The Potent Combination of Climbing and Yoga

Climbing and yoga are like yin and yang.

You can’t overstate the importance of technique to climbing. As you climb, you use a range of techniques to tackle each problem, and Yoga helps to strengthen technique.

As a climber, Yoga improves all of the areas you need in every climbing move. 

Yoga can help to hone your:

  •  Footwork
  •  Balance
  •  Core strength
  •  Posture
  •  Flexibility
  •  Movement
  •  Strength
  •  Self-awareness

Consistent daily practice of certain poses will lead to an improvement to your time on the wall or rock face. So if you ever experience a plateau in your progress, do Yoga. In time, you should start being able to solve the problems you struggle with on the climbing wall.

Why Is Yoga So Great For Climbers?

stretch holding onto foot with both hands

Yoga is fantastic for general wellbeing and health.  And climbers will find Yoga particularly beneficial. Here’s why.

Yoga Strength Is Ideal For Climbers

man in handstand

The trunk’s core muscles are called into play on every climbing move.

Yoga turns your whole core into a powerhouse if done regularly. Stronger core muscles enable you to:

  ·   Reach higher and hang onto slopes

·   Create core tension and torque for hard powerful movements.

·   Twist, lock and stiffen up on reaches.

·   Trains you to maintain proper posture and stand with your hips close to the wall.

Yoga also develops your pull strength.

Because Yoga makes you stronger, in time you should be able to achieve more challenging moves with power and control.

Yoga Enhances Fascial Gliding For Climbing

When you do Yoga, your muscles experience ‘fascial gliding,’ in other words, it improves your flexibility. Gliding is needed in climbing for free and easy movements. Fascial tissue is the fibrous connective tissue fibres that wrap around organs and skeletal muscle. These fibres contain collagen and help the body to operate in an integrated way.

When you don’t stretch, these fascial layers become dehydrated causing them to not glide together. As a result, you lose flexibility and increase risk of injury. When you do stretch though, you improve fascial gliding. So, you move better and increase flexibility.

When you climb often, you’ll be performing specific repetitive movements. Repetitive movements can cause fascial restriction. The resulting stiffness can lead to reduced flexibility, range of movement, and mobility.

Yoga alleviates this restriction and releases tight spots. Because Yoga increases the hydration of fascia, it prevents tendonitis, muscle tears, and even arthritis and improves your flexibility.

Yoga Improves Climbers’ Flexibility

Flexibility is vital for lengthening and maximising your reach. Fascial gliding improves your range of motion so you can reach further as well as twist, and turn. 

To get the most out of flexibility it’s best to combine with strength training. Yoga is perfect for developing both strength and flexibility. 

Hip mobility is especially vital for climbers to increase the hip’s range of motion.

Yoga Improves Your Balance For Climbing

Your balance helps you to reach, grip, grasp and hold with strength and agility as you climb. Efficient climbers are aware that balance is key to success on the wall or rock face.

Yoga focuses your attention on balance, particularly poses such as one-legged balance poses or tree pose. With balance poses, you’re using your brain more than your body. As a result, you improve concentration, awareness, and coordination for climbing.

Yoga Develops Self-Awareness For Climbing

The increased self-awareness that comes with doing Yoga also transfers to your success on the wall.

Negative self-talk can determine whether you complete a course or not. Yoga, both the physical movements and the breath practices, develops a positive and calm mindset. When you are in this positive state of flow, you tackle obstacles and problems so much easier.

Yoga and meditation create distance between your thoughts and feelings so you can observe situations objectively. So rather think ‘oh no I keep falling off’ instead you think ‘I fell, but that’s ok because I’m learning.’

Yoga Prevents Climbing Injuries

Yoga is ideal for preventing climbing injuries. Ankle injuries are common in climbers, particularly boulderers. One-legged balance poses help to stabilise and strengthen the ankles.

Yoga smooths muscular imbalances in the body. Climbers often have stronger biceps than triceps. Certain moves in Yoga strengthen the muscle groups that are less utilised in climbing. 

Flexibility from Yoga is also great for preventing injury as it helps you to move in unexpected ways.

Improve Your Climbing With Yogafurie

We’ve got a fantastic suite of Hot Yoga classes  and Yoga classes online that will propel your achievements on the rock face. You’ll also get to know other climbers who come to Yogafurie.

So what are you waiting for? Get ready to get stronger, more flexible, and become an even better climber.

If you'd like to learn more about Yogafurie and what we do, then get in touch

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