Stealth Insurance (Cont.)

Drills for the Extremities

Feb 1, 2002
Outside Magazine

Shoulder Dips

Lateral Lunges

One-Legged Standing Dip

Shoulder Dips
Dips are some of the best all-around exercises for strengthening the muscles needed to stabilize yourself on a climbing wall or when wrestling a Class IV hole. Grasp two parallel rails, hop up so you're supporting your weight, slowly lower yourself until your elbows are bent 90 degrees, and then push back up. If your body weight is too much to start, have a partner assist you by lifting up on your waist or feet. Do three sets of ten to 12 reps.

Lateral Lunges
Pulled muscles and tendons often strike climbers when making powerful but off-balance lateral movements from hold to hold. To prevent such injuries you need to develop lateral stability. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a medicine ball near chin height. Extend one leg out to the side and, with your torso straight, bend into a squat while bringing the medicine ball and the majority of your weight down to the extended leg. Move back to the starting position and repeat. Don't let your hips dip below your knees, and keep your back straight. Do three sets of ten to 12 reps on each side.

One-Legged Standing Dip
The most common cause of knee pain is an injury to the iliotibial band, which is there to decelerate the inward movement of the leg, "like when you're coming down a steep snow field or trail in snowshoes," says Musnick. You can reduce the risk of this kind of injury by making your quads familiar with balancing heavy loads. Stand on one leg atop a knee-high bench, weight on your heel, and dip your knee in a controlled fashion until your free heel touches the ground. Keep your weight on your upper foot, your torso upright, and return to standing position. A cinch? Try holding dumbbells in each hand. Do ten to 12 repetitions with each leg.

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