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'Offwidth' in the School of Rock

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Rock Climbing Photo: Phase 1
Climbing and Training for Hard Offwidths
Q: “I have climbed a few offwidths, but I want to do a long, wide crack in the desert. I get worked after 50 feet; how do I train for sustained routes with a heavy rack of gear?" A: Long, vertical offwidths are physically grueling—even with impeccable technique. W...
Pamela Pack at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Calf lock set up
The Calf Lock
One of the most dreaded wide crack sizes is just bigger than your fists but too small for your knees. For most people, this means a four-inch crack. This size usually requires the hand/hand (“butterfly”) stack instead of a fist jam. Although hanging from such a stack fe...
Pamela Shanti Pack at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Heel Toe Cam
6 Crucial Wide-Crack Techniques
I was barely halfway through a 90-foot route when I used the last of my breath to wheeze “Take!” Blood from my skinned elbows leaked through my shirt, and sweat dripped into my eyes when I realized I simply couldn’t climb anymore. The route was the classic 5.9 offwidth...
Matt Kuehl at Climbing Magazine
Offwidth Training: Plyos
In Phases 1 and 2, aim for 30-minute plyo sessions, then work up to an hour in Phases 3 and 4. Plyos are the most intense of the workout components and present the highest risk for over-training and injury, so start slowly and focus on proper form. The emphasis should alw...
Pamela Pack at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Cossak Squat
Prepare for Battle: Training for Offwidths
Shimmying up offwidths is grueling, physical punishment that can tax your entire body, and like the routes themselves, training is a completely different beast from running laps in the gym. Brad Jackson, a prominent Vedauwoo, Wyoming, offwidth climber and physical trainer...
Julie Ellison at Climbing Magazine
Stabilization Exercises for Offwidth Training
There are multiple options for stabilization/core training. Choose at least two to three core workouts per week throughout each cycle. Ideas for core sessions include: PilatesCoreAlignCore group fitness classes If you can’t get to a class or are short on time, choose on...
Pamela Pack at Climbing Magazine

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