Abs. Everybody wants a ripped six pack, but most of us are working with a singularly bulging keg above our belt. For most of the population defined abs are just another vain ploy to try and get laid. And it's actually a scientifically proven fact that good abs make you more attractive to the opposite sex. But for us climbers, good abs are essential for tickling the harder grades. In case you've been hiding under a rock for the last 15 years, it's well accepted that great core strength is essential for anything but 5.9 slab. I have no no evidence, empirical or other wise for that. All I know is that Christian Griffith has abs to die for. And that mother fucker cranks. He's also probably the god father of the Pimpin and Crimpin movement, even though he doesn't know it. Even if you deny that good abs can help climb better, my justification falls back on the superficial vacuity that defines pnc. Abs make you look good. I want to look good. werd.
So how do you get them? Being a climber without a trust fund, I can't exactly afford to go buy a 2500 Maxicam ab machine. At this point, most of the Boulder crowd is on the edge of their seat, hoping with bated breath and palpitating heart that I will recommend yoga. There is an ineffable, deep seated connection between Boulder and yoga that I will never understand. It is a panacea, a cure all, a snake oil. Whatever you need, whatever ails you, rest assured, yoga will help. From migraines to infertility, there is a yoga pose that will cure you. I've tried yoga. So bite me with your trite and tired “don't knock it till you've tried it” bullshit. Yoga does fulfill requirement numero uno of the Training with Limit imperative-it makes me sore as shit. In fact, it made pretty much every muscle in my body hurt for 10 days. I could barely move. Unfortunately, It fails miserably at imperative Two-Train like a man. It's impossible to be manly while doing yoga. Why? Well, mostly because I said so. But honestly, can you picture John Wayne sniffing his ass as he arches toward nirvana in downward dog? Didn't think so.
The Alternative. Tyrolean traverses. A couple reps across one of these, especially with a heavy pack dangling from your harness and I guarantee your core will be sore. Bonus points if the Tyro is loose and strung with dynamic rope. An added benefit is it works your upper back, biceps, and shoulders. Damn near a total body work out. And if you get really good at it, you might just look as manly as Bronco here.