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Offwidth Training


Original Post
Daniel Melnyk · · Covina · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 30

What do exercises can you do to train for offwidth other than climbing OW?

I feel like it takes a lot of chest and triceps. With regular climbing, you pull yourself up (back and biceps) but with OW, you push down and or out to make yourself stick and move up.

So just pushups then or anything else that helps a lot?

Also what legs workouts help? I feel like it’s a lot of quad work. 

David Beter · · Palo Alto · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 5

Probably more cardio than anything else 

rafael · · Berkeley, CA · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 50

I recommend running an 8 minute mile with sandpaper taped to the inside of your shirt pants and socks. Then squeeze your leg in between your stove and the wall and try to get on top of your kitchen cabinets.

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 526
Luna Luna · · New Haven, CT · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 60

Build a home crack with an ow and run laps on it.. focus on shoulders do lots of leg lifts, single leg exercises, core, climb face/steep too! Usually holds and parts of a route beyond just s monster ow

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 210

I find climbing OW to be an absolutely brutal core workout, but I’m new to it.

Roy Suggett · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 7,604

While learning/practicing  to run it out, also invest in big gear, ie. 4s, 5s 6s and VGs!

Will Wright · · Mesa, AZ · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 2,170

I have some good exercises for you.

Level 1-Tape cheese graters to your knees and elbows and do army crawls. Be sure to keep your head face down to simulate the actual climb.

Level 2-Hang upside down while your friends provoke a hornet's nest. Harder if hands are tied up.

Level 3-Tie a rope to your ankles and a trailer hitch. Have friends drive while pulling you. Must maintain proper form while being pulled or the rep does not count.

Level 4-Walk into the dirtiest bar in town, find the largest, meanest looking person in there and start tapping them on the forehead until the exercise begins. When you can complete this level naked, you will be ready to climb a 5.8 offwidth.

Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 1,734

Find some old refrigerators and wrestle them.

Matthew Jerousek · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 105

Friends don't let friends climb OWs.

See also, the First Rule of OW Climbing: Don't climb OWs.

No, alright. I thought the structures the Wide Boyz put together in their film looked about as sport specific as you could ask for. Give that one another viewing for more on that.

rafael · · Berkeley, CA · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 50

All jokes aside, OW climbing is even more technical then regular crack, and despite the physical, full body grunt involved, there is a bunch of very subtle positioning for feet, arms, hips, shoulders, etc, all which vary with the different sizes, and which you won't pickup from a book... so you need to learn the hard way, getting taught by an old timer and then running laps on real offwidth. No amount of cardio training will get you up generator crack... Well, that's not entirely true, I heard a story of a professional acrobat who had no problem their first time in an OW but that's literally the only person I've ever heard not get utterly destroyed on their first

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 210

Adam Ondra sent Belly Full of Berries on, what...second go?

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 491

Rotator cuff strengthening, both inward and outward rotation. Best done with your elbow to the side, at 90 degrees and supported on something like a yoga ball. Press your elbow down into into to get the deltoid out of the picture when the hand is above shoulder height. 

Jaren Watson · · Idaho · Joined May 2010 · Points: 2,395
Ted Pinson wrote: Adam Ondra sent Belly Full of Berries on, what...second go?

Yes.

Therefore, offwidth climbing is easy.
rob.calm · · Loveland, CO · Joined May 2002 · Points: 630

Many of the training suggestions are fine if the op is interested in starting out with offwidths at 5.11b or harder and which require inversion, but these suggestions are not relevant at lower grades. I taught beginning offwidth for many years. It was always the case that new offwidth climbers got exhausted not because of lack of strength or endurance but because of poor technique. Also knowing how to climb chimneys makes it easier to learn offwidth technique.

Rob.calm

Luna Luna · · New Haven, CT · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 60

Doing lots of low angle and vert ow will set you up well in terms of getting a handle on technique.. when to go which side in, footwork, and tricky jams 

John L · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 175

I've implemented some of Pam Pack's training into my training, but it is difficult unless you only want to do hard OW. If you want to excel in other climbing styles it seems difficult to follow her training plan, at least outlined in the article linked above.

Rob and others are right - you need to work on technique when starting out. But I still think some core work and weightlifting will help you. Some specific exercises that I think help (and I haven't sent a 5.11a OW or harder):

Deadlifting
Hip Thrust
Squats
Plank
Hanging leg lift
Pavlov press (youtube.com/watch?v=ikyEx09…;ab_channel=StephanieWalker)
Calf raises (I have weak calves so may not be a necessity)
Lots of stretching. Specifically: pigeon pose from yoga, frog stretch
Rotator cuff strengthening

Of the list above I am focusing more on stretching as I have been told for more difficult OWs (>=5.11b or inversion) it is helpful to be flexible. This is not really talked about or mentioned, but makes a lot of sense. 

Luna Luna · · New Haven, CT · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 60

While we are all here... does anyone want to add their 2 cents on moving off of hand/fist stacks on a steep crack 

Wilburn · · Boise, ID · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 350

If you are able to build a home crack then do it. A buddy in Cheyenne made one, and over the course of a month my inverted stacking went from flailing on the start to 20 feet of inverted butterfly stacks. 

Luna Luna · · New Haven, CT · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 60
Wilburn wrote: If you are able to build a home crack then do it. A buddy in Cheyenne made one, and over the course of a month my inverted stacking went from flailing on the start to 20 feet of inverted butterfly stacks. 

I did build one and yes it has been awesome but hand/fist stacks are still my weakest.. it’s a small range but a brutal spot 

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 491
Luna Luna wrote: While we are all here... does anyone want to add their 2 cents on moving off of hand/fist stacks on a steep crack 

That's where I move very fast. Downward. Every time.

I hear it's all about a toe heel cam and sometimes getting pressure with a flag outside the crack to keep your hips pressing in. I absolutely suck at toe heel cams. 
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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