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Old 08-15-2010, 04:40 PM   #1
sean richard
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Default exercises to help build up knees etc for climbing?

I just got done climbing Mt Washington yesterday and my first year of crossfit type training paid off but there were some weaknesses that I need help with. My feet and upper back were fine but near the end of the 6288 foot climb my legs from the knee up , My lower back and my shoulders were starting to hurt. Today after lots of range of motion stuff before bed my knees hurt plus my lower back and neck are sore. I hope to make mountain climbing a normal part of my weekends next summer and was wondering what exercises will best prep my weak spots to be better next time out
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Old 08-16-2010, 10:23 AM   #2
Gant Grimes
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Read up on Mark Twight or Rob Shaul.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:33 PM   #3
Frank Needham
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Originally Posted by sean richard View Post
I just got done climbing Mt Washington yesterday and my first year of crossfit type training paid off but there were some weaknesses that I need help with. My feet and upper back were fine but near the end of the 6288 foot climb my legs from the knee up , My lower back and my shoulders were starting to hurt. Today after lots of range of motion stuff before bed my knees hurt plus my lower back and neck are sore. I hope to make mountain climbing a normal part of my weekends next summer and was wondering what exercises will best prep my weak spots to be better next time out
Daughter and I climbed/hiked to the summit of Mt Charleston 2 weeks ago on a Saturday. It was ugly. We had no one to blame except ourselves for the carnage. Elevation change is from 7k start to12k finish elevation roughly, 17 miles round trip. No preparation on our part, it took 13 hours start to finish. Every muscle ached after. I didn't feel normal until the following Weds. We're gonna continue doing hikes/climbs but, of course, better prepared. Like any physical endeavor, a proper training regimen applies. Things to work on would be break-in type climbs simulating what the actual climb might be like, start training with a light load then increase it each time you go out. Anything you could do that would make your heart/lungs scream for air to simulate work at elevation would be fair game. Bear crawls? Fixed gear uphill bike sprints? Running uphill sprints? All for reps. I like Gant's suggestion to study what other more proficient folks are doing also.
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:06 PM   #4
Brian Stone
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Congrats! I'm doing Washington next weekend.

I second Gant's suggestion of Twight.
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:35 AM   #5
Brian Stone
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One other thing which I can't believe I forgot to mention - I can't recommend trekking poles strongly enough for your knees. I used to have major knee soreness. I started using poles and I can't overstate the positive difference they make. They are readily collapsable for sections where they are not helpful. You can get a pair of the cheap Wal-Mart jobs for 20-30 and they're very sturdy.

You can do a quick Google search on them if you are not convinced and there are several places that give a numerical breakdown of the cumulative force removed from your knees per mile.
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Old 08-19-2010, 04:15 PM   #6
Mark Fenner
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One other thing which I can't believe I forgot to mention - I can't recommend trekking poles strongly enough for your knees. I used to have major knee soreness. I started using poles and I can't overstate the positive difference they make.
I will second this. I will also add: you don't have to use them forever. When I was significantly overweight, my knees killed me while hiking. Duh. When I lost the weight, my knees still killed me while hiking. Huh? Yeah, I wasn't adapted to it b/c I didn't hike frequently enough. Using poles really takes the stress off the knees. This in turn, lets you hike more, build up better conditioning (both cardiovascular and joint), and become a stronger hiker.

My basic game plan these years is to you use my poles on the first big hike of the season. The second hike, I'll carry them and potentially use them only on the way back down (assuming a big ascent like Camel's Hump). Later, I may literally carry them lashed to my pack just for "backup". Sometimes, even after some conditioning hikes for the year, one of my knees will get a little clicky on me.

Since many of my hikes are very popular with novices and other folks who get themselves in over their heads, I also like having the poles for a variety of emergency purposes (splint, bivy, litter, etc.).

Best,
Mark
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Old 09-04-2010, 06:31 AM   #7
Patrick Haskell
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Specific to knees, the thing that would always do mine in was accumulated tension in the IT bands after cliimbing. I thought foam rolling religiously would help solve this problem, but a long day of hiking would trigger the under the knee pain almost as soon as I turned downhill. The thing that did the trick was simply taking smaller steps on the ascent. The lower ROM reduced the tension in the IT band and the pain went away entirely. Obviously, this might not be your problem, but is a simple solution, if it is. Just another example of how something that appears to be a training deficiency can simply be a technique deficiency (even in something as simple as walking).
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