How to Train for a Stronger Core

Everyone wants to work on their core and get stronger abs. But what function does this have for climbing? How much do we need to do? I will briefly explain these in today's article and you can get further details from the video included. Why Core & Abs? What does core and abs have to do with climbing?
The core is exactly what it implies, the center of your body. Energy has to transfer through this section and out to your limbs. For good overall movement, energy is initiated and held in the core. For climbing, this is so imperative, especially when making high tension moves, dynamic moves, and moves that require accuracy.
One of the best ways to develop core strength is to incorporate full body exercises that are difficult, require time under tension, and good form. Developing core strength isn't about doing a ton of crunches. You need to link your limbs to your torso, this is how we develop "core strength." There are different types of core tension; static, static going into dynamic, and dynamic going back into static tension. This mimics what we need for climbing.  Below are just a few exercises that you can start doing to get a stronger core and get those six pack abs that are functional.
Disclaimer: just a reminder, the best way to practice core strength for climbing is to do specific climbing moves while being intentional about your movement. The exercises I give here are ways to train your core for gross athletic movements.
  • Progression into a Front Lever
  • Ice Cream Maker
  • Beast Crawl
  • Jack Knife
  • Superman
If you'd like more awesome full body, body weight exercise for better movements, check out  the Simple Strength book. It's a killer resource for anyone looking to train for outdoor sports.

Simple Strength: The Outdoor Athlete's Guide to Better Movement


Mercedes Pollmeier Bio Image

Mercedes Pollmeier is a Strength and Conditioning Coach based out of Seattle, Washington. Her core training philosophies focus on prioritizing movement and learning patience with oneself to perform at full potential. Mercedes received her Masters in Human Movement and first started working with climbers while in Colorado in 2010. Currently she runs specialized performance programs specifically designed for climbers and alpinists in Seattle. She also trains an array of outdoor athletes online, helping them reach their goals with accountability and efficiency.

Get more training tips and advice on her website

You can reach Mercedes at for help with your training questions.


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