Many abdominal strengthening exercises focus on the concentric phase of contraction. For climbers this is important, but often the abdominals have to activate eccentrically. To review: a concentric contraction occurs when a muscle creates tension while it shortens and an eccentric activation occurs when a muscle creates tension while it lengthens.
Think about what your abdominal are doing when reaching high overhead, or maintaining body tension while moving on an overhang. We often think about using eccentric exercises to help with strengthening, but these exercises require a tremendous amount of motor control and coordination to perform correctly.
Try these eccentric-focused abdominal exercises to improve abdominal strength and motor control to compliment your current core exercises and to help improve your climbing. If you’re a rock climber who is currently limited by pain schedule an appointment with a physical therapist at Mend to get your climbing back on track. And for additional climbing-specific core exercises, check out our rock climbing home exercise programs.