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Mountaineering Fitness: Climb Like Ed

Got summit fever? The sky's the limit with a fitness plan and climbing tips from world-class mountaineer Ed Viesturs.

CORE

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Plank

Start on your hands and knees. Lower down to your forearms as you straighten your legs, toes on the floor. Keep your body straight, stomach pulled in. Hold for 15 seconds; build to 60 to 90 seconds-unless you are a professional mountain climber. “Ed can hold it for 4 minutes,” Liljeblad says. Why a powerful core? “Stability, which on the mountain means injury prevention. When Ed’s on snow, ice, or rock with a loaded pack, his strong core counters the uneven and sometimes unstable surface by giving him a base of power.”

GOAL: 3 sets, 30-second rests

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Ball Chop

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a medicine ball as far over your right shoulder and behind your head as possible. Move the ball quickly, but with control, across your body to the outside of your left leg, keeping your arms straight but elbows soft. Return to the original position and repeat for 60 seconds. Perform on the other side. “Ed repeats this motion whenever he takes his pack on or off,” says Liljeblad. “Strengthening the core (lower back, lats, abs) and shoulder muscles helps him do it more efficiently, which saves energy.”

GOAL: 1 set

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