How to Stretch for Tree Climbing

How to Stretch for Tree Climbing
Tree climbing is a relatively new sport that is closely related to rock climbing. Tree climbing involves specialized equipment that's used by the climber to scale the side of large trees and then rappel. In much the same way that a rock climber must stretch and prepare his body for a rock climb, so should a tree climber. Many of the same movements are required in both rock climbing and tree climbing.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Space for stretching
  • Carpet or padded mat
Step 1
Do a warm up to get the blood flowing to all of your extremities and warm your muscle groups. Perform several sets of jumping jacks, take a short jog or spend several minutes on a treadmill machine or elliptical.
Step 2
Stretch the arms and shoulder first. Stretches for the deltoids, triceps, and lateral muscles of the back are extremely important. Do the deltoid stretch by reaching an arm across the body and, with the opposite hand, slowly pulling on the elbow to stretch the deltoid muscle. Stretch triceps by reaching an arm straight back and slightly behind the head. Use the opposite hand to gently pull the forearm back to stretch the muscles. Stretch your lats by holding one arm out to the side, hand against a wall. Raise the other arm overhead. Then bend to the side toward the wall, making sure you don't lean either forward or back.
Step 3
Prepare the muscles of the forearm for climbing by performing flexor and extensor stretches. Perform the flexor stretch by extending the arm straight out and bending the wrist so that the palm of the hand is facing forward with finger tips up. With the opposite hand gently pull back the finger tips. Perform the extensor stretch by extending the arm straight out and this time bending the hand downward so that the palm of the hand faces toward you. Gently pull the finger tips back.
Step 4
Stretch the various muscles of the legs by performing the butterfly stretch and abductor stretch. The butterfly is performed by sitting on the ground with the knees slightly bent and feet together. Allow the knees to slowly move outward while keeping the feet together. Gently push the legs toward the floor to help stretch the muscles. The abductor stretch is also performed from a sitting position. Begin with both legs straight out and then bring one leg up by bending the knee. Slightly bend the leg on the ground for stability. Gently push the elevated bent leg inward to help stretch upper thigh and hip muscles.
Step 5
Finish the warm up stretching by standing and extending your arms straight out in front. Slowly bend forward and touch the floor in front of your feet. This will help loosen and stretch back muscles. Repeat the stretch several times but do not over do.

Tips & Warnings

Do not bounce when performing stretches.
Apply steady and even pressure when pulling or pushing on arms and legs during a stretch.
Use caution when warming up and performing stretches. Take the necessary time to properly warm up to avoid potential injury.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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