Yoga is great for warming up before bouldering or climbing and keeps your body flexible. Transian and yoga teacher Adrian has put together a few simple asanas (yoga exercises) that help mobilize your body, restore mobility and help relax tense muscles. 

Many warm-up or stretching exercises have their roots in Yoga. The following 13 asanas are a great addition to the warm-up routine. These positions are considered lightweight warm-up exercises thought. Then you can try the hangboard or simple holds. 

Warm up the neck 

This exercise can be done standing or sitting. Relax your shoulders and while inhaling, rotate your head to your right shoulder. Then exhale to the left. You can do these two movements 5-10 times. 

After the last rotation to the left, pause for a moment. Just keep breathing and now pull your chin via the left collarbone to the breastbone and up on the right side again. Then in the opposite direction. Repeat this semicircular movement 5 more times. 

This asana helps warm up the cervical spine, which includes your neck. 

shoulder circling 

Bend your arms and grab your shoulders from above. What sounds funny is actually a not entirely intuitive movement for some. Once your hands are in position (thumbs back, fingers forward) begin to circle your arms forward. 

After 10-15 rounds you change the direction of movement. The main focus here is on squeezing your shoulder blades together as your elbows point back. Then briefly shake out your arms and hands. 

With this exercise you prepare your shoulders for the increased strain when climbing. It also activates the joint fluid (synovia) in your shoulders. 

Exercise 1: Warm up the neck
Exercise 1: Warm up the neck
Exercise 2: rotate your shoulders
Exercise 2: rotate your shoulders

Fingers up & down 

Stretch your arms forward and relax your shoulders. As you inhale, straighten your hand and place your fingers as straight as possible. As you exhale, fold your whole hand down. Repeat the exercise 10-15 times. 

You've probably noticed that although you use your fingers in this exercise, it primarily targets your wrists and forearms. 

snap fingers 

Extend your arms and relax your shoulders. Make a fist with both hands and snap all your fingers open at the same time. A noise should be heard. Repeat the exercise until your forearms are a little tense, or a little longer.

As you repeat this movement, you can move your arms up, sideways, and forward again. Keep snapping your fingers until you feel your coordination in both hands slipping a bit (30 seconds to 1 minute). 

Snapping your fingers activates the extensor muscles in your forearms, which affects your grip endurance. 

Exercise 3: fingers up and down
Exercise 3: fingers up and down
Exercise 4: Snap your fingers
Exercise 4: Snap your fingers

wrists roll 

Interlace your fingers and, with loose wrists, roll your hands. You can work with the movement from the arms. Hold this movement for about 20 seconds and then switch sides. 

Sufi circles 

Sit on the floor with your legs crossed. Then slowly begin to rotate your entire upper body. Here you can either put your hands on your knees or your feet. Or you move in such large circles that you use your hands in front of, next to and behind you to help. 

Make about 15 circles on one side, and then the other. It is important that you try to integrate your entire spine. The movement should come from your tailbone or belly button. 

This asana activates your spine from the ground up and helps you especially in the morning when you're still a bit "rusty". 

Exercise 5: Roll your wrists
Exercise 5: Roll your wrists
Exercise 6: Sufi circles
Exercise 6: Sufi circles

butterfly 

While sitting, bring your two soles of your feet together. Hold your feet with your hands, try to keep your back as straight as possible, and then bring your knees to the floor and back up. Like a butterfly's wings. Repeat the movement 20-30 times. 

The hip flexors are directly addressed with this movement. This is how you can improve the mobility of your hips. 

Eagle Arms 

Do you know Macarena? Extend both arms forward. Move the left slightly to the center and then place the right elbow slightly above the left elbow. Then bend your left and then your right arm up. Place the fingers of the left hand in the palm of the right. Extend your elbows slightly forward and as you breathe in, move them slightly up. 

As you exhale, pull your elbows toward your thighs, rolling your spine down. Breathing in brings you back up. Repeat the exercise 5-10 times and then switch sides. The slight stretch in the shoulder blade prepares you optimally for active hanging. 

Exercise 7: Butterfly
Exercise 7: Butterfly
Exercise 8: Eagle Arms
Exercise 8: Eagle Arms

Cat Cow 

In the four-footed position, place your knees hip-width apart and your arms shoulder-width apart on the floor. As you inhale, pull your tailbone up and bend your entire spine, your head also moves up with the inhalation. Push yourself into the mat with your hands. With the exhalation you now move your spine directly in the other direction, i.e. pull your tailbone down, tighten your navel a little, move your head forward and finally down, where your gaze goes towards your stomach. 

You can repeat this exercise 15-20 times and if you want you can also move your hips sideways to find more space. 

wrists and backs of hands 

On all fours, begin to rotate your torso over your wrists. Here you can determine the intensity of the exercise yourself: if you let your upper body rotate further forward, the weight on your wrists increases. Repeat the exercise 5-10 rounds in each direction. If you want, you can also bring your hands into the opposite position one after the other, i.e. put them on the backs of your hands. However, you should be as careful as possible. 

Exercise 9: Cat Cow
Exercise 9: Cat Cow
Exercise 10: Wrists and backs of hands
Exercise 10: Wrists and backs of hands

Forearm Stretch 

Back in the tabletop, the quadruped, raise and lower your hands as if walking in place. Now turn your right hand clockwise and your left hand counterclockwise until your fingers are pointing towards your knees. From this position you can move your forearms into a wonderful stretch by pulling your butt back a little. Stay in the stretch for about 5 breaths. 

side plank 

The starting position here is the plank, the push-up position (Dandasana). Bring your right hand to the center of the mat and keep your body here. Now roll your body onto your right outside instep (right foot side), you have your left foot on your right, legs together. Stretch your left arm up. If you like, you can lift your left leg and bring your knees and elbows together. 

If the first version is too difficult for you, you can also lay down the lower leg at an angle, with the lower part of the leg pointing behind you at a 90° angle. Hold the position for at least 5 breaths and slowly try to come back to the push-up position. From there, do the exercise on the other side. 

Exercise 11: Forearm stretch
Exercise 11: Forearm stretch
Exercise 12: Side plank
Exercise 12: Side plank

Dove 

Come into downward facing dog. Raise your right leg as high as you can, then draw your right knee behind your right wrist and place your foot on the left side of the mat. Find a comfortable position, maybe pull your back hips forward a little. Then you come on your forearms and stretch your hands forward, your upper body parallel to the floor. 

Hold this position for 15-20 breaths and then switch sides. Your buttock muscles are particularly stressed in this position. If you want to decrease the intensity, bring your foot closer to your hip. To increase the exercise, place your foot close to your wrist. 

Exercise 13: Pigeon
Exercise 13: Pigeon

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Credits: Cover photo: Transa Backpacking AG, Article photos: Somara Frick, Rainer Eder

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