Rock climbing is no longer the fringe sport it once was. You now see rock climbing everywhere you turn. From Netflix documentaries such as the ‘Dawn Wall’ and ‘Free Solo’, to mainstream climbing channels on YouTube, the sport of climbing is becoming more and more apart of popular sports culture. This isn’t just the case for outdoor climbing either. Indoor climbing and climbing gyms have played their part in the sports rise to the top of the adrenaline-junkie food chain.
Kids are now starting their climbing careers from the moment they can walk. Now more than ever, there’s no reason for you not to give it a go! We get it, climbing may be daunting at first, but with all the specialist equipment and safety behind the sport, there’s no need to scared.
If you’re thinking of kick-starting your climbing career, or are a newcomer that needs some help, we’ve gathered some top tips to help you on your climbs.
1. Rest when possible
As is the case with many sports, rest is essential! This is as important as any skill in rock climbing. This is particularly the case on a long route. When an area of space presents itself, drop one or both arms and use it as time to relax your upper body to aid your recovery on the climb. Not only will this help you enjoy the climb more, but it will also make it easier if you rest correctly.
2. Maintain stable feet
Climbers often get nervous or anxious on a climb. This causes them to scrape around and shake their feet which wastes energy and leads to errors or misjudgements. Our tip is the next time you go climbing, choose a route that is below your abilities and attempt to climb it with stable feet. The ease of the route will allow you to practice this habit. As you’re ascending the route, remember to climb with a focus placed on keeping calm and collected.
Not getting enough oxygen can often lead to shaking on your climb. Breathing deeply with each move on your route can help to combat this. An additional benefit is that it aids in keeping the mind calm and collected, which will no doubt help you to ascend more effectively.
4. Engage your core
Developing and maintaining a strong core is absolutely essential for maintaining balance and stability on the wall. Occasionally, engaging the core will need to be a very intentional decision that will help you to maintain balance and even ascend difficult segments on the climb.
5. Be positive!
This may sound silly, but keeping positive and talking to yourself on climbs can really help to boost motivation and even ability. If you think you can do it, you will. Always remember to maintain a positive mind-set when climbing as this could be the difference between a positive and a negative experience on the wall.