“Warm up was a waste of time, I wanted to climb right away!”

Jacopo Larcher

One of the strongest and most versatile athletes on the international scene, Jacopo it’s able to climb everything in every kind of rock and situation. From route setting in the gym to scary tradclimbing in big walls, Jacopo it’s one of the guys that it’s pushing the boundary of climbing in the World.

When I was young, I did not particularly like listening to the advice of the more experienced climbers; I wanted to do my own thing, often having to pay the consequences. This behaviour was certainly not dictated by insolence or disrespect, but was rather due to over-motivation. I wanted to climb, train, improve…non warm up, rest and prevent injuries. My body seemed to hole up to the amount of work I had imposed on it, not asking too many questions about the consequences it might have.

Warm up was a waste of time, I wanted to climb and I wanted to climb right away! After a few minutes I was already on the routes, pushing to my limit, without thinking in the least that I could get injured. The same thing was true for the days of rest: “to improve you have to climb” I told myself, “not rest”. I tried to train every day, which obviously made me feel more and more tired; I thought this was due to the fact that I was not strong enough so I kept going caught up in a vicious circle.

Needless to say, that over the years I realized, at my expense, that the truth is very different, making me regret not having listened to all that advice. Numerous injuries made me realize the importance of listening more carefully to my body, to preserve it and to take care of it. I learned to see rest as a fundamental part of training, but above all I understood the importance of prevention. Proper warm up is probably the best way to prevent unnecessary and annoying injuries. Of course sometimes it can be boring and repetitive, but it is better to invest a little time to this every time you go climbing, rather than having to rest for months in an attempt to recover from the various ailments.

For example, during my winter training I always start with a 30 minute warm-up. I normally stick to the same exercises: I start with some general exercises to warm up the whole body, and I end up with something more specific before starting the actual session. The advantage of developing a routine, even if repetitive, is to avoid omitting some exercise.

In the past I have injured my fingers countless times, but since I started this healthy habit, I have hardly had any problems. Obviously, there is nothing magical about it, but it certainly helps to reduce the risk of getting hurt.

My Warm Up Routine

This is what my usual warm-up looks like:

  • Thera-Band exercises
  • Stretching
  • Pull/Muscle Ups
  • Rings
  • Abs
  • 15 minutes of easy hang-boarding
  • some easy boulders/circuits

I've learned that it's better to invest 30 minutes a day, rather than to waist months trying to heal from annoying injuries! ... getting older makes you wiser.

Have fun climbing.