By Dale Goddard
Guide for skilled climbers covers the entire actual and mental facets of mountaineering education.
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Additional info for Performance rock climbing
Hamstring flexibility improves high-step ability, especially for holds a few feet away from you or in stemming positions. The gluteal muscles. These are large, powerful muscles that pull the thigh downward and help pull the legs open into stem positions. Stretching them improves high-step ability for holds close in front of the body. The iliopsoas muscles. They run from the lower spine through the abdomen to the thigh; they act to lift the leg upward. Tight iliopsoas muscles make it hard to arch backward at the hip joint or to lean the upper body backward while the thigh remains parallel to a vertical wall.
The range-of-motion exercises described in chapter 8 are good exercises to do before stretching in earnest, even if your muscles are already warm. They lightly stretch muscles, warming and preparing them for activity or for more serious stretching. And though they are primarily warm-up exercises, even alone they can increase flexibility in muscles that normally never move through their full ranges of motion. As we mentioned before in describing effective warm-up techniques, light stretching before a climb can help loosen and prepare muscles for activity.
A muscle that's strong in its customary ranges of use can be weak in extreme positions that are infrequently used. Normal strengthening techniques therefore don't guarantee good active flexibility. For passive flexibility gains to be useful on the rock, they must be accompanied by exercises to build antagonist strength in these new ranges of motion that stretching opens up. Gender Priorities Women typically have better passive flexibility than men. But males' higher natural recruitment gives them more power to pull their less flexible limbs into extreme positions.