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Climbing Drill 1 (CL1) Exercises 2023

Climbing Drill1 (CL1)
Climbing Drill 1 (CL1)

Climbing Drill 1 (CL 1) is a specialized set of exercises designed to enhance a soldier’s upper body and core strength. 

  • CL1 Exercises focus on improving soldiers’ ability to climb and negotiate obstacles.


  • The main objective of the Climbing Drill 1 exercise is to reduce your climbing time. 
  • This drill enables soldiers and climbers to ascend faster, navigate obstacles efficiently, and achieve noticeable progress in a short period of time.
  • This drill is a comprehensive workout as the exercises target various body parts, increasing your climbing skills and efficiency.

What makes CL1 Exercises different?

  • One of the things you will notice about CL1 is that it has a multitude of workouts. 
  • Some will help you focus on the arms, shoulders, trunk, or back. 
  • Yet other exercises help you work on your lower legs, chest, thighs, and hips. 
  • Some of them are complete body workouts, too, which is a significant plus.

Muscles Worked by Climbing Drill 1 Exercises

Army CL1 Exercises work on the following muscles to enhance your core and upper body strength:

  • Upper Body Muscles: Latissimus dorsi (lats), biceps, triceps, deltoids, and chest muscles.
  • Core Muscles: The rectus abdominis obliques and transverse abdominis (deep stabilizing muscles)

Climbing Drill 1 Exercises

  • Climbing drill one is always performed in its entirety in the order listed below.
  • Soldiers perform 5 to 10 repetitions of each exercise in CL1 with or without assistance, using only their body weight as resistance. 
  • The goal is to perform 5 to 10 repetitions of all five exercises unassisted. 
  • The drill is repeated in the order listed if a second set is performed. 

The following are the five Climbing Drill 1 exercises:

Climbing Drill 1 Exercises
Climbing Drill 1 Exercises

Straight-Arm Pull

  • The Straight-Arm Pull is one of those intense, creative workouts that allows you to focus on your hands and core. 
  • Pulling off a few reps can become tough, despite being a simple workout. With that in mind, you will find it a great starting point for the climbing drill. 
  • Since it focuses a lot on the power of your hands, it’s an excellent workout, and it has the potential to offer a stellar result. 
  • Plus, it’s an extended hand grip, so it does help you build stamina and endurance.

Heel Hook

  • The heel Hook is a staple exercise when it comes to Climbing. 
  • It would help to stay under the bar, raise your feet above it, and interlock. 
  • It’s a very intense workout that enhances your grip and focuses on gaining strength.
  • Sometimes, you must have a solid grip to maintain your position or advance when climbing.
  • And that’s where the Heel Hook is the most efficient. It can also be a solo workout, but it fits very well within Climbing Drill 1.


  • Pull-ups are self-explanatory; in this case, you are under a bar and focus on pulling yourself up and hanging for a bit, then coming down. Varying these Pull-Ups is an exciting idea, but that’s what makes it a versatile workout.
  • Ideally, you want an extended hang, then come down.
  •  As we showed earlier, 5 to 10 reps will be more than okay, but you can always try to do more depending on the situation. 
  • It’s an incredible option, and certainly one you need to consider.

Leg Tuck

  • The Leg Tuck workout is great for your abdominal area but also works on your hip flexor muscles. 
  • On top of that, it can help you boost your grip strength, especially if you are climbing a rope. 
  • The good idea is to use an alternating grip. 
  • Doing that will give you better consistency, and you can focus on making the entire process cohesive and dependable. 
  • It’s an exercise that can be difficult to get used to, but it’s still very impressive and a pleasure to try out.

Alternating Grip Pull-Up

  • What you will like about the Alternating Grip Pull-Up is that it allows you to alternate your hands, which makes things easier. 
  • It also helps work on your core while being a very consistent workout. It takes some trial and error to figure out how to perform this exercise correctly, but in the end, it’s a great workout everyone should try. 
  • It’s excellent as a part of the climbing drill, so that’s something to focus on.

What a New Soldier Should Know

The following are key points a soldier needs to know about Climbing Drill 1 exercises:

  • Sequence: You will always perform the CL1 exercises in the specified order to ensure a balanced workout without risk of injury.
  • Number of Repetitions: As a soldier, perform 5 to 10 repetitions of each exercise with the goal of doing all the exercises unassisted.
  • Soldiers’ Body Weight Resistance: You will use your body weight as resistance for all climbing drill one exercises, which is deliberate to ensure you can handle and manipulate your body mass efficiently, a crucial skill in combat situations.
  • Assistance: You will need help to perform the exercises initially, but with regular practice, you should aim to perform them without assistance.
  • Form and Safety: Soldiers should always maintain proper form and safety throughout the exercises.
  • Tables and References: New soldiers should familiarize themselves with the tables in Army PRT Cards.

Benefits of Climbing Drill Exercises

The following are the benefits of climbing drill one exercises:

  • Enhanced Upper Body Strength: Climbing Drill 1 exercises target a soldier’s upper body muscles, ensuring they have the strength to pull their body weight, which is essential for climbing and other combat tasks.
  • Increases Core Strength: CL1 exercises promote the development of a robust and resilient core.
    • Increased core strength is important for your body’s stability, balance, and power.
  • Military Obstacle Operations: Climbing drills prepare soldiers for military operations in challenging terrain with physical barriers.
  • Body Coordination: Climbing drill one exercise enhances a soldier’s overall physical coordination by requiring them to coordinate the movements of different body parts.


In conclusion, climbing drill 1 is a comprehensive workout tailored for climbers and soldiers to enhance their upper body and core strength.

  • Working on your core and endurance is beneficial, and this exercise helps add that unique set of challenges to a good workout.
  • While challenging, it’s still an excellent workout that everyone should add to their routine. 
George N.