Exercises and stretches to supplement strength

I will be 55 this year. Just thought I'd pass this along - I haven't really been doing anything over the past year or so to supplement the workout I get in trees. I moved out of my house, so no more woodstove, which means no more swinging a maul for hours on end, or stacking and staging wood.

I noticed I've been having a very, very hard time twisting my Stihl MS310 into position for wedge cuts, and even just holding it chest height. And my MS200T, as light as that is, can be a challenge at full reach.

This fall I got off my a__ and started skateboarding more. I also try to incorporate push-ups and a 35lb kettlebell into my day, in addition to the tree work. I find the kettlebell is uniquely suited to the kind of strength required to raise and position a chain saw at shoulder height. Skateboarding I'm sure will help to increase stamina and strength in all things legs. I'm not a gym-rat. I just am not consistent going there. I do short (10 mi) mountain bike rides with my daughter whenever we can too.

I eat almost entirely plant-based, which helps. I've been eating that way for almost 20 years. I've also been taking seed nutrition supplements since fall 2014, and seed nutrition ended the "micro-tears" in my shoulders, and overall it speeds healing to muscles, tendons and ligaments, eliminating the down-time that used to plague me before taking it. For example I had to sling my arm due to shoulder pain several times, and was limping around for years on a knee TCL that wouldn't heal.

So I will continue to incorporate kettlebell, simple floor exercises and skateboarding into my regimen and will report on their efficacy.

I also have a L4-L5 disc herniation which used to torture me w/WICKED sciatica. I mean, "in tears" and stopping to rest on things kind of pain. But since dropping weight, seed nutrition (anti-inflammatory, bigtime) and coming down inverted from rec climbing, my back hardly hurts at all anymore.

I also discovered a way to crack my back, since other ways (like twisting in a chair) don't really work for me. Imagine you dropped something that rolled under a table, so you place one hand on the table edge as you bend down and reach under to get it. This works really well for me. The surface has to be just the right height (experiment for what works for you) and the table needs to be open underneath so I can reach under and stretch with my free arm. Doing this in both directions usually results in some good cracks for me.

While hanging from my TIP during a rec climb, I put my foot up higher than my head and press my ankle against the vertical limb, stretching my side calf and surrounding muscles. I use forks and co-dominant leaders to stretch my thighs, seeing how far of a split I can maintain and walk up before my (short!) legs can no longer reach.

I have found, in the last few years, stretching has moved from optional to CRITICAL. For example, after riding my sportbike, sometimes during the night or next morning I will sometimes get a cramp in my lower leg that is so bad, the first time it happened I thought I was coming down with MS or some debilitating muscular disease. That's how long it lasts (15, 20 mins, and it recurs) and how useless my leg feels while its cramping. Not a typical calf cramp I can simply "push out" with my heel. So the "yoga in a tree" (I'll invent a term... Tree-ga) is essential for me to not have to deal with the cramping nonsense.

I don't mean to bore you younger climbers; this post is mostly for us old folk!!! If you're already jacked cause you hit the gym constantly, good for you!


New Member
England Coventry
It is really amazing that at 55 years you still look after your body tonus and invest in it with different methods like exercises and stretches. I wish everyone would pay so much attention to how they are treating their bodies. Nowadays, even if to be healthy is a trend, not just people over 50 years are forgiving of taking care of their bodies but most of all young people which increasingly more suffer from obesity and other diseases. Also, I think that it is a must to enrich our diets with different useful supplements that help our bodies. I use to buy mine from Onnit.
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Well-Known Member
Add some forward and rear lunges, possibly while holding weight. For the first time, I’d suggest making sure you don’t have much planned the next day, you’ll be sore if not used to working those muscles. You’ll catch people checking out your booty after a while. :)

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