Could anyone suggest some good Bouldering specific routines (flexibility/strength/endurance training) that can be done without any equipment during a lunch break (30 mins). I Climb about a V5 and have been doing so for about 5 months. I normally train after climbing using fingerboards for pull ups, two handed and one handed dead hangs but would like to expand my training during lunch-breaks. I have available a large open space but nothing else.

  • 1
    You may find this question useful: fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/11416/… Although your's is arguably distinct because bouldering is more strength / power oriented than sport or traditional climbing. I'm just a sport / trad guy, and a terrible boulderer, so I couldn't give great advice.
    – DavidR
    Jan 24, 2013 at 17:13
  • I don't know enough about bouldering to make anything other than general recommendations, but my advice would be to look at the specific things you need to improve, and find exercises/stretches that will help that and can be done in thirty minutes. For example, if you need to increase shoulder flexibility, I would recommend 10 minutes on a cybex arm machine for a warmup, followed by 20 minutes of shoulder specific stretching, 2-4 times per week. More details in your question can help us to give a better answer. (Although a cybex might be difficult in an open space with nothing else :p)
    – JohnP
    Jan 24, 2013 at 17:53
  • could you do ab work in your lunch break? That's the one real climbing-relevant thing you could do without any equipment, that you may not be doing. P90X abs, V-ups, planks, L-sits, that sort of stuff?
    – DavidR
    Jan 26, 2013 at 23:52
  • @DavidR Yea, was thinking Ab work would be part of the routine, also have a powerball which I think will make up part of it.
    – Manatherin
    Jan 27, 2013 at 15:53
  • Rice bucket training for grip strength? Pushups to strengthen the antagonist (pushing) muscles? Slackline to improve your balance? All of those? Identify a weakness and work on it.
    – VPeric
    Apr 22, 2013 at 13:04

3 Answers 3


For felixibility you can run a 15 repetitions of Sun salutations after your resistance. It will help blood flow and can workas a nice cleansing routine :) It takes only but a sheer 5 minutes if you have master it. You can use the first 5 mins to warm up, 15 minutes resistance, 5 minutes yoga sun salutations, and 5 mins cooldown :)

Also make sure you train your external rotators of your shoulders, and make sure they are well in shape. supinated/neutral chin-ups should also be in your focal point of your workouts.


You've been given some great advice in the comments.

In addition to those, you can perform

  • Pull ups: Those strengthen your shoulders, arms, and back muscles, muscles you really need for climbing
  • Bar hanging: This is like a chin up, the main difference being that instead of coming down like a chin up, you stay in the upward position for as long as you can. This beastly exercise works every part of your core, as well as your arms. The more stable your arms and core are, the easier the climbing will be for you.
  • Leg up or leg hanging: This improves the strength of your thighs and legs.
  • Burpee (yes, including the jump): The squats and plank develop your core, the jumping increases your agility and flexibility.

Include these for a month and determine if there's an improvement in your strength, endurance, and performance.

Good luck.


Part 1:

  • do sets of 1, 2, 3, 4 pullups on an edge - e.g., 15 mm. When you can do this with ease, graduate to 2x5 pullups on that edge. Then when you can do that easily, go down in edge size and repeat
  • in breaks between pullup sets, do sets of pushups - maybe 10 a set, more depending on your ability. When you can get to 15 or 20 or so, try doing harder pushups - diamond, or archer, or what have you.
  • Try also incorporating archers on rings or typewriters on a pullup bar. Go for a total sum amt, split between as many sets as you need, but try not to pick a number so high it's significantly out of sync with the other parts of the workout.
  • Do mobility - band angels are a really good stretch, though do slowly. Try to do stretches that relax the muscles used above.

Part 2:

  • do assisted one arm hangs on a hangboard - maybe 20 mm, but have the other arm using a resistance band to help you out. Do ~5 sets of ~7 seconds on, ~3 seconds off 3x.
  • do squats - up to 15, then graduate to harder versions. Eventually maybe hold squatting positions for up to 60 seconds before graduating.
  • Do mobility - different mobility here of your choice.

Part 3:

  • do something related to pinch strength or the muscle opposing pinch strength. Try to balance your choices in each workout so that you don't get imbalanced - that leads to injury. Pinch blocks with weight attached are a lot of fun to work with - pushing the weight you can pinch up higher is very motivating.
  • abs - hollow bodies, side abs, and suitcases. Ex, you might start with holding a knees-bent hollow body, then do side plank on each side, then suitcases. Later you might move to hollow body rocks, side plank dips, v-ups.
  • related mobility

You can split up these parts on different days if necessary - maybe part 1 is monday and thursday, part 2 is tuesday and friday, part 3 is wednesday and saturday, and sunday is rest.

Equipment required for part 1 - hangboard (and pullup bar if you do optional end exercise)

Equipment required for part 2 - hangboard

Equipment required for part 3 - pinch blocks with weights and a manner of connecting them

All this being said, the truly best way to train for climbing is by climbing. These can help improve your general strength. Generally, most of your exercises should be body weight exercises.

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