While Bri Gerwitz grew up playing sports, it was her weight loss journey starting in 2010 that really helped to inspire her fitness career. The drive of that experience pushed her to want to learn more about the fitness world and to educate and share with other her knowledge and experience. Her trainer interests lie primarily with functional movement orientation, and while she’s certified in Yoga, her interest also lies in helping others who are interested in doing extreme sports. Here are some of her suggestions for movements that will help you conquer the great outdoors.
It is important to try out movements before engaging in activities. With Rock Climbing, since you do so much pulling with rock climbing, it’s important to do core stabilization with pushing. This means you will be balancing the body as well as balancing the muscles. To help with this you want to incorporate in some short circuit work such as single leg deadlifts or single leg box jumps. As Bri points out, “you don’t always have a good two-foot grasp while you are rock climbing. This means being able to utilize one foot in a dynamic and then controlled manner is going to help get into and out of a situation on a rock.”
From there, focus on the core, doing exercises such as planks and isometric holds which you might use while rock climbing; this allows you to condition your body for holding. Bri also suggests some dynamic moves while in a plank position, such as skier abs or rotations. These moves are demonstrative, and working on your core in the gym will help you utilize that power.
Here you want to think about a full body workout with oblique’s . It’s important to strengthen your oblique’s with twisting to get a good hit snap to roll back over from a dive/roll out of the kayak. Exercise wise, this might include some cable tucks and rotations from upper and lower body. High rows and chest flies will also help you keep leverage and power when you are awkwardly trying to maneuver around rocks, helping you use the full range of motion from your shoulders.
You also want to focus on chest and shoulders, especially with mobility. It will help to bring in some yoga and mobility work to strengthen these areas because when you can move in the same fashion in different directions, it forces smaller muscles to move when the larger ones are fatigued. This is why exercises such as matrix push-ups, pull ups and rows are going to prepare you outside of the gym.
Backpacking or Hiking a 14er
Here it’s important to build your lower body strength, such as incorporating in single leg lunges and balancing with weights during your workouts. This helps you get used to a path. Balancing work will help with your footing, when there’s so much exposure outdoors to the unknown. It also will help you deal with what it’s like to be up above the tree line. If you are prepared for the uneasy and shifting of your surroundings with the rocks and boulders, that is going to help you feel better prepared. Endurance and strength are also essential, which means building your core strength. You might engage with some balance reaches, on one leg with a plate or kettlebell to reach down and all the way back up. This helps activate your muscles, and will lead to more strength within the movement.
You can also check out her Flex & Function class, which works to strengthen superficial muscles and deep core muscles.