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Shortcutting warming up (inside or out)?? (Read 3661 times)

Fiend

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Shortcutting warming up (inside or out)??
November 02, 2023, 01:51:35 pm
Yes, I know, I know, "don't shortcut warming up" ::)

Seriously though it is pretty boring especially at my lowly standard indoors where anything easy enough to be a warm-up is often a boring jug-pull (thankfully generally indoor bouldering walls are getting better at this with more physically easy, all-over-body-movement, thoughtful easier problems, route walls less so). Or outside where depending on the venue there might not be a steady circuit to ease oneself in. Plus over-enthusiasm, lack of discipline, limited skin, etc etc.

So I'm wondering about brainstorming some useful ideas to make warming up briefer, or easier, or more fun.

A few things I do are:

Massage my elbows and fingers in the car en route.

Use a grip strengthener whilst waiting around.

Get on a rowing machine if there is one - seems to be a good all round exercise for semi-climbing-relevant muscles and getting the heart rate up.

Do some hanging shrugs / light, gentle deadhanging to recruit shoulders and fingers

Get on the wall and just play around on the holds and try to get some flowing, relaxed movement going.

Choose non-juggy, but non-tweaky problems to start - slabs, vert, blobs, and problems with all over body usage.

Outside, I find spending a fair amount of time scrambling around looking at boulders, top-outs, brushing holds, feeling positions, shuffling pads etc can help, but it's maybe not as much recruitment as ideal...

Duma

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Cycle to the wall. Obvs only useful if you live an appropriate distance away (1-5 miles? less if hilly I guess) If you live closer replace with walk/jog to wall.

As quick/quicker than driving, and warming up once the blood's flowing is much quicker in my experience.

SA Chris

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Outside, I find spending a fair amount of time scrambling around looking at boulders, top-outs, brushing holds, feeling positions, shuffling pads etc can help, but it's maybe not as much recruitment as ideal...

In a recent podcast (Training Beta?) I think Tom Randall was talking about doing some max hangs at home before heading outside? And said the warmup last for much longer than you would think. I've been doing general warm up (jogging on spot and star jumps) then a short fingerboard session before heading out for short boulder sessions (usually time limited lunchtimes) and I can definitely get to pulling harder quicker.

Dexter

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I found doing some recruitment pulls and tendon glides really help my fingers feel good prior to climbing. Hoopers beta has a pretty good video here on warming up.
https://youtu.be/T_-kvmqCzbs?si=mnkcXFmghJ-BgzB8

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I'm almost loath to give this advice fiend, as I imagine something will go ping and you'll be bemoaning yet another injury, but as Chris says, I honestly find the best warm up these days to be a 15-20 minute fingerboard warm up.

I basically warm as I would for any home fingerboard session.

Some press ups. (like, sets of 5).

Some pulls ups with jump start, sets of 5.

Some light hangs, 5s or less.

Cycling these for a bit.

The progressive loading to max through about 15-20 hangs.

Drive to crag.

Smash project.

I use this now for Dumby sport, and, despite not actually getting my latest project yet, I've always found I'm pretty well recruited and don't get injured.

Personally , too much easy volume, slow, long progressive "warm up" just fatigues my big muscles and doesn't recruit the small ones. I get less tweaks now than ever before when I used to do those warm ups.

Same for indoor sessions, whether it's pottering around on boulders, board sessions, max hangs - the *max hangs* warm up works best for me.

chrisbrooke

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I vary it depending on how far the combined drive/walk-in is going to be.

If it's short I'll do as much as I can at home: start with scapula shrugs; then a 1-5-1 pull-up pyramid interspersed with theraband 'sword-draws' and rotator-extensiony things; then build up light-to-heavy edge lifts.
I'll have put the pads in the car the night before, or in the morning, so I can get to the crag as quickly as possible, maybe while doing some hand-gripper long contractions (I drive an automatic....) and maybe squeezing my nalgene bottle on the walk-in (pretty good for gently activating sloper strength). Then I'll probably do some more edge pulls with the board on a thick rubber band thing when I get there. It's all to save on time and skin really. I don't like warming up on boulders if I can avoid it, just to save on skin.

If I have to do it all at the crag then it's a combo of therabands for shoulders, little edge board for fingers, and some climbing. Plus whatever makes sense for the problem I'm trying (hangstring bridges if there's going to be a lot of heel hooking.... theraband chest pulls if it's a compression thing etc) 

I have also installed a fingerboard over my desk so I can do seated hangs in my office in the hour before I go out sometimes.

None of that is really relevant if I'm just going out for a potter, but pretty essential most times as I'm usually trying to climb limit boulders in my lunch break and need to be as efficient as possible. And at 45 years old it seems to take me at least an hour of warming up before I can pull anywhere near my limit.

James Malloch

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My standard warm up takes about 10-15 mins and is as below. It was given to me by Andy (Biscuit) when i kept getting little niggles. His newer one is a bit more dynamic but Iíve stuck with this as its always done me well.

For every exercise/hang really engage the scapula as much as you can, none of them are passive.

-30s feet on floor hang on jug

-3 x 10 second hang on jug

-2 x 6 slow scapular pull ups

-2 x 10s hang on big edge (i use 25-30mm)

-2 x 30second one arm scapular hang (feet on floor - scapular engaged for the full time)

-2 x 10s hang on big edge (i use 25-30mm)

-6 one arm scapular pull up on each side (use some assistance if needed)

-2 x 10s hang on medium edge (i use 20mmm)

-2 x 6 pullups

-2 x 10s hang on small edge (i use 15mm)


After this i can pull straight onto any route/boulder I want feeling fully recruited and not getting flash pump. We used to do some movement/stretches/lunges between each exercise but I don't bother now.

I needed to adapt some exercises at first as my shoulders weren't strong enough for the one arm things, but i feel way more robust after doing it for a while.

Not the most fun, but its nice and efficient, can be done anywhere (if you have a portable fingerboard) and makes me really ready to climb.

Will Hunt

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In what could be his dumbest thread yet, perennial injury-magnet Fiend seeks the shortcut to self-obliteration.

 :bow:

Making it more fun is fair enough but whatever time you spend doing it right is a good investment. Cope.

Johnny Brown

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Zaff used to do this great thing at the Secret Garden where heíd do only about five minutes of what appeared, from a little distance away, to be gentle tai chi. Closer inspection would reveal some deep breathing and intense staring were also involved, and the heat generated would result in him stripping almost down to his pants before pulling on and performing feats of which, if I were to describe them, Iíd be declared a deluded liar.

Paul B

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Drive to the cave (preferably in a Lexus IS200), get out and immediately pull onto LF.

Fiend

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In what could be his dumbest thread yet, perennial injury-magnet Fiend seeks the shortcut to self-obliteration.

 :bow:

Making it more fun is fair enough but whatever time you spend doing it right is a good investment. Cope.
Thank you for re-iterating what I said in the very first line I wrote.

The point of the thread - and most of the replies - is to find ways to make warming up more fun, more efficient, more speedy but still effective, to try to make it easier to get done, and thus to avoid the self-obliteration that is constantly looming.

The main take so far is stripping down to nearly my underpants, which I can definitely roll with.

mark20

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In what could be his dumbest thread yet, perennial injury-magnet Fiend seeks the shortcut to self-obliteration.

 :bow:

Making it more fun is fair enough but whatever time you spend doing it right is a good investment. Cope.
Thank you for re-iterating what I said in the very first line I wrote.

Fiiiiiggghhhttt !!!  :boxing:
'The Battle of The Bullies'  :popcorn:

Kingy

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From a sport climbing perspective, I'm not convinced that pulling on a fingerboard while stood on the ground or even hanging on a fingerboard is good enough preparation for jumping straight on your project.. I think 1 or 2 pitches of a much easier level is definitely a good idea.

In a recent Power Company podcast Kris Hampton was saying how dumb it was people saying they were saving skin by not doing warm up pitches. His argument was that if you are losing skin on the warmups on bigger holds then you won't stand a much better chance on smaller sharper holds on your project. I don't buy the proposition that warm ups cost skin. If anything, they'll be toughening up your skin so its better for your project.

By only using a fingerboard in your warmup, you're not preparing your posterior chain, abs, shoulders and other bigger muscle groups for the rigours of a hard pitch. Just warming up your forearms and fingers on a f/b won't hit these areas.

Fultonius

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From a sport climbing perspective, I'm not convinced that pulling on a fingerboard while stood on the ground or even hanging on a fingerboard is good enough preparation for jumping straight on your project.. I think 1 or 2 pitches of a much easier level is definitely a good idea.

In a recent Power Company podcast Kris Hampton was saying how dumb it was people saying they were saving skin by not doing warm up pitches. His argument was that if you are losing skin on the warmups on bigger holds then you won't stand a much better chance on smaller sharper holds on your project. I don't buy the proposition that warm ups cost skin. If anything, they'll be toughening up your skin so its better for your project.

By only using a fingerboard in your warmup, you're not preparing your posterior chain, abs, shoulders and other bigger muscle groups for the rigours of a hard pitch. Just warming up your forearms and fingers on a f/b won't hit these areas.

Ah, this ^^  makes me want to add one thing - I usually bolt to bolt my project for the last stage of warm up and first go after that is usually a good one. Also, there are no good warm up routes at Dumby (they're either too easy, too cruxy, tweaky, awkward, time consuming).

I should maybe try some session next spring warming up in different ways to see if it has an effect - maybe my warm up is holding me back!

Steve R

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Timely thread for me as my warm up time (plus standing around chatting) for indoors was getting out of hand recently.  Good to see what others are doing.  More from perspective of board climbing but what seems to work pretty well for me:
-crimp block pulls. start fairly light (roughly 0.5 bodyweight) and progress up the weight with sets of 5/6 reps

Punctuate the above sets with:
-squats (just bodyweight fine for me)
-shoulder shrugs initially then pull ups (provided bis and shoulders feel ok)
-therabanding shoulders, particularly that sword draw one.
-glute bridges

20mins or so of that and I'm able to jump on low-medium difficulty board problems and it normally feels nice.  A handful of mediums later with short rests between and usually/hopefully feel like I'm firing and ready to try hard moves and links. Still takes 30-40mins total to get to that stage though so perhaps not particularly shortcutty!  Shoulders, lats, rhomboids and lower back all feel vulnerable with a 'just climbing' warm up these days, even on relatively easy ground.

moose

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Back in the days when I actually climbed outdoors, rather than just shrugged at the wet pavement outside and went to the bouldering wall, my preferred warm-up always started with a fingerboard session at home.  Then, once at the crag, I'd usually slowly dog my way up my current project - climbing the easy sections, initially pulling past hard moves on draws, and only once I felt properly in the groove trying those hard moves - sometimes repeatedly and on the way down. Usually I found after that, my first go was the best go.  Seemed to be a decent compromise between not risking tendon injury and preserving energy for the RPs - using the warm-up to reacquaint myself with the sequence. 

In these dismal months of mainly indoor bouldering, a progression of hangs on a wall's BM2000, a few pull-ups, and 3 or 4 easy problems (e.g. steep Blues or Blacks if at a Depot) seems to do the same before getting onto the meat (e.g. whittling away at a set of Purples).  Although to be honest, warm-up efficiency is not really an issue for me - if I make my warm-up shorter, what am I really gaining - a little more time on problems with slightly higher numbers attached but no greater significance or memorability.

andy moles

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I usually seem to climb best when I've had a really long slow warm-up, ideally a scenario where it happens partly naturally and doesn't feel like a chore - so normal exploratory days out, with a bit of an uphill walk and just having a go on some good easier things, rather than projecting.

For projecting I find it hard, because I'm impatient. Just recruiting arms and fingers doesn't seem to work for me - I'm sure it helps with preventing injuries, but I don't feel remotely ready to try my hardest after just doing hangs etc. Not that I always stick to it, but I consider a decent amount of pulse raising and general mobility and core recruitment pretty much essential for trying hard.

I've yet to find any shortcuts that work, other than the odd freak day when I do just feel good out of the box (though I can't think of this having happened any time recently).

mrjonathanr

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jwi

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I am not sure that biking, hiking, running etc is a good warm-up for climbing. Sure, a few minutes to help raise the general body temperature might be useful, but beyond that I suspect it is actually detrimental.

Anecdotally, I always find it hard to get going after long approach hikes. And seasoned CťŁse climbers seem to chill for at least 45 min before warming up after the hike.

mrjonathanr

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Is that in response to the 11+ warm up? Itís designed for football. Any comparable climbing warm up needs to climbing specific. Whatís interesting is that they have the numbers to be confident about the injury prevention effects of a warm up that runs through pulse raiser, strength and plyometruc stages of preparation.

duncan

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You're going to get lots of different answers because different people warm-up at different rates and are warming-up for different things. A warm-up for an aging crock before a hard slab will be different to a youth about to jump around a cave. It depends on where you're coming from and where you want to go.

Where you're coming from: what previously injured bits need particular care, how old you are, how much you need to warm-up - like most things exercise this varies a lot between individuals.

I nearly always do side planks and handstands to waken up the shoulders as I don't want to dislocate them ever again. I've got creaky hips and right knee so I'll sometimes add some frog squats and single leg squats. As I get older I need to spend longer warming-up (no shit!) and I often now do 20-30 mins of something before trying hard. None of this applies to a 20-sometihng about to do a board session.

Where you're going to: a good warm-up is not much more complicated than doing a gentler version of the thing you want to do and gradually build up the intensity.

Warming up for The Depot will be different to warming-up for a grit slab. If it's off vertical trad. then some frog squats and high steps are going to be at least as helpful as pull-ups. If it's pumpathon then getting a little pumped is crucial for most people. If youíre monkeying around a cave then getting your fingers recruited is a good idea. Fingerboards might be an idea if your skin is a limiting factor. My tendons usually fail before my skin so Iíve tended to warm-up on rock rather than wood.

Dose counts as much as what you do: 10 minutes of uphill hike would be a good warm-up for Cloggy, unfortunately 90 mins of uphill hike isn't.

Having said itís good to individualise your warm-up, itís also good to develop some kind of routine. It makes it harder to avoid if itís a habit. Warming-up is also mental preparation, so going through the same ritual before going into battle can help put you in a better frame of mind. 

Lots of good ideas above, experiment with them, design your own, then stick to it.

jwi

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Is that in response to the 11+ warm up?

No just a general thought. I liked the FIFA resarch you linked by the way.

Other than that Duncan's suggestions seem good to me.

After all these years, when I get to the crag I am still psyched out of my mind and just want to climb as soon as possible. Doing something that is not climbing to start is always going to be almost impossible for me. I can really only warm up off the wall indoors.

abarro81

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I don't buy the proposition that warm ups cost skin.

This might be true in some areas, but not painful crags like Margalef or Buoux IMO! If I'm warming up for redpointing I'd often just use a fingerboard to get to the point where I can dog the route a bit to warm up for a redpoint go. If I'm onsighting I need to do some actual climbing as well as hang - either by dogging a hard route or doing easier warm ups; trying to just use a fingerboard and then onsight or flash something hard has always ended up in regret for me!

Liamhutch89

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To reduce the time needed to warm up, ensure you are well fueled, well rested, doing regular strength training, but are not over trained.

GazM

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I recently got a skipping rope and have been taking that out with me. A few bursts of skipping get my body temperature up nicely for a chilly bouldering session.
And I enjoy looking like a lunatic.

scragrock

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I recently got a skipping rope and have been taking that out with me. A few bursts of skipping get my body temperature up nicely for a chilly bouldering session.
And I enjoy looking like a lunatic. That is fortunate as i cannot recall a time when you didnt  :P

andy moles

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If someone looks like a lunatic in Easter Ross where there is no one there to see, do they really look like anything?

GazM

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Thank you gentlemen.
I had it out at Higgar Tor a week ago, needed to get the blood flowing before a battle with The File on a gloomy afternoon. My pal Chris was most amused.

Fiend

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I had it out at Higgar Tor a week ago, needed to get the blood flowing before a battle with The File
:o

SA Chris

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If someone looks like a lunatic in Easter Ross where there is no one there to see, do they really look like anything?

Given the general population I've met when I've spent time in the area, I would have thought it was a prerequisite.

GazM

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I had it out at Higgar Tor a week ago, needed to get the blood flowing before a battle with The File
:o
Your UKC comment of HS 4b felt a bit stiff!

GazM

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Just re-read my comment and realised how it read.... superb!

andy moles

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I had it out at Higgar Tor a week ago, needed to get the blood flowing before a battle with The File
:o
Your UKC comment of HS 4b felt a bit stiff!

Climber with relative specific strength in proposed downgrade of route that favours said specific strength shocker.  ;)

Fiend

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Thanks for the replies, some of these are really useful (the ones with general concepts rather than exact schedules):

In a recent podcast (Training Beta?) I think Tom Randall was talking about doing some max hangs at home before heading outside? And said the warmup last for much longer than you would think. I've been doing general warm up (jogging on spot and star jumps) then a short fingerboard session before heading out for short boulder sessions (usually time limited lunchtimes) and I can definitely get to pulling harder quicker.

I'm almost loath to give this advice fiend, as I imagine something will go ping and you'll be bemoaning yet another injury, but as Chris says, I honestly find the best warm up these days to be a 15-20 minute fingerboard warm up.
I basically warm as I would for any home fingerboard session.
Some press ups. (like, sets of 5).
Some pulls ups with jump start, sets of 5.
Some light hangs, 5s or less.
Cycling these for a bit.
The progressive loading to max through about 15-20 hangs.
Drive to crag.
Smash project.
I use this now for Dumby sport, and, despite not actually getting my latest project yet, I've always found I'm pretty well recruited and don't get injured.
Personally , too much easy volume, slow, long progressive "warm up" just fatigues my big muscles and doesn't recruit the small ones. I get less tweaks now than ever before when I used to do those warm ups.
Same for indoor sessions, whether it's pottering around on boulders, board sessions, max hangs - the *max hangs* warm up works best for me.
Cheers, both of these go along with what Process Biscuit has recommended, incorporating some hangs into my warm-up. This seemed counterintuitive to me because I thought hangs were a Serious Strength Exercise but of course I've realised that they can be done incrementally and gently to get recruited - and I have started doing them (along with shoulder shrugs) some of the time. However, see reply to duncan later.


From a sport climbing perspective, I'm not convinced that pulling on a fingerboard while stood on the ground or even hanging on a fingerboard is good enough preparation for jumping straight on your project.. I think 1 or 2 pitches of a much easier level is definitely a good idea.

In a recent Power Company podcast Kris Hampton was saying how dumb it was people saying they were saving skin by not doing warm up pitches. His argument was that if you are losing skin on the warmups on bigger holds then you won't stand a much better chance on smaller sharper holds on your project. I don't buy the proposition that warm ups cost skin. If anything, they'll be toughening up your skin so its better for your project.

By only using a fingerboard in your warmup, you're not preparing your posterior chain, abs, shoulders and other bigger muscle groups for the rigours of a hard pitch. Just warming up your forearms and fingers on a f/b won't hit these areas.
I agree entirely some of that - that an all over body warm-up is needed, especially for me with my weight, gammy legs, and tendency to seize up. I can usually get that at the crag, less so at the wall unless there's a rowing machine. I probably do need to make sure I incorporate the all over body stuff unless somehow I'm feeling perky and springy. I disagree about not saving skin - mine is very soft and sweaty and always tends to feel worst on warming up - warming up on wood has tended to help it feel ready for climbing without feeling trashed already.



I usually seem to climb best when I've had a really long slow warm-up, ideally a scenario where it happens partly naturally and doesn't feel like a chore - so normal exploratory days out, with a bit of an uphill walk and just having a go on some good easier things, rather than projecting.

For projecting I find it hard, because I'm impatient. Just recruiting arms and fingers doesn't seem to work for me - I'm sure it helps with preventing injuries, but I don't feel remotely ready to try my hardest after just doing hangs etc. Not that I always stick to it, but I consider a decent amount of pulse raising and general mobility and core recruitment pretty much essential for trying hard.
I've had plenty of experiences of the former - I remember a lot of days driving over to Ratho and feeling pretty ropey with, I dunno, manflu, indigestion, or the wall arena being -5'c, and thinking "No chance of trying hard today, I'll just punt on a load of F6bs" and then after an hour of punting on F6bs, realising I actually felt really good after that long a warm-up. I guess part of this thread is not about shortcutting warm-ups at all but making warming up for enough to forget that it's boring and do enough of it to have that sort of experience more regularly.



To reduce the time needed to warm up, ensure you are well fueled, well rested, doing regular strength training, but are not over trained.
Good point. I always find it a lot easier to warm-up (quicker, or at a higher level) if I've been doing enough climbing over previous days to feel either semi-recruited or recruitment-ready on the day (I notice this especially on sport climbing trips abroad where my comfortable warm-up grade increases by 1 every day or two). Unfortunately I do find this a bit challenging getting the balance right between keeping semi-recruited and active, and not getting injured, especially when any non-climbing activities to support climbing are almost entirely solitary and hard to motivate myself to do.



I recently got a skipping rope and have been taking that out with me. A few bursts of skipping get my body temperature up nicely for a chilly bouldering session.
And I enjoy looking like a lunatic.
The less said about the "two hours trying to skip and not managing even a single jump" the better  >:(


You're going to get lots of different answers because different people warm-up at different rates and are warming-up for different things. A warm-up for an aging crock before a hard slab will be different to a youth about to jump around a cave. It depends on where you're coming from and where you want to go.

Where you're coming from: what previously injured bits need particular care, how old you are, how much you need to warm-up - like most things exercise this varies a lot between individuals.

Having said itís good to individualise your warm-up, itís also good to develop some kind of routine. It makes it harder to avoid if itís a habit. Warming-up is also mental preparation, so going through the same ritual before going into battle can help put you in a better frame of mind. 

Lots of good ideas above, experiment with them, design your own, then stick to it.
Finally, as always, wisdom from The Professor Of Climbology... And actually this goes back to....hmmm I think what I was chatting about with Biscuit again. Or maybe someone else. Focusing my warm-up specifically on what I personally need to warm-up. Generally my fingers feel okay overall. As does my core. The rest of it, hmmm, elbows always on the verge of injury, shoulders always semi-impinged and creaky, legs if they're not injured, they're probably seized up. So whilst the max hangs are a good idea I do need to make sure I focus on what is most susceptible on my body. Now how to make elbow, shoulders, and knee warm-ups ""fun"".....oh  :whatever:

Actually that's got me thinking, maybe I should take my MP3 player to the wall. 15 mins of tedious warming up elbows, shoulders, and knees (before some hangs and easier climbing), is going to feel a lot easier with raging gabber than without raging gabber  :yes:


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Definitely gabber. Good pulse raiser.

Maybe interspersed with Doomcore for the more mindful exercises?

mrjonathanr

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Actually that's got me thinking, maybe I should take my MP3 player to the wall. 15 mins of tedious warming up elbows, shoulders, and knees (before some hangs and easier climbing), is going to feel a lot easier with raging gabber than without raging gabber  :yes:

Just ask Santa for a really powerful portable Bluetooth speaker. Not only will you enjoy yourself more, youíll have the place to yourself. A winner all round!

SA Chris

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maybe I should take my MP3 player to the wall.

The late '00s want their music system back!

Fiend

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Hahaha yes. Not only that, I buy the MP3s and organise them into folders myself. Barbaric.

Anyway last night at the wall I felt my arms were semi-recruited (so I skipped hangs) but my legs were stiff and heavy as always. So as well as shoulder rehab to warm-up, I did some leg mobility, squats, moving around, and I also warmed elbows up by locking off with feet on. Nothing exciting but trying to take on board some of the stuff I've gleaned.

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Can you even get Bluetooth MP3 players? I found an old iPod the other day and charged it up and I could accurately date to within about a month the last time I played it, based on what was on it.

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I just use my phone with VLC on it as a music player, and Bluetooth earbuds. Will play mp3s or whatever (yes, I too buy mp3s).

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That's what most people default to these days isn't it (although most are streaming). I love my Aftershokz Bone Conducting Headphones though.

 

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