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Climbing Drill 2 (CL 2) Exercises 2023

Army CL2
Climbing Drill 2

Climbing Drill 2 (CL 2) is an advanced, performance-centric drill designed for soldiers in the sustaining phase. 

  • It aims to equip soldiers with the skills required for essential combat tasks like climbing, rope traversing, and pulling themselves up through ledges or windows.

Key Elements of CL 2:


  • For added resistance, soldiers undertake CL 2 wearing their LBE/LBV, body armor (IOTV) and ACH.


  • Flexed-Arm Hang: Soldiers hold the UP position of this exercise for five seconds. This is performed for one repetition only.
  • Heel Hook: Executed for five repetitions.
  • Pull-up: Carried out for five repetitions.
  • Leg Tuck: Done for five repetitions.
  • Alternating Grip Pull-up: Completed for five repetitions.


  • Once soldiers become proficient and can execute most of the drill without assistance, they can progress from performing five repetitions to ten. 
  • They can also increase from one to two sets of CL2.
  • The ultimate goal is for soldiers to accomplish 5 to 10 repetitions of all five exercises without any assistance.


  • If opting for a second set, soldiers should repeat the entire drill in the order mentioned above.


  • Until a soldier can complete all repetitions unaided, spotters will provide the necessary assistance.

Training Segments: Table 9-8 provides a detailed breakdown of the body segments targeted during CL 2.

Army CL2 Exercises
Climbing Drill 2 Exercises

Climbing Drill 2 Exercises

Army Climbing Drill 2 has five exercises:

  • Exercise 1: Flexed-Arm Hang
  • Exercise 2: Heel Hook
  • Exercise 3: Pull-Up
  • Exercise 4: Leg Tuck
  • Exercise 5: Alternating Grip Pull-Up

Flexed-Arm Hang:


  • Begin by gripping an overhead bar with your palms facing away. Using your arm strength, pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar.
  • Maintain this position, with elbows flexed, for as long as possible.

Muscles Targeted:

  • Primary: Biceps, brachialis, and brachioradialis (forearm muscles).
  • Secondary: deltoids (shoulders), rhomboids, and the latissimus dorsi (back muscles).


  • Builds strength and endurance in the upper body.
  • Improves grip strength, which is essential for various activities and tasks.

Heel Hook:


  • While climbing, use one of your heels to hook onto a ledge or object to secure your position or aid in movement.

Muscles Targeted:

  • Primary: hamstrings and calf muscles.
  • Secondary: quadriceps, glutes, and core.


  • Enhances climbing skills and agility.
  • Strengthens leg muscles, particularly the hamstrings.



  • Begin by hanging from an overhead bar with arms extended and palms facing away.
  • Pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar, then lower back down in a controlled motion.

Muscles Targeted:

  • Primary: Latissimus dorsi (back muscles).
  • Secondary: biceps, deltoids, rhomboids, and trapezius.


  • Builds strength and muscle mass in the upper body.
  • Improves upper-body functional fitness and mobility.

Leg Tuck:


  • Start in a flexed-arm hang position on a bar.
  • Using your core strength, bring your knees up towards your elbows.

Muscles Targeted:

  • Primary: Rectus abdominis (core).
  • Secondary: Hip flexors, obliques, lats, and biceps.


  • Targets and strengthens the core muscles.
  • Enhances overall body stability and balance.

Alternating Grip Pull-Up:


  • Hang from a bar with one palm facing you and the other facing away.
  • Perform a pull-up. After returning to the starting position, switch hand grips and repeat.

Muscles Targeted:

  • Primary: Latissimus dorsi, biceps, and brachialis.
  • Secondary: forearms, deltoids, and trapezius.


  • Provides an asymmetrical challenge, enhancing muscle coordination and balance.
  • Engages different muscle fibers and helps prevent muscular imbalances.

Each of these exercises offers specific benefits and targets key muscle groups. Integrating them into a training regimen can enhance upper-body strength, stability, and functional fitness.


In conclusion, Climbing Drill 2 (CL 2) is a holistic regimen tailored to prepare soldiers for the physical demands of combat. 

  • Each of these exercises offers specific benefits and targets key muscle groups. Integrating them into a training regimen can enhance upper body strength, stability, and functional fitness.
  • Through structured progression and rigorous training, soldiers are prepared to tackle challenging terrain and obstacles in real-world scenarios.

Table 9-8. Body segments trained in CL 2.

Climbing Drill 2

George N.