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Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks (Read 3219 times)

Fultonius

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Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 12, 2022, 07:52:32 am
I jumped on an old nemesis at Dumby last night - Omerta as I was climbing with a guy who has actually done it, via the heel hook method which I didn't try/wasn't aware of previously.

It's flagged up two things that I kind of knew, but are now more starkly in focus - despite being quite flexible and actually being able to get my heel up to my hand, my right hamstring is weak from my knee surgery many years ago. I struggle to actually "udge up" on a heel-hook.

Also, I have weak shoulders. I've always been a bit crap a classic shoulder presses etc.

So, I'm thinking of adding some basic supplementary exercises I can do in the gym/home to address these.

Heel Hooks

Anything better than hamstring curls? Some kind of bridges?

Shoulder Press

It's very much a "elevator opening" move, leaning far left to a vertical flat edge, using lots of side core / body tension with the heel out right. I'll try to grab a video at some point.

I can't quite picture a "standard" exercise that's good for this. I could maybe try to create a similar problem on the board? Any ideas.

SA Chris

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#1 Re: Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 12, 2022, 08:41:44 am
Dumbbell rows are what I use often use for shoulder strength. Seems to target  the traps which i think are important for that kind of move.

Wellsy

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#2 Re: Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 12, 2022, 08:59:27 am
That sounds like a shouldery move with lots of external rotation of the shoulders as they move out and back to lock the tension

Overhead strict pressing externally rotates the shoulders so could be appropriate. Rows also do that as long as you get the form right and really get your elbows back. I think those are good antagonist exercises to all the internally rotating shoulder work we do as climbers as well generally!

Fultonius

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#3 Re: Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 12, 2022, 09:02:20 am
Bent over?

I was wondering if lateral cable extensions would work? Hard to describe, but I'm picturing crossing my left arm across the right (arm horizontal) and doing a cable pull leftwards until full extension. I guess it's the end range that's important, so maybe holding for a few seconds at the end?

Wellsy

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#4 Re: Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 12, 2022, 09:38:02 am
Bent over rows with full concentric contraction all the way up so the bar is against your chest, shoulders externally rotated, hold for a second, down again. And I'd go for like, heavy weights, low reps. I dunno what that would be for you but 3 reps where you could do a 4th if you desperately wanted but probably not a 5th to save your life would be good.

I guess it depends whether you want to do left arm cable flies to get better at this one move, or get generically stronger shoulders, in which case bench, strict, bent over rows etc would be my cautious suggestion. But lateral cable work probably would do it. I'm just generally a believer in barbell compound movements.

Fultonius

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#5 Re: Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 12, 2022, 09:40:35 am
Bent over rows with full concentric contraction all the way up so the bar is against your chest, shoulders externally rotated, hold for a second, down again. And I'd go for like, heavy weights, low reps. I dunno what that would be for you but 3 reps where you could do a 4th if you desperately wanted but probably not a 5th to save your life would be good.

I guess it depends whether you want to do left arm cable flies to get better at this one move, or get generically stronger shoulders, in which case bench, strict, bent over rows etc would be my cautious suggestion. But lateral cable work probably would do it. I'm just generally a believer in barbell compound movements.

Cheers. Yeah, long-term general shoulder health and strength would be the ultimate goal.

Wellsy

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#6 Re: Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 12, 2022, 09:42:31 am
If that's the case then probably some general low reps high weight pressing/rowing to get the shoulders better at internal/external rotation and stability would probably be right. Also its fun, imo.

For heel hooks/hamstrings the typically recommended thing is the Romanian Deadlift, incidentally. Whether that is the best I dunno. It definitely targets the hammies though.

Wellsy

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#7 Re: Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 12, 2022, 09:51:57 am
I would say that in my opinion, the strict press is the best external shoulder rotation exercise cos it will actually give you greater range of motion in your shoulders, it's by nature a very controlled movement (less likely to get injured), and it is useful at lower weights so you don't need to have access to loads of equipment.

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#8 Re: Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 12, 2022, 10:30:50 am
I also have weak shoulders and found Rings exercises to be the quickest for building strength & stability. I usually do 5x5 inverted pull ups, 5x5 inverted rows, and 4x30 mountain climbers for core, with 90 seconds rest. Doing the movements slower if needed to increase difficulty. When I was doing this alternating with a push session 3-4 times a week I went from 7c to 8a route in 6 weeks. I'm a huge fan of Rings.

https://freshfitmerch.com/gymnastic-ring-back-exercise/

Can't help with the heel hooks sorry

Liamhutch89

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#9 Re: Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 12, 2022, 10:42:05 am
Shoulder strength and lockoffs are my biggest strengths in climbing, and I think that's more from the training I've done than genetic. Wellsy's recommendation to do the basic strength exercises such as presses and rows is pretty good. Plenty of people have got strong from the basics, not so much from cable lateral raises - there's just not enough load (not saying they can't be useful as a supplementary exercise in some cases).  For deep locks I'd concentrate more on weighted pullups than rows though, and they need to be chest to bar as it's that end range strength you need.

As a secondary exercise, and one I feel gets my deep lock off strength to peak more than anything else is doing slow reps back and forth through the transition stage of a muscle up, sacking off the pullup and the dip. It really works the retraction of the shoulders and also a bit of tricep as you pull through which is exactly what I feel on a deep lock on rock. Do them assisted or weighted as necessary.

For heelhooks the hamstring are important but so are glutes and hip adductors. Deadlifts are a good exercise, but for me the recovery toll is massive and they don't hit the glutes very well. Nordic curls are my favourite for the glutes and hamstrings but are very difficult. Single leg glute ham raises are another good exercise and a bit easier (but you can add weight to increase intensity).

For hip adductors I think horse stance is great. Get them done really wide and deep and build some strength at the end of your range since you have good flexibility. They may even increase your side split flexibility further by themselves, they've been good for me.



Wellsy

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#10 Re: Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 12, 2022, 11:00:10 am
I absolutely think that weighted pullups and lockoffs are great for shoulder strength, and I'm a big fan of rings too. I think that it's likely Fultonius already does plenty of hard pulling though so I was more coming at from the point of view of if you are a climber with weak shoulders probably it's pressing rather than pulling, and external rather than internal, work that you probably need to do. And almost certainly the best way is nice big barbell compounds

Regarding muscle ups and especially the transition point: I absolutely agree. Although I think if you can statically do the turnover in a muscle up for reps on, say, the rings? You don't don't weak shoulders. You have strong shoulders by any standards. I think that if one can't do one then working towards it is almost certainly a great idea though. I can do a muscle up on rings... dynamically, and just. I'm a way away from a static one.

Liamhutch89

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#11 Re: Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 12, 2022, 11:26:37 am
Don't get me wrong, I agree that overhead pressing is great, particularly if you have weak shoulders. This type of strength is really useful on compression moves where your arms are overhead, but it's probably not so important for the moves described.

I can strict overhead press about my bodyweight and the closest ive ever been to needing all my pressing strength was on palmed and dangerous at froggatt, which is highly unusual! (Failed on one move due to thumb strength I think!). I don't feel the same muscles being of much benefit for deep lock offs.

Also, someone might be strong at pullups going chin to bar, but if they've never trained the end range then they're unlikely to be strong there.

In terms of the static  muscle up thing, I could feel a big difference in my climbing going from doing around 5 reps at bodyweight to 5 reps +20kg, so I think it's quite important, at least for my style of climbing. But I do try to turn everything into a gaston!


Fultonious - also, set problems like this one that I set on Bradders board (and still failed to do myself): https://www.instagram.com/p/CU9vn_Kjrrt/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

duncan

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#12 Re: Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 12, 2022, 11:35:22 am
Heel hooks are quite technical so I suggest exercises should to be as specific as you can make them, perhaps after a short period of a more general conditioning style like hamstring curls. Make a habit of practicing heel hooking when you're bouldering. If you've got a one-sided weakness, such as after surgery, then a one-leg-at-a-time exercise might be a better idea than symmetrical exercises where you can compensate with the opposite leg to a degree. You're training strength and skill here so short duration, low reps., and high loads are the order of the day.

-One leg hamstring curls

-One leg glutes bridges, dig your heel in and lift your butt; gradually increase starting knee angle from 90 degree towards a nearly straight knee as you get stronger.



- Hamstring pulls. Can't find a decent illustration for this but assume the position in the video and pull your body hard and fast towards your right foot, digging your right heel into the floor, sliding on your back.



 

« Last Edit: April 12, 2022, 11:52:44 am by duncan »

teestub

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#13 Re: Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 12, 2022, 01:46:17 pm
To combine a couple of the above posts, one leg Romanian Deadlift is a good one, as it works in some balance and core stabilisation, and you only need relatively light weights (I use kettlebells) rather than a barbell.

I really like glute bridges too and think they are a great pre crag warm up

sdm

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#14 Re: Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 12, 2022, 06:48:54 pm
Heel hooks are quite technical so I suggest exercises should to be as specific as you can make them, perhaps after a short period of a more general conditioning style like hamstring curls. Make a habit of practicing heel hooking when you're bouldering.

Completely agree re:specificity and technique.

Heel hooking is by far my biggest strength in climbing. I'm always using heels that other people don't have the mobility for or can't get anything out of (like a punter version of Ned).

But I'm rubbish at a horse squat, struggle with anything like a bridge position, and couldn't even do a bodyweight Romanian deadlift with passable form.

Conclusion: these exercises are so far removed from heel hooking that I would question whether they have any relevance for most climbers.

I'm sure they'll be useful for general conditioning and may have some minor tangential benefit to heel hooking but I don't think they're a good use of training time if improved heel hooking is the goal.

Sorry Fultonius, this doesn't help much with what you should be focusing on but maybe it'll help avoid some wasted effort.

Liamhutch89

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#15 Re: Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 12, 2022, 10:01:40 pm
Interesting. That's unlike shouldery moves where if you don't have the burl it's just not going to work. True shouldery moves where there's no other option that is.

teestub

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#16 Re: Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 13, 2022, 09:35:02 am
Completely agree re:specificity and technique.

But I'm rubbish at a horse squat, struggle with anything like a bridge position, and couldn't even do a bodyweight Romanian deadlift with passable form.

Conclusion: these exercises are so far removed from heel hooking that I would question whether they have any relevance for most climbers.


I assume you mean with bodyweight on the bar, rather than just being able to lean over with a straight legs and back! Also just to confirm, the glute bridges being discussed are with shoulders on the floor, not any yoga style upside down crab action.

MischaHY

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#17 Re: Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 13, 2022, 10:12:48 am
I think if you have a specific injury that needs rehab then general exercises are useful but then beyond this point I prefer to target specific movements by setting them at different intensities on my board and steadily ramping it up. This has been far more effective than the more general conditioning I've done over the years as it contains the benefits of structured exercises i.e. graded increase in intensity, repetitive loading at an appropriate workload but also incorporates a very high level of specificity. Not sure if this is an option for you but certainly worth prioritising IMO if possible.

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#18 Re: Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 13, 2022, 10:17:21 am
Incidentally for anyone who has repetitive issues with knee/hamstring injury from hooking, my experience is that this stems from not engaging the leg muscles properly during the hook and instead relying on the friction of the heel and hanging on a fairly relaxed leg - this easily leads to over extension and ligament/muscle damage. I used to have a 'pop' style injury in the knee area about twice a year before realising the issue around a year ago - since I started consciously engaging my leg muscles whilst hooking the issue has never cropped up again and I've got substantially better at hooking.

duncan

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#19 Re: Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 13, 2022, 11:32:10 am
Heel hooks are quite technical so I suggest exercises should to be as specific as you can make them, perhaps after a short period of a more general conditioning style like hamstring curls. Make a habit of practicing heel hooking when you're bouldering.

Completely agree re:specificity and technique.

Heel hooking is by far my biggest strength in climbing. I'm always using heels that other people don't have the mobility for or can't get anything out of (like a punter version of Ned).

But I'm rubbish at a horse squat, struggle with anything like a bridge position, and couldn't even do a bodyweight Romanian deadlift with passable form.

Conclusion: these exercises are so far removed from heel hooking that I would question whether they have any relevance for most climbers.


I think if you have a specific injury that needs rehab then general exercises are useful but then beyond this point I prefer to target specific movements by setting them at different intensities on my board and steadily ramping it up. This has been far more effective than the more general conditioning I've done over the years as it contains the benefits of structured exercises i.e. graded increase in intensity, repetitive loading at an appropriate workload but also incorporates a very high level of specificity. Not sure if this is an option for you but certainly worth prioritising IMO if possible.


Fultonius had a PCL reconstruction 10(?) years ago. I remember as I had the same injury at more-or-less the same time but a bit less serious as I was able to rehab. it. Heel hooking was the last thing that troubled me even when I could drop-knee or jump off from a reasonable hight. He still feels weak so, in his case, there might be potential benefit of some targeted hamstrings training. Similarly, if you're prone to leg injuries, leg strength work will make you more resilient even if it doesn't improve performance directly.

As you both say, I doubt if non-specific hamstring exercises will improve performance for most people. If your only leg exercise is walking from Vauxhall station to the Vauxwall they might help. If you're cycling there on your fixie you're probably covered. Ned Feehally runs a bit and carries piles of mats cross country which is probably more than enough conditioning for him.

Fultonius

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#20 Re: Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 13, 2022, 06:22:13 pm
Thanks all, really good stuff to get cracking with!

jwi

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#21 Re: Shoulder Presses and Heel Hooks
April 13, 2022, 06:45:47 pm
My heel hooking skills improved a little bit on the margin from unspecific strength work. From a really low level, mind.

 

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