Calisthenics for Climbing

I hope all of you are doing well and staying healthy. If you don’t know me, my name is V. I work at Sports Basement in Santa Rosa, and am also a climbing and strength coach at a local gym here in town. I’ve put together a small list of exercises that can be done at home with or without workout equipment I call it QUARANTRAINING.

These simple exercises are beginner friendly but if you have your own weights, resistance bands, and other exercise tools, please feel free to incorporate them into this routine to make your workout more challenging!

One of my specialties when it comes to training for climbing is injury prevention, therefore I have not included any hangboard training into this sheet. Hangboard advice is typically given individually, after a full assessment of my clients’ overall climbing ability, due to the increased risk of finger pulley injuries. If you do have a hangboard and would like general advice on training programs, feel free to reach out via social media

Warm-up 2 sets:

  • 20 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 seconds “Butt Kicks” (run in place, kick your own butt!)
  • 15 seconds “Hand-Palm openers” (Arms out in front, squeeze tight, let go, squeeze…)
  • Standing Toe Touches - Hold for 10 seconds. Just go as deep as you can, remember to inhaaaaale!! Really feel it stretch your hamstrings! If you can’t touch your toes that’s okay!

Now for the fun stuff. Follow the routine below, and repeat 3 times. Complete each set, with 30 second rest in between for the ultimate BURRRN!!!

  • Pushups x10
    Basics: The classic pushup never fails. If you are unable to do a traditional pushup, try doing them from your knees. These are still highly effective and do wonders for your core and pectoral muscles. A wider arm stance = more pec activation. A narrower arm stance = more tricep activation.

    Extra challenge: If you’re a climber, try doing pushups on your fingertips! These will keep your tendons nice and strong until you get back on the wall! If you feel like they are too strenuous, STOP and resume normal pushup position. (Cat optional.)V doing push ups with her cat.
  • Air Squats x10
    Basics: One of my personal favorites. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Make sure to keep your back straight and toes pointed forward. Squat down until your legs are at/close to a 90 degree angle. This depth will vary depending on individual mobility, that’s okay.

    Extra challenge: If you’re already in the fitness game, look around your living space for something that weighs 15-30 pounds, and turn this into a goblet squat. This could be a kettlebell, a gallon water jug, or a bag full of climbing gear…extra points if you have a big dog that will let you hold it!
  • Alternating Lunges x10 per leg
    Basic: Stand straight. Place your right knee forward and lower your body until it’s at a 90 degree angle. Lift up, and alternate.

    Extra Challenge: Do these with added weight of your choice.
  • Leg Raises: x15 
    Lie on your back, with your legs straight. Keep your hands at your side, palms on the ground, and lift your legs to a full-body 90 degree angle (keep them straight!) Repeat, up and down.

    Extra Challenge: Instead of 15 reps, make it 30 and if you have ankle weights, add them!V doing leg raises.
  • Forearm Plank: 30 seconds 
    Climbing is all about the core. When properly executed, the classic plank is the ultimate isometric workout. Keep your alignment shoulder-width apart (feet and knees.) Elbows just under your shoulders, keep your forearms straight. Make sure to tighten your glutes, and that your hips are not too far to the ground or too elevated . Hips and spine should be in a neutral position. Hold for 30 seconds!

    Extra challenge: Hold your plank until failure! What’s your longest plank time!? Mine is 1:20sec.V doing a plank.
  • Side lunge x10 per leg 
    Basics: A sure way to get your lower half burning the following day! Start with your legs widened, just past your shoulders (side-to-side). “Squat” on each side to a 90 degree angle.

    Extra Challenge: Do these with your added weight of choice.V doing side lunges


Don’t like strict routine? Mix it up a bit! I myself have a tendency to get stuck in binge-watching my favorite shows/movies online. To balance the entertainment, try this:

For every episode or movie watched, do 20 reps of an exercise of your choice. This makes is especially more challenging when your episodes may only be 30 minutes long! Every day can be a new workout of choice. You can increase or decrease the number of reps as you like.
Example: On Wednesday I watched 6 episodes of a show, and did 20 pushups at the end of every episode!. At the end of the day, I did 120 pushups total!

Wrap up your workout with a glass of your favorite beverage (and water too!). You earned it!

V sitting in the grass holding a beer.


  • Desiree Lindemann says...

    Thanks V! This is fabulous!

    On April 02, 2020
  • Petrr says...

    Nice home routine.
    Thank you👌💪

    On March 30, 2020

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