Pro climber and yogi Heidi Wirtz has six poses to help you get strong and flexible so you can climb harder and stay injury-free. This sequence is adapted from the Yoga for Climbers online course she developed with our sister publication Climbing magazine. Want more? Register for the course now using code YOGAJOURNAL for $40 off.
1. Downward-Facing Dog
Drop to your hands and knees with knees directly below your hips. Spread your hands wide and slightly in front of your shoulders, with index fingers slightly turned out. Lift your buttocks and slowly straighten your legs, without locking your knees. Stretch your heels down. It’s OK if your heels don’t touch the floor and your legs are slightly bent. Press the bases of the index fingers firmly into the floor and lift your inner arms. Pull your shoulder blades away from your ears, broadening the collarbones. Do not allow your head to hang; keep it between your upper arms
- Strengthens and stretches shoulder muscles, strengthens latissimus dorsi, and stretches hamstrings, calf muscles, hands, and Achilles tendon
- Helps prevent rotator cuff injuries
- Stronger shoulders improve stability in gaston moves and mantels
- Stronger lats help you reach farther
- Flexible leg muscles help your endurance on slab and face climbs
- Elongates and releases tension from your spine
- Calms the nervous system and relieves stress
Yoga for Climbers is the first comprehensive online yoga course made specifically for climbers. This self-paced program will help you learn how to be more flexible, strengthen your entire body, boost your confidence, and help you stay calm after a fall, in the middle of a crux, and even sitting in traffic. Developed by Climbing magazine and pro climber and yogi Heidi Wirtz, this online class focuses on aspects of mental and physical training that can benefit every climber, whether you’re a veteran big waller or putting on climbing shoes for the first time. Register now at AIMAdventureU.com/yogaforclimbers and enter promo code YOGAJOURNAL for $40 off.