Use breath control to help you climb!
Post #1 in this series described how simple breath control can help you make your spins floatier and more effortless. It’s true! This week we’ll tackle some more breathing exercises and talk about how breath control can make climbing a breeze.
Good posture makes it much easier to breathe properly. If your core is collapsed in a slouch — or if you’re trying to hold yourself upright in a rigid posture, you’re locking up the body parts that help you get and control those big, full-oxygen-exchange breaths!
First, lie on your back and put your hands on your abdomen. Feel your hand move as you inhale and exhale. If your hand doesn’t move, pay attention to what is moving. If it’s completely your chest and not your abdomen at all, you could be creating tension in your neck and shoulders by holding the breath quite high up in your body. So try again, using the technique described last week.
Now, let’s get ourselves to a pole and climb. Do you hold your breath when you climb? We’re going to break that habit right now! When you work out at the gym you probably pay close attention to your breath, right? Inhale when releasing a weight, exhaling when exerting force to bring a weight into position? Climbing should apply the same good breathing technique.
Inhale deeply as you place your initial climbing foot and your hands. Then exhale with control as you push up with your legs and core, using your arms only to steady yourself and help with the upward motion. Inhale as you’re in between climbs.
At this point your breathing can get a little tricky, because you have a mini-exertion (bringing knees up toward your chest to get your feet into position for a new push upward) followed by a bigger one (the actual push), so you need a good long controlled exhale (or, if you can’t inhale/exhale that deeply, a brief but full inhale then an exhale as you push)! Aren’t you glad you’ve been practicing your breathing? Keep at it and you’ll notice that your climbs get easier and easier.
Climbing comes mostly from your legs and core — or it should, if you want it to look effortless. Save your arms from all that hard work ….. so you can use them for other hard work! 😉