18 Rock Climbing Home Exercises to Improve Your Climbing

It is evident for you to go through tough days — days where you are not motivated enough to go to the climbing gym.

Maybe you’re too exhausted or too busy to hit the gym!

Maybe you’re wondering if any exercise routines can help you train for rock climbing at home.

Yes! You can actually work out at home and stay rock climbing fit.

Most climbers think that they need to hit the gym or head to the walls to train for rock climbing. Fortunately, that isn’t the case! There are rock climbing home exercises that you can follow and avoid the gym for a while.

You do not need to spend your time at the gym or on the walls to train for rock climbing. There are plenty of off-the-wall rock climbing exercise routines that can effectively complement your climbing skills.

In addition to that, you do not need to get fancy with the rock climbing training equipment, either! These are common exercises that require minimal or no equipment at all to help you strengthen your muscles for rock climbing.

There is no doubt that the best training for rock climbing is by spending your time climbing at the wall or cliffs. However, in this article, we have listed some of the most effective rock climbing home exercises that will improve your strength and endurance for climbing.

These home workouts target the most significant parts of your body — upper body, core, legs, fingers, and forearms, that will take your climbing skills to the next level.

Rock Climbing Home Exercises Schedules

Before you jump straight to the exercises, it is essential to plan your training schedules. If you train at the gym or on the wall, you’ll most likely have a trainer to help you out with the schedules.

But, if you’re planning to train at home, you must remember a few things before starting the training sessions.

It is recommended to start your training six to eight weeks before the day you plan to go rock climbing. Getting enough exercise done will help to improve your endurance and strength for the climb. Remember that you will burn a lot of calories rock climbing.

If you’re also spending some time climbing at the local walls, make sure to balance these exercises with your time on the wall accordingly. Practice these workouts two to three times a week to balance with the time you’re spending at the gym or on the wall. It is always better to workout on alternate days to make sure you’re not draining those muscles.

It is also handy to supplement these climbing exercises with cardio workouts to save your energy for long hours of climbing or bouldering. Whether you choose to go running, to swim, or biking, it is good to balance the cardio workouts with other exercises. Perform 30 minutes of cardio workouts twice or thrice a week, along with the climbing home workouts.

Planning for Rock Climbing Home Workouts

Before you start the intense rock climbing training, here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Choose exercises that are well-suited for your body. Do not attempt the difficult exercises and try to adapt to those tough drills.
  • If the exercises are not comfortable enough to perform, it is better to make the necessary modifications or skip the entire workout instead!
  • Do not overdo the workout! Set a pace that is ideal for you and slowly increases the intensity of the workout. Be progressive and increase the repetitions of the exercises or add more resistance accordingly!

Note: It is always better to engage in a simple warm-up before starting your intense workouts. Before starting your exercises, participate in five to 10 minutes of cardio activity like jogging, running, or jumping jacks.

Here are a few additional things you need to do during the workout:

  • It is essential to maintain your breathing while working out. Take a deep breath during your initial effort and slowly exhale as you get back to your starting position. Make sure to keep your breathing pace normal, even during faster workouts.
  • Take a calculated rest in between every exercise. Initially, take about 60 to 90 seconds of rest at the end of each workout. And, as you progress, reduce the rest time to 30 to 45 seconds to build up the intensity.
  • It is also essential to take proper rest between every set. Once you complete the entire exercises, take a rest for a minute or two before repeating the set a couple of times.

Rock Climbing Home Exercises

1. Upper Body

It’s a no brainer, rock climbing itself is an excellent upper body exercise. Believe it or not, the upper body strength is what defines you as a professional climber. Although the best workout for the upper body is by climbing the indoor walls or crags, you can also supplement your strength with these off-the-wall exercises.

A. Push-Ups

While it may sound cynical, push-ups are an excellent home workout for rock climbing. Regular push-ups are the most basic exercise for working your antagonistic muscles. While this exercise mainly targets the pushing muscle, it helps to maintain balance in your body to help prevent injuries and lose the climber’s hunch.

If the regular push-ups are a little too easy for you, you can also mix it up with spiderman push-ups and elevated push-ups.

B. Pull-Ups

Pull-ups are another solid workout you’re most likely familiar with. In the climbing community, pull-ups are hands down the most popular off-the-wall exercises. This simple workout is effective in strengthening almost every muscle you use while climbing or bouldering.

If the regular pull-ups are not your forte yet, you can make the necessary modification to make it simpler and easier. You can try keeping a chair or stool underneath the pull-up bar and place either of your feet on the chair or stool while pulling up.

C. Tricep Dips

Similar to push-ups, tricep dips are a simple yet super effective exercise that targets the antagonistic muscles. Here’s how to do proper tricep dips:

  • First, place your hands wide apart (shoulder-width) on a bench or a chair.
  • Then, extend your legs straight in front of you.
  • Now, bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle to lower your body to the floor.
  • Finally, straighten your elbows by pressing down and return to the starting position.

D. Dumbbell Shoulder Presses

As the name suggests, the dumbbell shoulder presses primarily target your shoulders, with a few emphases on your upper back and triceps. Here’s how to do a proper dumbbell shoulder presses:

  • Hold the dumbbell in each of your hands while sitting or standing.
  • Now, one at a time, lift your dumbbells to shoulder height with your palms facing forward.
  • Now, stretch the dumbbells upward, then slowly lower them back to the starting position.

F. Dumbbell Biceps Curls

Dumbbell biceps curls are an essential training that targets several arm muscles, including the forearms and biceps.

  • Take a pair of dumbbells at your side while sitting or standing.
  • Bend your elbow as you curl the weights
  • Curl the weights until they reach shoulder level.
  • Finally, lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

2. Core

To become a professional rock climber, you need to improve your core strength. The core strength helps you to control your body while climbing and be more precise with your footwork.

A. Plank

When it comes to improving your core strength, the plank is probably the most obvious exercise.

  • To do the plank, you first need to sit in a push-up position.
  • Then, bend both of your elbows to a 90-degree angle and rest the entire weight to your forearms.
  • Hold on to the position for a short while.

If the regular planks are not challenging enough for you, you can opt to try different variations. You can lift and extend the opposite arm and leg while doing the plank for a more challenging option. You can hold in this position for a minute or two and then switch your arm and leg to finish the rep.

B. Side Plank

Like the regular plank, the side planks are also an excellent way to work out on your core strength. To do the side plank correctly:

  • You need to lie on either side by extending your legs and stacking one on top of the other.
  • Support your entire body using the forearm by forming a straight line from shoulders to ankles.
  • Hold on to the position for a short while.
  • Finally, switch sides and repeat the same process to end the rep.

3. Crunches

The crunches are one of the best abdominal exercises that target abs, rectus abdominis muscles, and obliques. It is an excellent workout to tighten your belly and build six-pack abs. Here’s how to do the crunches properly:

  • First, lay down on your back with the feet lying flat on the ground.
  • Now, place both of your hands behind your head.
  • Lift the shoulders off the floor and push your head towards the knees.
  • Then, lower your head back to the floor.

D. Six Inches

Six inches is another great core workout that mainly targets your abs. To do the six inches:

  • Lay flat on the floor, keep both the hands by your sides and legs extended.
  • Now, lift both the legs six inches off the floor.
  • Hold them in the position for as long as you can.
  • Then, lower your legs back to the floor.

If the regular six inches are too easy, you can ask a friend to push your legs and chest while you lift your legs off the floor, which will add extra tension to the core.

E. Bicycle Kicks

Bicycle kicks target the rectus abdominis muscles, obliques, and hips, making it an excellent workout for core strength.

  • First, lay down on your back and stretch your hands flat on the floor.
  • Now, pull the right knee towards your chest while extending your other leg.
  • Then, heave the left knee towards your chest and extend the right leg.
  • Repeat the process as long as you can to finish the rep.

F. Flutter Kicks

  • Flutter kicks are one of the most effective core exercises that primarily focus on lower abdominal muscles.
  • Lay flat on your back by extending your legs.
  • Keep both of your hands under the lower back and lift the legs a few inches off the floor.
  • Without touching the ground, flutter both of your legs up and down singly.

3. Fingers & Forearms

If you’re a rock climber, you probably already know the significance of your finger strength. Therefore, you must target your fingers and forearms while training at home.

A. Wrist Curl

When it comes to rock climbing, it is crucial to improve your forearms strength. Wrist curls are probably the most effective forearm workouts when you can not hit the gym. In addition to that, this exercise also strengthens your wrists.

  • Hold a pair of dumbbells in each of your hands while sitting in a chair.
  • Then, put your forearms against your legs with your palms facing upwards and your wrists hanging off the front.
  • Now, simply curl both of your wrists upwards to the body.
  • Then, lower the wrist back to the starting position to complete a rep.

B. Reverse Wrist Curl

Reverse Wrist Curl is another excellent exercise that targets the forearms, especially around the elbows. It is essential to balance your body to prevent injuries while rock climbing. Therefore, it is equally important to curl your wrist in reverse, too!

  • Hold a pair of dumbbells in each of your hands while sitting in a chair.
  • Then, place your forearms against your legs with your palms facing upwards and your wrists hanging off the front.
  • Curl both of your wrists upwards to the body.
  • Then, lower the wrist back to the starting position to complete a rep.

4. Legs

Climbers often neglect the leg exercises and only focus on the upper body. However, leg strength is crucial when it comes to climbing. Here are a few simple exercises to help you build your leg strength.

A. Bodyweight Squats

Bodyweight Squats are a solid workout that focuses on glutes and thighs. However, they also work on your hamstrings, hips, back, calves, and core.

  • Spread both your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend both your knees and hips slowly to squat down.
  • Make sure your thighs are parallel to the floor as you go down.
  • Then push yourself up and return to the standing position.
  • Repeat the process for as long as you can.

If the regular bodyweight squats are too easy for you, you can add some weights to increase the intensity.

B. Lunges

Lunges are another basic yet effective workout to improve your leg strengths. This exercise primarily focuses extensively on the muscles of your lower body. It also shapes your lower body by helping you lose weight and boosting your metabolism. Here’s the step-by-step guide on how to do the lunges:

  • Begin the exercise by standing in a comfortable position.
  • Take a step ahead, then lean forward until the front part of your leg is at a 90-degree angle.
  • Make sure the back leg is parallel to the floor.
  • Return to the starting position
  • Repeat the entire exercise with your other leg.

If the regular lunges are too easy, you can make it slightly challenging by adding more weight. Additionally, you can also hold a pair of dumbbells in each hand to increase the intensity.

C. Wall Sit

Wall Sit is a fantastic workout that helps to strengthen the quadriceps muscles.

  • Start the exercise by leaning against the wall.
  • Keep your both legs straight in front of you.
  • Now, slowly slide your back down.
  • Keep sliding until you are in a sitting position with your knees at right angles.
  • Hold the same position for as long as you can.

D. Calf Raises

Although quite simple, calf raises are a fantastic leg workout. This exercise primarily targets your calf muscles and helps to shape your lower legs.

  • Start the exercise by standing tall at the edge of a step.
  • Pull your abdominals and place the balls of your feet firmly on the step letting your heels hang over the edge.
  • Now, raise your heels a few inches upwards from the edge of the step.
  • Hold the position for a few moments and lower your heels back to the starting position.


Well, that’s all for the best rock climbing home workouts. Most climbers assume that you need to train at the wall or the cliff to become rock climbing fit. However, that is not the case. You can try these workout routines and get impressive results as well! If you’re one of those who do not have much time to train at the gym or tend to enjoy your personal space, these workouts are for you.