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Pre-Season Stoke – Training for Ice Climbing

Stoke is High for Upcoming Ice Climbing Season
October 20, 2015
Pre-Season Stoke – Training for Ice Climbing
November 5, 2015

Pre-Season Stoke Series: Ideas to enhance your training sessions for the upcoming ice climbing season.

There are many parts to the training puzzle. We hope you are eager to get tuned up for ice climbing season. We suggest connecting with a professional trainer or athlete to get a specific training schedule that is appropriate for your fitness level and climbing goals. In addition, do your homework and read-up on how to effectively train for ice climbing. There are many great resources out there to help you. This training series is intended to give you ideas to compliment your training sessions. Pre-Season Training is essential to get you stoked for ice climbing.

Many people over look their lower body when thinking about working-out for ice climbing. In reality, your calves can get an amazing pump when ice climbing. So, be sure to intertwine calf exercises and other leg exercises into your routine training. Having strong calves that are familiar with repetitive movement that mimics ice climbing will compliment your upper body strength & overall climbing efficiency. Our legs (and abs) have much bigger muscles than our arms, so let’s be sure to use them wisely when we ice climb.

Here are a few ideas for calf exercises in the gym. Be sure to properly warm up (jump rope, jog, cycle, etc.) and stretch your calves pre/post calf work-outs. When doing these focus on quality repetition, not on maxing out the weight, if weight is involved. The purpose here is to create muscle memory and endurance through repetition. You may decide to do a circuit session that integrates these calf exercises.

Weighted Calf Raises (seated). Make sure to maintain good posture while doing this exercise. Use a weight that allows you to do quality repetitions. If you do not have the machine to do this exercise you can do this with the weight bar across the top of your quads in a sitting position and a block under the balls of your feet to create the downward stretch. Make sure to breath with the movement. Inhale down, exhale up.

Weighted Calf Raises








Calf Raises (standing). Go for quality movement and repetition. Pause at the top and at the bottom. You may decide to do this as a weighted calf raise exercise. Simply choose dumb-bells that are an appropriate weight for you to do quality repetitions, hold one in each hand with a straight arm as you do the calf raises. You can isolate each leg by doing one leg at a time. Casually bend one leg at the knee and put your weight on the standing leg, then keep good, balanced posture and do the calf raise.

Calf Raises








Assisted Calf Raises. This exercise promotes quality repetition and provides a solid structure to help you maintain balance & posture. This can be done single legged too. The assist can either be above you or in front of you at about waist height. Single Leg Assisted Calf Raises.

Assisted Calf Raises










Other ideas to improve your calf strength & endurance: run stairs, jump rope.

Happy Training! Get stoked to fire-up ice climbing!

Stay tuned for more pre-season stoke training tips. Thanks!

Disclaimer: SJMG recommends individuals to consult professional trainers & athletes for an appropriate training program. These training tips are intended to help give you ideas to enhance your training sessions.