The biggest mistake climbers make while performing core workouts is that they only focus on strengthening their abs.
Well, sorry to break it to you! But the core is much more than just your abs. Core strength for climbers is just as important as grip strengthening and improving coordination and balance. (More on this later!)
This article will cover some basics to help you understand the importance of core strength for climbers! Some excellent core strengthening exercises are waiting for you at the end. Keep reading!
Here's what you'll learn.
- What Are Core Muscles?
- The Anatomy of Core Muscles
- Why Is Core Strength Important For Climbers?
- 10 Exercises to Help Improve Core Strength for Climbers
- 5 At-Home Core Strengthening Exercises For Climbers:
- Side Plank
- Back Extension
- Flutter Kicks
- Windshield Wiper
- Gym Exercises for Gym Lovers!
- Hanging Leg Raise
- Hanging Windshield Wiper
- The L Hang
- Alternating Kettlebell Swing
- Medicine Ball Slam
- Why is Supmogo the Best Choice for Core Strengthening?
What Are Core Muscles?
This is what the core actually is,
"Your core muscles encompass the superficial, deeper abdominal and back muscles covering your spine. These muscles are an interconnected system of the abdominal, diaphragm, pelvic, back, and glutes."
These muscles keep your organs in place, stabilize your posture, shield your spine, and protect you against back injuries. Moreover, they also increase flexibility and improve balance.
The Anatomy of the Core Muscles:
According to the American Council of Exercise, the primary core muscles are;
- Rectus Abdominis
- Erector Spinae
- Internal and External Obliques
- Transverse Abdominis
Other muscles involved in climbing movements are;
- Quadratus Lumborum
- Pelvic Floor Muscles
A few more muscles can be part of your core strengthening, like your glutes, Latissimus Dorsi, and Trapezius. However, the Rectus Abdominis and Erector Spinae are the major trunk muscles involved in powerful movements.
Why Is Core Strength Important For Climbers?
As a climber, what do you think is the most important for you? Your grip strength or your core strength?
Can't decide? Because both are equally important. While you are hanging up there, your grip strength gives you the power to keep holding on. While your core helps you move up steadily and stabilize during the overhangs.
Core strengthening for climbers is significant for maintaining body tension. According to research, core stabilization is essential for preventing lower extremity injuries. Hence, a weak core is more prone to injuries and lower back pain. 
Considering how vital core strength is for climbing, why not train it properly to get those gains?
We have gathered 10 fantastic core workouts for climbers that you must do!
The following exercises are specially curated for people of all fitness levels. You can increase or decrease the intensity of these core workouts for climbing based on your fitness level.
10 Exercises to Help Improve Core Strength for Climbers
These core exercises for climbing are perfect for those looking to get those gains within the comfort of their home. Let's get started!
5 At Home Core Strengthening Exercises For Climbers:
How to Perform?
- Get on your knees and lay your forearms flat on the ground with your elbows aligned below your shoulders.
- Push your feet back and straighten up your toes.
- Keep your body straight, and ensure there is no dip and hump in your body.
- Now take deep breaths steadily and squeeze your abs and tighten your glutes.
- The weight of your body should be mainly on your forearms and toes.
- The focus of your planks should be on squeezing your abs, clenching your glutes, and engaging your core.
For beginners, perform 3-4 sets while holding 10-30 seconds with a 30-40 second rest. If you have more experience, then perform 3-4 sets while holding for 40-60 seconds with a 20-30 second rest.
According to Harvard Health, you can perform planks every single day. While experts recommend holding planks up to 10-30 seconds, you can easily go up to a minute per plank if you want to increase your gains.
According to the Guinness World Records, Daniel Scali has performed the longest abdominal plank for up to 9 hours 30 minutes and 1 second. Isn't that crazy?
Strengthen the abdominals and glutes; improve the core’s stability. Planks can also improve your mobility, support heart health, and improve posture.
2. Side Plank:
- Lie on your right or left side and keep your legs straight, parallel to the ground, and on top of each other.
- Using your forearm, raise your body to align with your hips so that all the pressure lies on your forearm and feet.
- Your other arm should be in a triangle holding your waist, or you can keep it straight in the air parallel to your arm on the ground.
- Keep breathing steadily, stay in the air, and keep your core tight, and your thighs and hips actively engaged.
- Stay in this position for the specified set time and then switch sides repeating the hold duration.
For beginners, complete 3-4 sets while holding for 10-30 seconds on each side with a 30-40 second rest. If you have more experience, then complete 3-4 sets while holding for 40-60 seconds on each side with a 20-30 second rest.
Strengthen and stabilize your core, especially the Obliques and the peripheral muscles, by engaging them with your abdominals. It also improves balance and coordination, which is crucial for climbing.
3. Back Extension:
How to Perform?
- Lie flat on the ground or mat with your stomach touching the ground.
- Your legs should be extended out behind you and your arms can either be extended out in front of you or with your hands holding the back of your head.
- Arch your back and slowly lift your chest for 5 to 10 seconds.
- Keep your lower body down as your upper body raises off the ground.
- Slowly lower your chest back down then repeat the motion for your desired reps.
You can start this exercise by performing 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions. Increase sets and reps as you get more advanced. You can also add weight to your hands to increase resistance.
Unfortunately, climbers often suffer from a hunched back or other back-related issues due to muscle tightness especially resulting from the chest. Back extensions are excellent for opening up your chest and engaging your core while strengthening your lower back and hamstrings. It will also help prevent back injuries.
4. Flutter Kicks
How to Perform?
- Lie on your back keeping your spine neutral then push your lower back into the floor to engage your core. You can keep your hands under your glutes to help with stabilization.
- Keep your legs together and extended with your toes pointing to the front.
- Now lift your legs off the floor approximately 3-6 inches and start the flutter kicks by alternating legs moving up and down.
- Make sure to maintain a neutral spine with your core engaged throughout the set.
You can repeat this motion on a time base for around 30-60 seconds for 2-3 sets or you can perform 2-3 sets of 10-20 reps on each side.
Helps improve posture, increase balance and stability, helps strengthen your legs and core for an easy climb.
5. Windshield Wipers:
- Lie flat on the floor with your legs extended and arms straight on the sides.
- Now slowly bend your legs and bring them up to your torso.
- Keep your core tight and rotate your legs and hips in a windshield wiper motion from one end to the other.
Perform this exercise in 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps per side while resting for 20-30 seconds between each set. You can always increase or decrease the sets and reps based on your fitness level.
Improves core muscle strength and endurance and activates your hip flexor muscles. Toughen the obliques most intensely while also highly engaging your abs, lower back, and leg muscles get activated as well.
The best thing about this exercise is that you can also perform it in the gym with a pull-up bar to increase the intensity of the training and maximize the gains. (Check out the next section!)
Gym Exercises for Gym Lovers!
For all gym lovers, we've got some great exercises to strengthen your core, back, and glutes! These core exercises are best for climbing to increase your endurance, stabilize the core, and improve balance and coordination.
1. Hanging Leg Raise
- Take a deep breath and jump to grab the pull-up bar.
- Grab the bar with an overhand grip and completely straighten your legs down.
- Start slowly by tilting your pelvis and keeping your core and hip flexors engaged.
- Start raising your legs without bending your knees and bring them up to a level that feels challenging yet is not too much for your body.
- The more advanced you get, the higher you’ll be able to raise your legs so use the height you raise to as a point of improvement.
Start by performing this exercise in 2-3 sets with 6-10 reps. Maintaining your form and not going overboard with this exercise is essential. Don't swing back and forth, and maintain a stiff posture while hanging. You can increase sets and reps as you get more experienced.
Benefits: Toughens the entire core, especially strengthening the abs and hip flexors improving stabilization.
2. Hanging Windshield Wiper
This exercise is an amalgamation of the hanging leg raises and the windshield wiper exercise mentioned in the at-home exercises section.
- Hang on the pull-up bar just as you usually would by keeping your core, abdominals, and hip flexors tight.
- Instead of just bringing your legs up and then back down, you keep your legs up and rotate your torso side to side, highly engaging your obliques.
- Again, do not swing back and forth, instead, maintain a steady posture and rotate your legs in a windshield wiper motion.
Go for 2-3 sets of 6-10 reps total. This is a challenging exercise so start slow, you can even bend your knees to make the move easier in the beginning. You must maintain your form, then you can work to increase sets and reps over time.
Builds core strength and stability, particularly the rectus abdominis and obliques along with the hip flexors. By keeping working on toughening up these muscles, it will help you stay much more secure while climbing.
3. The L Hang
- As the above exercise, grab the pull-up bar with an overhand grip.
- Keep your legs straight and slowly bring them up to an L shape at a 90-degree angle.
- Keep your core engaged and keep a stiff position.
- Hold for the desired time and then rest.
If you are a beginner, start with a 10-30 second hold with 30-40 second rest. The more you train, you can increase the hold for up to 30-60 seconds with 20-30 seconds of rest.
The L Hang is yet another core strengthening exercise that is a variation of the hanging leg raises. So apparently, you can do a lot with a pull-up bar for your core!
4. Alternating Kettlebell Swing
- Grab your kettlebell with your right hand and stand with your feet width apart.
- Now squat while taking a deep breath and bring the dumbbell between your legs.
- Now explode up with your hips bringing the kettlebell to your chest height.
- Stay controlled and lower back down to the squatted starting position then switch sides to perform the same activity from your left hand.
- Make sure to maintain your posture and keep your spine neutral as you explode up and back down.
Do 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps on each side. You can also perform this exercise time based on doing 3-4 sets of 30-60 seconds.
According to research, one-arm kettlebell swings resulted in greater neuromuscular activity for the opposite side of the erector spinae and the ipsilateral side of the rectus abdominis.
5. Medicine Ball Slam
- Grab the medicine ball and stand slightly knees bent with your legs apart.
- Hold the ball with both of your hands above your head with your arms fully extended.
- Engage your core and lightly bend forward.
- Deep inhale and then exhale as you slam the ball against the floor in front of you.
- Pick the ball back up or catch the ball as soon as it comes back up and repeat the slamming motion.
Perform 2-4 sets of 6-10 reps; you can customize your exercise or ask your trainer to guide you about your perfect slam pace. This exercise can be done for timed-based sets as well doing 30-60 seconds.
Medicine ball slams are an amazing upper body exercise that strengthens the core, back, and even engages the legs while improving overall athletic performance. These can be performed as a high-intensity exercise to take your core workout for climbing to a whole new extreme.
Why Is SUPMOGO The Best Choice For Core Strengthening For Climbers?
Let's take the wrap off the surprise!
SUPMOGO Recovery Flex System Belt--it can take your core strengthening journey to the next level through the Advanced Targeting Technology!
SUPMOGO features water-activated EMS technology for relief, healing, and strengthening. The belt associates with energy waves that stimulate your body's natural magnetic field and promote repairing and rebuilding. Pair your SUPMOGO belt with your exercise and day-to-day routine to maximize your results.
Even the research approves that Neuromuscular electric stimulation can do wonders in improving muscular strength and endurance of the abdominal region. 
Whether preparing to climb or recovering from a core workout for climbers, the SUPMOGO belt can enhance your workout results and increase recovery time as well as offer injury rehabilitation.
You may be interested to learn - What Is Vertebrogenic Low Back Pain? | Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Get your hands on your SUPMOGO Recovery Flex System Belt today and increase your core strength while climbing!
 Huxel Bliven, K. C., & Anderson, B. E. (2013). Core stability training for injury prevention. Sports health, 5(6), 514-522.
 Porcari, J. P., Miller, J., Cornwell, K., Foster, C., Gibson, M., McLean, K., & Kernozek, T. (2005). The effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation training on abdominal strength, endurance, and selected anthropometric measures. Journal of sports science & medicine, 4(1), 66.