The impact of COVID-19 has affected everyone and climbers are not spared. Social interaction is an intricate part of climbing and thus a hotbed for viruses to spread. The implementation of social distancing and the need to clean and disinfect surfaces makes it near impossible to climb at any climbing facilities without running some risk of getting infected.
Climbing gyms that had been visited by climbers tested positive for COVID-19 were ordered to shut down for thorough cleaning and disinfecting. On top of that other climbers who were present at the affected gyms were served with quarantine orders.
For those of you who are not affected (lucky you) and want to climb please be cautious and practice good hygiene. Although, I’m not sure how anyone can practice good hygiene when comes to climbing.
To those who are affected and serving the 14 days home quarantine orders we are with you (spiritually). Is staying at home without any form of climbing driving you mad? Here are 10 things you can do to help you get back to climbing as soon as your home quarantine orders end.
1. Finger strengthening exercises
Finger strength is the first thing to go after an extended duration without climbing. So it is absolutely critical to work those digits. Having a hangboard at home is great for training your fingers. But if you don’t, here are some other ways you can strengthen your fingers. Check out these videos by Training4climbers on strengthening finger.
2. Work out your core
Core strength is necessary for coordinating and executing climbing moves. So try out these core strengthening exercises to maintain your core strength during your stay home quarantine.
3. Stretching to improve flexibility
If you have nagging injuries for months due to climbing then this is a good time to rest and heal. Stretching helps to loosen those joints and muscles knots. Stretching improves your overall flexibility which makes that overly “high” high step move much easier to execute and those weird drop knee moves won’t feel that impossible anymore.
4. Clean your gears (is about time)
Since climbing will not be on your schedule anytime soon. Your climbing gears ain’t going to see any action for the foreseeable future. So this is the time to properly wash your stinky shoes and harness. Climbing gears such as carabiners, quickdraws, and trad gears with moving parts should be wash to get rid of dust and residues to ensure joints and springs are smooth and snappy.
5. Furniture bouldering
First of all, you shouldn’t just boulder on any furniture. Yes, there are lots of videos where climbers climb on kitchen cabinets and countertops with quickdraws and rope. That is not training but just for the purpose of getting a laugh and also Instagram likes.
For training purposes, there are only 2 types of furniture you should boulder with. Chair and table. If you are not aware of bouldering chair and table, trust me it is fucking hard. It requires good technique and super strong core.
This is how bouldering chair looks like.
But most likely this is how you’ll fair.
6. Learn new climbing knots and hitches
If the figure of 8 knots is the only knot you know as a climber… you are a disgrace. Take this time to learn knots and hitches that will come in handy and maybe even save your life when you decide to climb something bigger than just a 15-meter plastic wall. Learn all the necessary climbing knots and hitches here.
7. Shop climbing gears online
This should easily be the favorite thing to do by anyone. Online shopping. Look at your gears and see if it is time to replace any of them or maybe upgrade and get some newer and fancier gears. Do some online research and find yourself a good bargain. Make sure the items are delivered to your home if you are serving your home quarantine orders. Here are some of the recommended sites for buying climbing gears at bargain prices.
Meditation is highly recommended by elite climbers. It helps with mindfulness which enables you to focus. Don’t take it from me cause I’ve tried, it is hard and it hadn’t worked for me yet. But then again I had never been quarantine. So with 14 days by yourself at home maybe you can give it a solid effort and see if it works for you.
9. Read a book on rock climbing
There are a number of books on rock climbing that are worth reading. Yes, books those that have physical pages which you need to turn. I’ll highly recommend Alex Honnold’s “Alone on the wall”. It is not super thick and it’s an easy read so 14 days should be sufficient for you to finish the book.
However, if you are a training freak and want books on training there is shit load. Since you can’t leave the house audiobook may be your best solution or a friend who’s kind enough to buy one and deliver it to your house.
10. Research on your next climbing trip
It may not be the time to go anywhere now. However, for climbers to stay motivated to train and improve we need middle to long-term goals. Setting a target and objective is a sure way to give you reasons to train and maintain your fitness. Set your sights on a grade you want to achieve or the type of routes that you’ll like to climb and research for a suitable climbing destination to go. This will keep you motivated to train and learn the necessary climbing skills during this pandemic period.
Stay healthy and be socially responsible
These are trying times for everyone but this too shall pass. If we stay vigilant and be socially responsible we will be fine. Everything will be back to normal and soon enough you’ll be on your project route shitting yourself on that dicey crux move.