Rock Climbing

by Jessica B. | July 5th, 2012 | Strength Training

If you are looking for a fun way to build your upper body strength, rock climbing can be a great addition to your workout. Here are a few tips to get started with rock climbing wherever you live. You don’t need a lot of gear to start, just look for a local club or climbing wall.

What you need:  When you get started, the only things you might want to invest in are a pair of gloves and some comfortable clothing. If you are going to be climbing at an indoor climbing center, you can usually find most gear available to buy or rent. If you are unsure  if you will continue with the sport, start by renting. If you are going to be rock climbing outdoors, you will need more gear, but try to get involved with a  local club and borrow gear from them until you figure out what you need to invest in. As a beginning rock climber, you don’t want to climb on your own.

Classes: Before you start climbing on your own or with a friend, sign up for a class at your local climbing wall. Most classes include equipment rental. Many centers require a class, so you are certified to climb at their facility. These classes will teach you how to use a harness, tie knots, belaying and lowering, as well as rock wall etiquette.

Bouldering: If you are afraid of heights, like I am, you might try bouldering – a type of rock climbing that doesn’t require a mountain or heights. For bouldering you don’t need a lot of equipment, just good climbing shoes and some chalk. Some people also use mattresses to spot them. You then climb across the rock, rather than up it. You need to use a great deal of upper body strength for this, but you also need a strong core and lower body to help you keep your balance and maintain your position.

Bouldering has sprung up as a sport across the US and in Scandinavia. Even in New York City’s Central Park, there is a group of Boulderers. Because bouldering involves less risk, you do not need to join a club or a team to learn it; you can just head out to a local rock, but working with a club can help you learn the sport faster. It can also be fun to meet and train with a group of like minded individuals.


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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.