Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Table Climbing

The Stairgator post got me thinking about some of the other exercises I used to do around the house. At the time they were 'exercises' in as much as they were taxing physically, but they were hardly part of some formal program - they were more a form of play or general 'cocking about'....and there is one activity that is due a recall....

In my late teens and early twenties there was one activity that was popular amongst climbers - particularly drunk climbers, that gives a full body workout. It is a 'pull and press' workout but will test your core strength, climbing strength and your grappling skills!

Now, a decade on, this self same exercise would appear to be a fantastic training exercise that complements a set of Stairgators (the alcohol is optional).

Google the words 'table' and 'climbing' and the forthcoming result-set will yield lots of links to South Africa and Table Mountain. But, right at the top of the list in pride of place you will find a YouTube clip dedicated to the black art of 'Table Climbing'. The only kit that is required is a sturdy (preferably freestanding), table. A table for four or six is optimal but masochists may wish to opt for a banquet sized structure. Although table shapes may vary, a square or rectangular table is traditional!

Table Climbing
If you have never tried it before, Table Climbing looks to be a simple exercise in cocking about, but there are rules:
  1. Start from the top of the table.
  2. Leave the table top (head or feet first), at one of the table's narrowest ends.
  3. You must climb BETWEEN the legs of the narrow end.
  4. At NO point must you touch the floor (and the elite may wish to avoid touching the table's legs)
  5. Traverse along the underside of the table to the opposite end.
  6. Ascend back on to the top of the table.
  7. Heel hooks and hands may reach around the broad side of the table - but no other part of the body.
  8. The 'athlete' has completed one circuit when successfully back on top of the table.
Here is a link by way of example. The technique in this clip is pretty lame (and it is generally considered bad form to 'broadside'), but hell, they look like they are having fun. One of the guys nails it just after the four minute mark.

Here is a second link showing that even small tables can be used.

No iron. No need for specialist equipment. Short, brutal, functional and intense. No guesses for what Captain Kid and I will be doing this weekend!



Methuselah said...

Brilliant! Big fan of tables myself, as I often use them for dooing pull exercises when I am confined to a hotel room...inverted under-table pull-ups... You ever tried these?

Asclepius said...

I have used an inverted pull up in table climbing to return to the table top.

I have also done under-table rows in hotel rooms.

Tables eh? Such utility!