Yoga & Rock Climbing

Cool-Down Asanas for Rock Climbers: UPDATED w/ PICS

One of the wonderfully strange sensations that you tend to experience after rock climbing is “forearm pump” — i.e. when your forearms are overworked, tight, swollen, and pretty much shot. This happens almost inevitably to me every time I climb, and I find it nice to do some asanas to counteract it. Here are a few different asana variations that I think might be useful to relieve that “juiced” sensation in your forearms. These asanas can be done after climbing, or even while you’re resting and waiting to do your next route.

As needed, you can modify these poses when appropriate by putting one or both knees on the ground. You may also string together a few of these poses to create a nice Sun Salutation using reversed hands throughout, even in Down Dog.

* Plank Pose with Hands Reversed

* Chaturanga Dandasana with Hands Reversed

* Up Dog with Hands Reversed

* Modified Vashistasana with Hand Reversed

* Handstand Variation at Wall

* Mountain Pose w/ Hands Interlaced and Extended Overhead

* Mayurasana

Disclaimer: I am not a certified yoga instructor, and the ideas and opinions expressed here are not intended to be formal instruction on yoga poses. If you plan to start up a yoga practice, or if you have one and plan to do any of the yoga poses described in this blog, please seek out an experienced, living, breathing yoga teacher to guide you with hands-on instruction.

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2 thoughts on “Cool-Down Asanas for Rock Climbers: UPDATED w/ PICS

  1. Thanks for these interesting variations. I’ve taught several yoga & climbing classes at my local climbing gym – but I never considered weighting the wrists with fingers pointing back. Right now (as I try these reversed hand poses on my office floor 😉 plank pose feels great but chaturanga feels wacky. I’ll give them a whirl when I go climbing tonight. Perhaps with pumped forearms I’ll be able to hold chaturanga 🙂

  2. Thanks for your comments, Sonja! I agree, Chaturanga with reversed hands feels a bit weird at first. In fact, all of these poses do. A good way to warm up the wrists for these “reversed hand” poses is to start on all fours (i.e. hands and knees), turn the wrists around, and then slowly lean into them, perhaps even taking them to the point of a slight hyperextension.

    Alternatively, a simple Bakasana (crow pose) is also a great way to get the wrists read for this kind of stuff.

    Climb on!

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