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15 Rock Climbing Exercises That You Can Do At Home

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Given the recent rise in popularity that rock climbing has seen, it is no wonder why more and more people are looking for excellent ways to train for the sport. Although you can use a gym and fancy equipment to train for rock climbing, you can do many exercises at home with little to no equipment that will do wonders for your climbing. Here are our favorite 15 rock climbing exercises that you can do at home.

Rock Climbing Exercises You Can Do at HomeRock Climbing Exercises You Can Do at Home

There are so many rock climbing exercises that you can do from home! We’ve compiled our list of 15 of the most essential exercises that all require no extra equipment. This means that you can work out from the comfort of your own home and not have to worry about what climbing exercises on the wall look like. Just work out at home and at your own pace!

Warm-Up Exercises

Here are our favorite warm-up exercises that you can do at home:

1. Jumping jacks

Jumping jacks might seem simple, but they are an excellent way to get your heart rate up, your blood pumping, and all of your muscles moving gently to warm up. Doing a jumping jack is simple and takes no equipment.

Stand with your hands at your sides and your feet together, then jump apart. As you do so, bring your arms above your head in a half-circle shape. Jump again and return to the starting position.

2. High knees

Again, a simple workout that can really help warm up your hips and get your body focusing on balance. Workouts like high knees that take no equipment make it easy to do at home.

Simply walk from one wall to another slowly. On each step, raise the non-supporting leg until your thigh is parallel to the ground, hold for a few seconds, and continue.

3. Arm swings

Making sure you warm up your shoulders is essential to minimizing injury while climbing. Arm swings are an excellent, no-equipment way to do so.

To do a standing arm swing, stand in a comfortable position with ample space around you. Swing your arms back and forth from front to back to help increase the movement in your shoulders. Start slowly so you don’t hurt yourself, and increase in speed as your muscles get warmed up.

Strength-Building Exercises at Home

There are tons of options for strength training for rock climbing, but here are some you can do at home:

4. Textbook grip (grip strength)

Although it might seem silly, walking around your house carrying heavy books like you might carry a suitcase can really help strengthen your grip strength. Simply gather a book or two and pinch them in your fingers. Now walk around for a while as you let your arms hang at your side, and your fingers do all the work!

5. Calf raises (ankle strength)

Calf raises can be done using both legs at the same time or each leg individually; it is all up to you! To do a calf raise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart or balance on the leg you want to use. Slowly raise your heel off the ground and then lower it back down. Make sure your movements are slow and controlled, which will give you the best workout.


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6. Squats (leg strength)

Squats, or the action of squatting down, are a great workout for your whole legs. You can do more traditional squats, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart or a little wider and lowering your butt like you were sitting in a chair before returning to standing or any variation. Squats have endless possibilities, so don’t feel boxed in with the standard.

Endurance-Building Exercises at Home

Rock climbing fitness is important, so including some of these awesome endurance-building exercises can really help support your climbing:

7. Jogging

As boring as it might sound to some people, jogging or running really is one of the best ways to help improve your endurance. Endurance isn’t just about improving your muscle tone but also about increasing the efficiency of your lungs. This is super helpful and often overlooked when training for rock climbing.

8. Bike riding or stationary bike

Similar to jogging, riding a bike, either a traditional bike or a stationary bike, is a great way to improve your endurance. This is one of the few pieces of equipment included in any of the exercises on this list, but since most people have some bike, we felt ok including it on this list.

9. Pilates, dance, or other online movement class

There are so many free online courses that are specifically geared toward helping you improve your endurance. If jogging or biking isn’t for you, try finding a great teacher online to lead you through a pilates or dance class that interests you. This is a great way to make working out more fun and engaging!

Flexibility and Mobility Exercises at Home

A lot of rock climbing exercises for beginners work on your flexibility and mobility since they are essential to both your success as a climber and limiting your injuries:

10. Yoga

Whether practicing yoga on your own or looking up a free online class, or attending a class in person, yoga is an excellent way to work on your flexibility and mobility. Even taking a yoga course every week or so will help improve the elasticity of your muscles and help minimize your risk of injuries.


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11. Butterfly stretch

The butterfly stretch, or sitting with the soles of your feet together in front of you and your knees out to your sides, is a super popular stretch, and for a good reason. It can be used after a warm-up to help open up your hips, between climbs to keep your hips limber, or at the end of a workout to help loosen your hips. Overall, the butterfly stretch is a great stretch.


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12. Forearm stretch

By kneeling and placing your hands on the ground with the heels of your hands facing forward and gently rocking forward and backward, you are able to stretch out the tendons and muscles in your wrists that tend to feel sore after climbing. Not only will this help increase your mobility, but it can also help relieve some of the soreness of feeling pumped after a tough climb.

Balance and Coordination Exercises at Home

A good rock climbing workout routine at home will include at least one of these amazing balance and coordination exercises:

13. One-legged balance

To help improve your balance, try this simple exercise. Stand on your right leg with your left leg held off the ground behind you. While balancing, bend forward at the waist and try to touch your left hand to your right foot. Slowly return to standing and then repeat using the other leg and hand combination. The slow and controlled movement will be great for improving your balance!

14. Standing 3-way kicks

Another one-legged balance move! For this one, stand on your right leg and slowly lift your left leg first in front of you, then down, then to the side of you, then down, and finally behind you, and then back down. Repeat this on the other leg to complete the exercise. As with the one-legged balance, this is great for your body control and helps to improve your balance.

15. Heel-to-toe walks

Heel-to-toe walks sound simple, walk a straight line by placing your heel against the toe of the foot that’s already on the ground, but they can be quite a challenge. Not only do they take focus, but they also take immense balance. Take your time and move slowly, using your core and legs to help maintain your balance as you go.


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Wrapping Things Up: 15 Rock Climbing Exercises You Can Do at Home

From simple exercises like jogging or biking to classes like yoga and pilates to simple moves like the butterfly stretch or the one-legged balance, there is a lot you can do to train for rock climbing at home. Using little to no equipment, there are so many options to help improve your strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance. We hope you find some of these exercises helpful in your rock climbing training!

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