Do you have tips for preparing to climb on event day?

As the Official Provider of Physical Therapy for Hustle Chicago, Athletico is happy to provide the following tips to ensure a healthy climb.  Also, be sure to visit the Athletico booth at the Hustle Chicago After Party and allow our experts to stretch you out after reaching the top! 

Warm-Up & Recovery Tips Presented By


1) Strengthen Your Hip Flexors

In addition to quadricep and gluteal strengthening, add “flavor” to your training with mountain climbers and standing hip flexor strengthening. Focus on fast, lighter weight repetitions to mimic the drive necessary for bounding up steps. Also make sure to incorporate calf strengthening. Train the explosive portion necessary to propel your body up stairs with exercises like wall jumps, skipping, jumping rope or rapid jumping.

2) Focus on the Task

Practice running stairs. While multiple flights are optimal, even a single flight will be beneficial. For shorter flights, perform multiple sets or train for a specific duration of time. Run up and walk down. Think creatively for places to practice – parking structures, football stadiums or local businesses are great locations.

3) Incorporate Explosive Training

Jumping rope, plyometrics and step taps all fulfill this criteria. Work to achieve rapid foot turnover. Your goal is to make rapidly negotiating stairs automatic. Form is key to plyometric training as injuries and increased joint loading occur as form fails.

4) Don’t Neglect Abdominals

Abdominal and “core” strengthening is essential to keep your body upright and provide a stable foundation for the lower chain. Optimally, train abdominals in standing to mimic race conditions – medicine ball throws and planks can both be effective.

5) Stay Flexible

Stretch hamstrings and calves for maximum force generation. Before training, use dynamic warm up inchworms and straight leg kicks. Following a workout, long duration stretching can be used. Incorporating daily stretching or foam rolling into any exercise program helps to balance strength and prevent injury.

6) Train Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing and proper breath control is essential to any endurance activity. Breathing with the belly rather than the chest is the key. Deep controlled breathing prevents side cramps and optimizes oxygen flow to working muscles. Alternate the exhalation phase between right and left foot strikes. Stairwells are dusty and dry, so breathing is especially important.

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No matter how your pain starts – from stair climbs to daily activities – we can help.  Athletico would like to be your first option when seeking medical care. Through our free assessment, we can save you time, money, and instill peace of mind while recommending treatment options to get you back to doing the things you love. Free assessments are available at any Athletico clinic location or virtually from a mobile or desktop connection. Don’t delay the recovery process, schedule your free assessment today.