The parallettes are a very simple training tool that anyone can use to make wicked gnarly strength gains. Made to replicate the parallel bars from gymnastics, parallettes, or “P-Bars” can help you to up your climbing game, increase strength, and dial in your gymnast physique (aka JACKED!).

Made from PVC or wood, P-bars cost very little to make and plans can be found online. The investment will be returned many fold if used properly and will deliver immense strength gains in just about every muscle you own. If used in conjunction with a set of gymnastic rings you will need to warn your loved ones about the Incredible Hulk that you are about to become.

The L-sit is fundamental to gymnastics and gymnastic training. Requiring full body strength this exercise alone “could” make you a stronger climber. Begin by sitting between the P-bars. Space them approximately shoulder width. Grasp the bars in the middle with your thumb in line with the bar resting on top. In this position, you should have a straight wrist. Now wrap your thumb around making sure your wrist stays straight. This is important.
Now press down with straight arms. Engage your triceps, shoulders, and lats as you lift your feet off the floor, bringing your thighs close to your chest. Keep the arms and wrists straight!
If you felt good with the Tucked L-sit, try extending one leg out. Bring the foot back and extend the other foot.
Pretty soon, if not already, you will be able to extend both feet out. Now you can time yourself. How long can I hold this L-sit? 20 seconds is great. 30 seconds is awesome!

 If you are already freakishly strong you may be able to, without touching the ground, bring your feet all the way back here into a Tucked Planche. Notice the shoulders in front of the hands and the rounded back. It is difficult to keep the arms straight while trying a Planche but it should be stressed.  More on this later!

When the L-sit gets stronger a slight variation may be added. The V-sit is a very subtle change in body position that has a very drastic feel. From a solid L-sit raise the straight legs so that the thighs come closer to the chest. This will be felt a lot in the Tricep area and is much harder than the L-sit.

 Part of out workout today involved some tire dragging. In this case Art is dragging an unweighted tire up hill in a long sprint. Strength training can be used in conjunction with various forms of conditioning to train for the rigors of climbing but remember that the two most important sections of a good workout are the warmup and the cool down. Our warmup consisted of rowing, endurance bouldering, pushups, pullups, etc. Our cool downs are usually easy easy  rowing or cycling. Be sure to rest a lot and listen to your body.

Matt Ritter

MMG Guide