1. Adjust The Height Of The Vertical Climbing Machine
You will want to check to see if the vertical climbing machine you’ll be using can adjust for a perfect fit for your body type before clambering aboard. Each name brand will adjust slightly differently, but climb on first to see if the height of the upper body extensions is comfortable for your arm span.
Bring your feet to a level position and check to see that the handles are roughly at chin height. Adjusting the handles may be as simple as a push pin sliding adjustment or you may need to adjust a removable key.
2. Climb Onboard The Maxi Climber Machine
Climbing on the maxi climber machine is as simple as stepping up onto the foot pedals or pegs. The first time will likely be your most difficult as you adjust to the 75-degree angle that most of these machines tilt towards.
Place one foot on the lower pedal of the machine and reach up to grab hold of the handles. Some machines will have a stationary set of handles that are ideal for holding during this stage. Hold on tightly, then hoist your weight up to the second pedal.
Adjust your position to make sure that you are comfortable. Your weight should be back, keeping your whole body in a straight line instead of inclined at the same angle as the machine itself. Angling your body in this way can cause undue stress and damage to your knee joints.
3. Warm Up
You have two main options for warming up the muscles:
Short strides: You may want to try short strides first to get your muscles used to the actions of rock climbing. Place your hands on the stationary bars that many machines have available and make gentle, short up and down motions with your feet.
You should not bounce from side to side. Your core muscles should enable you to keep your hips and upper body stationary to prevent hip injuries.
You can see this move in action during the warm up section of this video:
Long strides: Longer strides are a deeper warm up for your muscles. You will mimic the same motion from the shorter strides, but this time, your strides should be approximately 18 inches apart to really work out your leg muscles.
Because your body weight is the only resistance that determines the intensity of your workout, longer strides force your body to pull more weight up and down and builds more muscle.
When are you are ready to begin warming up with the longer strides, you may want to consider warming up the arm muscles as shown in the above video simultaneously. For beginners, this warm up may be too intense, boosting your heart rate very quickly in the first few moments of your routine.
4. Choose A Workout Routine That Works For You
You have several options for the types of workouts that you can utilize with a maxi climber machine. If you’re asking yourself how to use a maxi climber, this is where it gets a little bit more complicated. Here are a few ideas to get your workout routine started:
Short workouts: When you’re just getting started, it might be a good idea to start with shorter but mostly continuous workouts. You may find yourself climbing consistently for two minutes, then rest for thirty seconds.
This is normal as your body adjusts to the machine and builds the proper muscle tone required for it. As you continue on, you will find your fitness level increases and the rest times required decrease significantly until you’re able to work out for a longer period of time.
If you already have a fairly high degree of fitness, you may be able to start immediately with a continuous but relatively short workout. Name brands like the Maxi Climber actually recommend starting with ten-minute workouts.
During this time, you can do a combination of short and long strides, keeping your motion continuous. You can work at a slower pace if necessary or a faster pace to make it more challenging.
High-Intensity Interval Training Workouts: Because the vertical climbing machines are a thorough workout for your muscles and your cardiovascular system, many climbers prefer the high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts.
This would typically involve a longer workout with rest and recover times scattered throughout. You would work at a very intense pace, usually for a span of three to four minutes, then spend thirty to sixty seconds resting before repeating the circuit.
Some of these circuits can be repeated up to ten times for a full thirty-minute workout. Bear in mind that a longer workout like these will require a greater degree of fitness. You may have to work up to this level of intensity.
Men’s Fitness magazine put together a few variations on the HIIT workouts for vertical climbers to give you some ideas to get started:
5. Cool Down And Climb Off
As you finish up with your workout, you want to make sure that you take a moment to cool down your muscles before hopping right off the machine. Spend a minute or two making smaller strides at a slower pace, giving your muscles a chance to take a small break before climbing off the machine completely.
As seen in the above video, you just want to take it easy for a little while to reduce your heart rate slowly and prevent faintness. It is tempting to skip this step after a hard workout, but it is important to cool down before stopping abruptly to restore your muscles and return your body to its normal state.
When you’ve finished cooling down for a couple of minutes, you simply bring the machine back to the same position it was in when you first climbed on. Hands firmly grip the handles (preferably the stationary ones if available).
Adjust your stride so one pedal is firmly at the bottom and the other is in the higher position. Remove the higher foot from the pedal first and place it firmly on the ground. Remove the second foot and let go of the machine when steady on the ground.