There are few sports that test your mental and physical endurance like rock climbing. Although it is a challenging sport, the payoffs are numerous: incredible views from terrain that might otherwise be inaccessible, the gratification of knowing you overcame challenges to make it to the top, and the incredible shape your body gets in.
Rock-climbing gyms are cropping up all over the country, so it is easy for beginners to build their skills and confidence before heading outdoors. It’s a good idea to take lessons to learn the basics of climbing techniques and safety, including how to tie your rope and how to belay your partner. Indoor and outdoor routes are graded according to difficulty level, which means wherever you climb there should be something for everyone, from novice climbers to the most experienced.
Rock climbing is a mental sport as well as a physical sport. Climbers must carefully plan each move to successfully maneuver up the mountain. And since no two climbs are the same, each time you engage in the sport you’ll experience a unique mental and physical challenge.
Rock climbing provides a great overall body workout. Not only do you use your arms and shoulders to pull you up to the next hold, but you also rely on leg strength to propel you. Abdominal strength is also needed to keep your body balanced. The sport also improves flexibility and coordination as you maneuver up the wall.
It is important to keep breathing while you are scaling a route. Although this may sound obvious, many beginner climbers hold their breath during difficult moves, which saps their body of vital strength and energy.
Warming Up and Cooling Down
It’s a good idea to warm up before getting on the wall. Five to 10 minutes spent walking or jogging will warm up your muscles and elevate your heart rate. Start with easier climbs and gradually work your way up to more difficult routes.
Stretching before and after climbing is critical. Give extra attention to your back, arms, chest, shoulders, and quads when stretching to prevent injury and to reduce soreness.
Please Note: The material on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.
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