10 Training Tips For Rock Climbing
Whether you're an expert rock climber or a beginner just looking to get into the sport, check out these 10 training tips for rock climbing enthusiasts. It's important to get in shape before going rock climbing to minimize injuries and to build stamina. Rock climbing is both physically and mentally demanding, and it will push you to the limit if you're not prepared.
- Push yourself. Rock climbing is not an easy sport. The more you push yourself in the gym, the better you will be able to handle the rough conditions on your rock climbing trip. Get used to overcoming obstacles mentally before you set out for the real deal.
- Work your hands. Developing hand strength is key to rock climbing training. Your wrists, fingers, and palms must be strong enough to buoy your weight when shifting from rock to rock. Use free weights to build these muscles.
- Stretch well. You won't be able to continue climbing if you pull a major muscle, and the same goes during training. Do active stretching before and after your workout to prevent injuries.
- Warm up. Warming up doesn't mean just stretching. You want to get your circulation going and your heartbeat up before starting any strenuous activity, and rock climbing is no exception. Jog, run in place, or do jumping jacks.
- Practice flexibility exercises. No, this doesn't mean you have to sign up for yoga classes (although they would help!). Flexibility is something you can develop, and limber joints will enable you to complete more difficult climbing routes.
- Do pullups. Rock climbers are often expected to use a single grip to pull their entire body weight. If you can't do a single pullup, it's time to hit the gym. Start by reaching ten pullups and work your way to one-handed ones.
- Find balance. A good sense of balance is necessary for rock climbers to control the weight of their body while climbing. Practice squats on tip-toes to become more comfortable supporting your own weight.
- Work your toes. This may seem strange, but toe and foot strength is another important element of rock climbing training. If your feet are weak, they won't be able to grip foot holds or rocks as well as you need them to.
- Watch other climbers. You don't have to be a stalker to appreciate talented rock climbers. Head to an indoor climbing wall and take note of advanced techniques. Asking questions will build your confidence.
- Have fun. A lot of rock climbers take training and the sport too seriously. Most cities have rock climbing communities with meetups and scheduled trips. Take advantage of these opportunities to meet new people and you won't mind all that hard work during training.