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Men's Fitness Adventure Guide Part 3: Rappelling

The final installment of our series tells you what you need—plus workout tips to help you train—to rappel down the face of a mountain cliff.

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It's been awhile since we last checked in on Men's Fitness adventurers John Teague and James Pribram, who've been hopping into their roomy and rugged Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and trekking through beach and mountain to take on fun and fit challenges. For their final outing, John and James head to Stoney Point outside Los Angeles to tackle rappelling.

Much like John and James' previous outdoor activities (stand up paddleboarding, mountain biking), rappelling is a total-body workout that targets your forearms, lats, shoulders, quads, and glutes. If you're new to rappelling, click on the video for a one-on-one tutorial from our guide Trevor Rogers. But first, hit the gym and do the following exercises to help you prep:

  • Dumbbell rows: These target your back, help with grip, and emphasize one-arm training—all of which will your control your descent down the rock.
  • Back squat: When you’re rappelling, you’re constantly pushing off the rock as you descend. Squats help your lower body absorb the force of hitting the rock with your feet.
  • Hex dumbbell holds, for time: Grab the tip of a hexagonal dumbbell (as heavy as you can) and hold it alongside your body. Start with 30 seconds, work up to a minute, then as long as you can. Hex holds help strengthen grip and your forearms.

Climbing gear courtesy of GEAR CO-OP.

 

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