Climbing is an exercise as well as a sport. Anyone who has a flair for climbing will find that it is fun and invigorating. Much like dancing, climbing involves body movement and energy. In this case though, as opposed to dancing, climbing involves you moving up a rock wall with four contact points.
Every climber has a long way to go in mastering the art. Just like any other sport, you start as a beginner, opt in for intermediate pursuits before attempting the professional level.
Having started out as a novice, it is high time you step up your skills to another level and becoming a world class indoor rock climber in the process. We assume you are just starting out; therefore, we have assembled a list of suggestions and tips which could help you beginners understand and master the art of indoor rock climbing.
Getting started Tips
- Head for a good rock climbing gym
Indoor climbing is fun and a safe way to know what the sport is about. Beginners like you would have tried out a lot of rock climbing gyms but sticking to one or two has its benefits. Not just any climbing gym will do. You need to scout you area for quality ones; your experience counts in it. Once you have found a good climbing gym, watch the experienced climbers, study their technique and learn from them. A good climbing gym should have quality equipment and knowledgeable staff who know their stuff, so you have nothing to worry about when you begin climbing. Also, reach out to other climbers and share your experiences. Climbing is a social sport and finding good partners will ensure you progress to harder routes and you never lack motivation.
- Understand Rock Climbing
Some climbing gyms may give lessons on how to climb; some may not. Know what you’ll need. The basic equipments you’ll need to climb are: the harness, belay devices, rock shoes, chalk bag with loose chalk (or chalk balls), water or energy drink and maybe a climbing guide. As long as you have all these in hand, you are ready to climb.
- Develop muscles and improve your strength
Climbing involves both strength and technique; both are equally important. A lot of climbers ignore technique and focus solely on building strength. This is wrong, because when both are combined, it makes you a better climber. But yes, it is very important for you to take part in strengthening exercises. The following list details the part of the body that should be focused on and why they need to be strengthened.
- Arms: by doing exercises that strengthen the forearm, wrist and fingers, you are simply improving your grip. Strengthening your grip is absolutely necessary as a climber; you need to be firm on the holds.
- Shoulders: Having a strong shoulder helps you lock on to holds as you reach higher for the next one.
- Midsection: climbing requires that you put your back into it. All this adds up in maintaining good balance as you climb.
- Legs: Your legs should be flexible and strong. They do more work than your arms and can take a lot of weight.
Developing your muscles shouldn’t go to the extent of having bodybuilder sized muscles. Climbing needs strength and flexibility. You don’t need all that muscle. So tone your body while you exercise.
- Warm-up and Stretch
Before a climb, you will need to get blood flowing through all your muscles including the extremities like the fingers and fingers. Take half an hour to get your muscles and joints limbered. By doing this, you will find it easier to climb difficult routes. Warming yourself up also helps you to avoid injury.
- Observe and read the route
Every advanced climber does this. It is an important mental skill. Visualizing the route before you make your climb would give you an advantage when you eventually get up on the wall. Analyzing rests points and sequences through the entire route from below will put you in the best possible position when you reach the crux (the hardest point of a climb).
- Ensure you are hydrated at all times
Take in water before a climb, during a climb and after a climb. Your hands and feet start cramping when you are dehydrated. Always make sure you replace the fluids you lose through sweating from a climb. Have a bottle of water glued to your harness.
- Start easy
Don’t rush your development. By engaging harder and more advanced routes, you could incur serious injuries. Start with the easy routes and progress through these first before you take on the advance ones.
- Work on your balance
Learning how to shift and spread your weight is a key factor in making you a better climber. Keep your weight above your feet when you climb. By doing so, it will assist your body in going up. The purpose of this is to minimize the amount of body mass you have pulling you off the wall. As you ascend, push up from the midsection to evenly spread your weight and to move your body mass from the back half of your body to the front half.
- Focus on nothing but your 8 feet radius
All you need in your climb is within 8 feet of you. Focus solely on things in this circle and you will climb better. Ignore disturbing noise or other climbers around you. Also keep your body close to the wall. Beginners tend to look up constantly. Only do look up when you feel the need to see the route. Also, stand erect; keep your arms straight, and always press upwards with your feet.
- Find rest spots
This climbing technique is one of the reasons why some climbers have the edge over others. Learning to spot good rests is essential in climbing. Find a place to rest every 3 meters or so. It will help you relinquish the tension in your arms and legs.
- Learn from the experts
You can learn a lot by watching the technique used by good climbers. Practice what you see them doing. At first, it might seem perplex and strange but as soon as your muscles adjust to it, you will realize that your skills have stepped up a level. In time, you will master a lot of climbing techniques.
Really, there could be as many as a hundred tips for you beginners starting indoor climbing. But those listed above stand heads and shoulders over many. A few of the remaining tips are listed below:
- Join a climbing group: Converse with other climbers and you’ll never run out of motivation and challenges.
- Don’t be scared of heights. Remember, you have a belayer to cushion your fall.
- Watch your growth and keep fit.
- Treat injuries with respect. Don’t rush recovery.
- Always care for body needs after a climb.
- Have your personal climbing gear.
- Try outdoor climbing.
Remember, reading these tips don’t automatically make you an expert in indoor rock climbing. The best way to be good at it is to actually go to the climbing gym and try it out. Also visit Urbanaccent contact us page for more information on how to join. Head over to the nearest rock climbing gym and explore. The best help you’ll get is there. Have fun climbing!