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Old 05-07-2014, 06:09 AM   #1
Robbie Nelson
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Legless rope climbs and sore abs?

I did the main site WOD on Sunday (14' legless rope climb and 200' sprint; 10 rounds for time). No time for workouts since then (work/life). The WOD went well. My upper body feels fine. But my abs were really sore yesterday and are sore today; especially around the rib tips. Do legless climbs work the abs? I've done legless climbs before and never noticed the ab soreness.

I did Diane on Friday (PRed it!) but I don't think that would affect my abs and it was 4 days before the ab soreness. Ran a 5K on Saturday (8sec short of a PR).
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Last edited by Robbie Nelson : 05-07-2014 at 06:15 AM. Reason: added signature
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:14 AM   #2
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Legless rope climbs and sore abs?

Possibly the sprints.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:23 PM   #3
Josh Groves
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Re: Legless rope climbs and sore abs?

My thoughts as well, lots of rotational forces under high load as you pump the arms and legs. Especially if you don't sprint often.
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:16 AM   #4
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Legless rope climbs and sore abs?

Thinking about this a bit more.

1. If you can do legless rope climbs you must have some decent strength. However I have none a few people who can do legless rope climbs with no problem but didn't really have strong abs (but they were also tall and lanky and young so bad levers for gymnastics ab work as they were non gymnastics [rec kids])

2. How often do you normally work out? You said you follow mainsite so that makes me want to think 3on1off.

3. The DL in Diane can tax the abs a bit as can the HSPU. Well for some people. It's hard to say.

4. My only guess is Diane taxed your abs a bit and even though there was a day of rest, the rope climb sprints hit them again a bit.

5. When you climb a rope, you actually have to create body tension just like when doing pullups especially legless. I wouldn't say they work the abs heavily like L or straddle rope climbs but they do work them some.

6. Did you do anything funky like kip the rope climb hand grabs?


Kinda stupified the more I think of it.

Technically running does hit the abs a bit.

So you have Friday of doing DL.

Sat the 5k, which isn't much but each step there is some impact, a little.

Sun the rope climbs and sprints (which have way more impact per steps). I've never been sore from sprinting in my abs.

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Old 05-08-2014, 06:34 AM   #5
Robbie Nelson
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Re: Legless rope climbs and sore abs?

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2. How often do you normally work out? You said you follow mainsite so that makes me want to think 3on1off.
I do some form of exercise nearly everyday, unless life gets in the way. I've been on a GSLP for the past several months. I've taken a recent break from the GSLP due to a right forearm pain. I do an occasional main site WOD, an occasional custom/random WOD and a bit of running/biking.

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6. Did you do anything funky like kip the rope climb hand grabs?
Nope

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Oh well.... Thanks for all the thoughts. Started back on my GSLP yesterday. Forearm felt "OK" during the bench presses.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:03 PM   #6
Tate Dimech
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Re: Legless rope climbs and sore abs?

Did you 'kip' on the way up?
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:39 PM   #7
Dakota Base
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Re: Legless rope climbs and sore abs?

It's not that uncommon for guys to "feel it" in their upper abs doing legless rope climbs. That was a pretty standard complaint during the first few weeks of wrestling camp, among the guys that could JUST BARELY do legless climbs.

It's mostly about posture. As you climb legless, if you pull your elbows in tight and low, and your chest starts pointing upward (i.e. your back is somewhat arched with your shoulders leaning back and your belly button pressing towards the rope) somewhat leaning backwards, you'll be putting a lot of tension on your upper abs while they're fully extended. We had a few guys that complained about ab soreness after doing what I'd now call "L-sit legless climbs," but that's kinda a no brainer as to why.
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Old 01-03-2017, 03:54 PM   #8
Sean Pizel
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Re: Legless rope climbs and sore abs?

The fastest rope climbers in the world use a technique that is very ab intensive. Basically the better they get the more their body position resembles a front lever, and the 'kip' appears more like they are jumping up the side of building. I suspect this creates a much longer pull, since once the body is perpendicular to the rope, twisting and reaching adds some portion of width of the climbers chest to each pull. A longer pull means less pulls, means you can get up the rope faster.

Not sure its optimum for crossfit training, but its the technique I try to use, and as a result, rope climbing wrecks my abs more than any single crossfit movement.
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