Horizontal movement for upper body strength

Now that you have mastered climbing up, it’s time to work on the strategies to get across the wall. Traversing across problems helps to mimic outdoor bouldering and climbing, because real-deal rocks don’t have fun colored holds- but it would be pretty awesome if they did! Here are a few tips to get you moving in a horizontal direction to gain the skills you will need to conquer your next adventure!

  1. Be sure to warm up.  Horizontal movement will require different muscle engagement as well as joint movement.  This means that you should be sure to take time to do a few upwards climbs or a bit of cardio to get those joints and muscle groups ready to go.
  2. Traversing can be difficult and more time consuming than upwards movement, so be prepared to start with shorter amounts of time on the wall and build up until you can do a lap around the gym.  Start small and don’t get frustrated!
  3. Unless your gym has a designated traverse problem, don’t worry about following a specific color of holds.  Try different holds too! This will give you the opportunity to learn new skills as you move across the boulder.
  4. Visualize in a new way.  Traversing mimics the problems presented in our door bouldering and climbing, so why not develop your visualization and planning skills?
  5. Move left and right.  Just like running on a track, only traversing on one side will not make you equally strong.  Be sure to move across the rock to both the left and the right to make sure that you are training muscles on both sides of your body.  Don’t get one side heavy or traversing can be counter productive.

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