My Favorite Core Exercise – Windshield Wipers

This is a fantastic—and relatively difficult—exercise that targets the abdominals, obliques, and all the muscles of the upper torso and shoulders. Initially, it may take you a few tries to get the hang of this exercise, but motor learning and technique gains will come quickly! After a few workouts, you’ll feel a noticeable difference in your climbing-specific core strength…and perhaps you’ll come to agree with me that this is your new favorite core exercise!

  1. Begin hanging palms away from a pull-up bar, and then lift your legs upward until your back is nearly parallel to the ground and your mid-shins are near the level of the bar.
  2. Now lower your legs to one side and immediately return to the top position. Now lower your legs to the other side. This side-to-side motion is like windshield wipers tracking from 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock and back again.
  3. Continue for six to twelve (hard) repetitions, trying to maintain a flat back position that’s roughly parallel to the ground throughout.
  4. Do two or three sets with three minutes rest in between.

Tip: It helps to bend your arms slightly and think about “bending the bar” with your hands throughout the entire exercise—this will better active your rotator cuff and scapular stabilizers, making the exercise a bit easier and less stressful on the shoulders.

Swing your legs side to side like Windshield Wipers.

Swing your legs side to side like Windshield Wipers.