots of things you can do at home, that aren't climbing but are important components to getting stronger, even doing things like leg presses and calf raises (standing on your tiptoes maybe holding a weight), having strength in your legs is not to be forgotten too.  

The last thing which most of us neglect because it's hard if you aren't naturally flexible, is stretching. This is very important to help prevent injury and also it will help you get into some funky positions to do weird and wonderful climbing moves. If you don't think you can do this at home on your own, then a good thing to do is find a yoga class, it's fun and very beneficial; and it's much easier when you've got someone telling you what to do!

I hope this helps and don't go crazy with it all, I discovered that proper rest is also crucial for improvement. If you don't give your muscles time to recover after heavy sessions, it's very hard for them to grow. So mix it all up and work different areas of your body.

Good luck!