Front support/plank position
A few weeks ago while training in the Co op, Naomi told us that she had read an article that said (and this is my memory of what she said!):
An average climber should be able to hold front support/plank for 3 minutes.
Eager to see if we were all average or not, myself Chris and Ron held front support and while Chris and I buckled after just over 3 mins, Ron looked bored after 4 mins and we all returned to our bouldering session...
Front Support/Plank is an exercise I've always done, without question - it's quite simply crucial in gymnastics. A good front support position is the bread and butter of any Bar Exercise and many of the balance positions held in gymnastics:
It is also crucial to maintaining a straight body position in the air during somersaults.
Gymnastics and bouldering are so closely matched as sports that front support has followed over from my training as a trampolinist to my training as a boulderer...
Whilst at the Co op the other evening, Ron asked what use front support is specifically to a climber - There seems to be so much talk about the exercise and yet what were it's specific benefits to bouldering - I hadn't actually questioned it before but knew that I'd be meeting my friend Frank, who has a good knowledge of these things at Ayton's Cave on Saturday -
In hindsight I totally put poor Frank on the spot, (sorry!) when out of the blue I raised the question about the use of 'front support' as an aid specifically to bouldering -
Admitting he'd have to look into it - he made the fair point that without good finger strength, a solid front support would be of little benefit at all!!!
It's been a long rainy miserably day today and I've admittedly been bored out of my tree since I finished training at 1.30pm. So I decided to look into what help 'front support' can be to specifically help one's bouldering ability...
I've found a few different articles but this one seems to make sense to me the most... whether it's right or wrong, it struck a cord with me and is worth a quick read!: