Climbing Power: Building Power and Coordination for Dynamic Movement

By Emily Herbster, PT, DPT

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To be a well-rounded climber and handle a wide variety of routes, we need to develop power. Power is strength divided by time, or in other words, the explosiveness that comes from using your muscles quickly and maximally, for example, squatting for strength versus jumping for power.

With power in climbing, it’s important to be able to coordinate your movement precisely in order to stick the next hold. These moves often involve some type of single leg push off, single or double arm pull up, and a catch on extended arms.

Below are a few of the exercises I like to use to develop these skills. Remember that the foundation of power is strength, so be sure to include some basic strengthening (i.e. pull-ups, push-ups, back squats, deadlift, etc) in your program and to be warmed up properly before performing these exercises!

Box Jumps

Split Squat Jumps

Double Leg Jump to Campus Board with Double Arm Lock

Single Leg Jump to Campus Board with Opposite Arm Catch

Note: To more efficiently develop and utilize power in your posterior chain, it helps to keep your hips close to the wall.

Please reach out to speak with a physical therapist to assess your power in climbing, develop your strengthening program, and help you reach your goals!

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