Rock climbing can be a fun and rewarding experience for anyone, regardless of their level of experience. Whether you’ve just started climbing or are a veteran climber, there are always new rock climbing tips to learn and techniques to master.
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In this blog post, we’ll be diving into indoor, outdoor, and bouldering tips that will help make your next climb even more enjoyable; and hopefully, make you a better rock climber, whether you love to climb indoors, outdoors, or boulder.
24 Rock Climbing Tips Everyone Should Know
1. Warm Up and Stretch
Before you even start trad climbing or doing any climbing for that matter, it’s important to warm up and stretch. This will help prevent injuries and ensure that you have a good climb.
Some recommended warm-up exercises include jogging in place, doing jumping jacks, or climbing short bouldering walls.
A simple set of dynamic stretches will help get your muscles ready for the physical activity you’re about to undertake and prevent injury.
2. Preview and Read the Route
Before you start climbing, it’s important to preview and read the route. Take a few minutes to examine the holds, look for any cruxes or difficult sections, and plan out your strategy. This will help you make better decisions during your climb and avoid getting stuck in awkward positions.
3. Stay Hydrated (One Of The Most Important Rock Climbing Tips!)
Climbing is physically demanding and can be tiring. Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day – dehydration can lead to fatigue and an increased risk of injury.
4. Don’t Waste Your Money on Rentals
If you’re just getting started with rock climbing, it might seem like a silly idea to go ahead and buy your own equipment. The thing is, if you’re starting out indoor climbing, all you’re going to need is a pair of climbing shoes and some chalk, and perhaps a helmet. This will set you back around about $200.
Which, trust me on this one, is far better than wasting money on renting gear at your local climbing gym; that probably won’t even be comfortable, which will take a serious effect on your climbing career.
5. Avoid Buying Gear You Don’t Need
Linking on from my previous tip; don’t buy gear you don’t need!
It’s easy to get caught up in purchasing all the latest gear and gadgets, but resist this urge! Only buy what you need and try not to buy too much until you know how often you’ll be climbing and what you’re going to be climbing!
You might THINK you’re going to lead climb all the time, but in 2 weeks you may realize you want to stick with boulders for now. This means, you’ve got the wrong equipment AND you’re going to have to go buy more.
6. Find A Partner to Climb With
Climbing is way more fun when you have someone to do it with. Finding a partner can be the difference between having a good day and having a great one.
Having someone there to help spot you, cheer you on, and just generally share the experience with takes your climbing session from average to amazing.
7. Join a Rock Climbing Class
Joining a class is an excellent way to refine your skills and practice with advanced climbers. Classes can help you understand the basics of safe, fun climbing as well as teach you more advanced techniques and problem-solving strategies.
It’s also a great way to meet other climbers, which can open up even more opportunities for climbing trips and other fun activities.
Personally, classes were a great way to meet other NEW climbers; it can feel like you’re the only noob at the climbing gym sometimes, so it was nice to interact with most climbers that were new and know I wasn’t alone on my very fresh climbing journey.
It can feel awkward when starting out, so this really helped.
8. Understand Climbing Grades
Climbing grades are a great way to measure your progress and track how far you’ve come. It’s important to understand the different grading systems so that you can accurately assess the difficulty of a route and make sure you’re climbing within your capabilities.
But with that, don’t get too obsessed with your climbing grade. It can be annoying to feel like, even though you’re climbing week after week, you’re not progressing. Because in actual fact, you are, sure you may not be going up in grades – but you’re getting better and better every time you climb.
So don’t get so obsessed with all the numbers and letters!
9. Ease Yourself Into Your Climbing Session To Avoid Injury
Easing yourself into a climb is essential for avoiding injury. That means taking breaks, stretching regularly, and listening to your body when it says you need a rest.
Start with easier climbs and increase the difficulty as you warm up and feel more comfortable. This will help ensure that you don’t push yourself too hard before you’re ready and reduce the risk of injury.
10. Don’t Overdo It
Don’t overdo it, even if you REALLY want to try another boulder problem or route.
It’s important to stay hydrated and well-fed on the climbing wall or in the boulder problems. Pushing yourself too hard can lead to serious injury or exhaustion so it’s important to know your limits.
Listen to your body and take regular breaks throughout the session; climb in short bursts and take time to recover in-between routes.
11. Learn How To Properly Move On The Wall (By Watching Better Climbers)
A great way to improve your technique is to watch more experienced climbers and learn how they move on the wall.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with the same movements and forget about all of the different options that are available. Watching other climbers gives you insight into different ways of moving, which can help you become a better and more efficient climber.
It’s also a great way to pick up new tips and tricks from more experienced climbers!
12. Climbing Calluses Are Your Friend (If You Treat Them Right)
Climbing calluses are a normal part of being a climber, but they can be painful if you don’t take care of them.
It’s important to file and moisturize your calluses regularly to keep them in check. This will help ensure that your hands stay comfortable and pain-free so you can focus on what matters: the climbing.
It’s also important to switch up your grip style from time to time; finger tape can help protect your skin if you’re doing a lot of crimpy or powerful climbing, and try not to over-grip when you don’t need to. This will help avoid ripping your calluses.
Did You Know?: Calluses can be very handy for climbers, especially if you’re an outdoor climber as they can provide you with a better grip when you’re holding onto real rock. It’s like having leather gloves on! As long as they don’t tear that is.
13. Put Together A Serious Training Plan If You Want To Progress Quickly
If you want to progress quickly and become a better climber, then it’s important to put together a serious training plan.
This can involve everything from regular climbing sessions with climbing friends to incorporating strength and mobility exercises into your routine. You’ll also want to focus on specific weaknesses in your technique by drilling certain moves or trying out different routes.
14. Ask For Beta!
Don’t be afraid to ask for beta, or advice, from experienced climbers. Everyone has different ways of doing things and it’s worth asking around if you want to try something new.
Also, keep an open mind when trying the beta – some might work better than others!
15. Resting Is Important
Recovery is important for any serious climber, and it’s essential that you get plenty of sleep and fuel after each session.
A good rule of thumb is to never try anything hard or risky when tired or hungry. Take care of yourself and your climbing will take care of you!
16. Keep Track Of Your Progress
Finally, make sure you keep track of your progress by keeping a climbing log or recording each session on video. This will allow you to look back and see where you’re improving and what areas still need work.
And, of course, you can figure out what levels you’ve been climbing from week to week, so you can actually know whether or not your efforts are paying off when it comes to becoming a better climber.
17. Consider The Type Of Chalk You’re Using
Chalk can make a huge difference to your grip, so it’s important to find one that works for you. There are lots of different types on the market and it may take some trial and error to find the one that suits you best.
Things like texture and moisture content can vary greatly between brands, so experiment with different options until you find the one that works best for you. It can make a world of difference!
18. Remember To Keep Your Arms Straight
This isn’t necessarily a tip, but a reminder to keep your arms straight when climbing. Keeping your arms slightly bent while reaching or doing dynamic moves can be dangerous, as it increases the risk of injury and can even cause you to lose grip if you don’t have the proper technique down.
Keeping your arms straight is essential for efficient climbing and ensuring your safety. That way, you can avoid any unnecessary strain on your arms and focus on the moves ahead of you instead.
19. Work On Your Core Strength
Your core is the foundation of your body, so strengthening it can really help you improve as a climber. Working on core strength will make it easier for you to stay balanced and maintain good form when climbing.
Exercises like planks, sit-ups, pull-ups, and even yoga can all help you develop your core strength. Incorporating these exercises into your climbing routine will help you progress faster and stay injury-free in the long run.
20. Think About Your Nutrition
Climbing is a physically strenuous activity and it’s important to make sure that you’re properly fueled in order to perform your best. Eating nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates can help keep you energized while climbing – this is one of the best rock climbing tips you’ll learn.
You should also think about what type of snacks or drinks you’ll need to keep you going throughout the day. Protein bars, gels, and electrolyte drinks are all great options for an energy boost when needed.
21. Don’t Just Stick To Indoor Climbing
Indoor climbing can be great for training and learning, but it’s important to remember that there is a whole world of outdoor climbing out there too.
Outdoor climbing offers an entirely different experience than indoor climbing, so don’t forget to explore the great outdoors when you have the chance! Just make sure to take all necessary safety precautions before heading out.
22. Become Part Of Your Local Climbing Community
Don’t forget to become part of your local climbing community. Joining a gym or team can help you find like-minded people who share your passion for the sport climbing and give you access to mentors and resources that will help you improve your skills.
And if joining a team isn’t your thing, then be sure to say “Hello!” to your fellow climbers when you’re near a rock spot or at the climbing gym, you’ll never know the valuable friends you could make!
23. Practice Falling!
While falling isn’t something most people would associate with climbing success, it is actually an important skill to master. Practicing to fall correctly helps build your confidence and allows you to push your limits without fear of taking a big fall.
The best way to practice is by starting small – set up a few mats or cushions around the wall, lower your climbing rope a few feet from the ground so you can get used to the sensation of falling, and then start pushing yourself further and further as time progresses.
Don’t forget to wear a helmet for added safety! With practice, you’ll soon find that falling is just another part of the challenge and fun of climbing. An essential rock climbing tips
24. And Of Course, Remember To Have Fun!
At the end of the day, rock climbing is all about having fun. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself while learning and pushing your boundaries.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced veteran, remember to take some time every now and then to reflect on how far you have come and appreciate your accomplishments. That way, you’ll stay motivated to continue progressing and reach your goals.
So keep these rock climbing tips in mind, stay safe, and have fun out there (don’t come to me when you get the climbing bug)!
10 Ways To Stay Safe When Rock Climbing
As with any activity, safety is key when it comes to rock climbing. Here are a few rock climbing tips to keep in mind before embarking on your adventure so you can stay safe:
- Always Wear A Helmet – Helmets provide vital protection and should be worn at all times while climbing.
- Check Your Gear – Make sure that all of your gear is in good condition before using it.
- Know Your Limits – Only attempt climbs that are within your current skill level and don’t be afraid to turn back if you don’t feel comfortable.
- Have A Spotter – If possible, have a spotter help you while climbing by standing beneath you and ready to catch you just in case.
- Know The Terrain – Research the route before climbing and make sure that you are familiar with all of its features.
- Watch Your Footing – Make sure to pay attention to your footing while climbing; a wrong step can be dangerous and cause an unexpected fall.
- Use A Belay Device – Using a belay device helps you control the rope while climbing and will help keep you safe in case of a fall.
- Don’t Climb Alone – Climbing with a partner or group is much safer than climbing alone, so try to always have someone around when you climb.
- Know The Weather – Be aware of the weather before heading out. Climbing in wet or icy conditions can be very dangerous, so make sure you’re prepared with the proper clothing and equipment.
- Stay Hydrated – Don’t forget to drink plenty of water while climbing; dehydration can cause dizziness and loss of focus, both of which are dangerous when climbing.
9 Bouldering Tips To Help You Send Problems
Bouldering is a great way to challenge yourself, get creative and hone your climbing skills. To help you reach the top of those boulder problems, here are a few rock climbing tips for bouldering:
1. Use Your Legs
Make sure to use your legs as much as possible. Bouldering is all about using your body in the most efficient way and your legs are just as important as your arms when it comes to pulling yourself up a wall.
2. Keep Your Hips Close To The Wall
Hips are the key to staying balanced when bouldering, so keep them close to the wall for better control.
3. Think About Every Hold
Take a few moments to think about each hold and the best way to approach it before committing. This will help you form a plan of attack and move with more confidence; ensuring that you always have 3 points of contact is absolutely key to bouldering and climbing in general.
4. Make Sure You Have Specialist Bouldering Shoes
Any old climbers’ shoes might do the trick, but if you’re serious about bouldering, you should invest in a pair of specialist bouldering shoes that are designed to give more grip, control, and power when climbing; some of my favorite bouldering shoes have been designed by La Sportiva.
5. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Advice
No matter how experienced you are, it’s always better to ask for advice rather than try something and potentially hurt yourself. Many climbers will be more than happy to share their knowledge and help you reach the top of that problem.
6. Get A Climbing Partner
Having a climbing partner can help push you to higher levels and give you more confidence in trying more difficult routes, and its a lot more fun to climb with someone else than it is to climb alone.
7. Don’t Be Afraid To Fail When Trying Interesting Solutions To Bouldering Problems
It’s okay to get creative and fail, as long as you are taking calculated risks. If one approach doesn’t work, then try something else; who knows, you might just come up with a new way of tackling the problem that works!
8. Work On Your Weaknesses
Don’t be afraid to go over routes that you might find difficult; this will help you identify your weaknesses and give you something to work on.
9. It’s Not THAT Serious!
Most importantly, have fun (one of the best rock climbing tips no matter your discipline)! Don’t get stressed out if you can’t complete the route on your first attempt; it’s all part of the learning process. With a bit of practice, you’ll be reaching the top in no time.
But still make sure to stay consistent, and get a gym session in as much as you can.
12 Indoor Climbing Tips To Help You Reach New Heights
Indoor climbing is a great way to practice and hone your skills in a safe environment. Here are some rock climbing tips for indoor climbers to help you get the most out of your experience:
1. Bring The Right Equipment (Depending On The Type Of Climbing You’re Doing)
Make sure you are well-equipped for the type of climbing you’ll be doing; from chalk bags to sticky rubber shoes, having the right gear makes all the difference (and so you don’t have to quickly drive home to get it or rent from your gym).
2. Get a Pair of Indoor Climbing Shoes
Indoor climbing shoes can make a big difference in the way you climb. Not only are they designed for maximum grip and control, but they also provide comfort and support when scaling walls so that you can fully enjoy the indoor climbing experience.
3. Brush Your Climbing Holds
Make sure to brush off your climbing holds after every session; this will help reduce the amount of dirt and chalk buildup on the wall, which can make climbing more difficult for your fellow climber.
Additionally, you’ll want to double-check just how well the climber was before you cleaned the holes, you don’t want to injure yourself by grabbing poor holds.
4. Be Mindful of Your Fellow Climber
Indoor climbing can be a very social sport and it’s important to have respect for your fellow climber; this is just good gym etiquette. Be mindful of their space and don’t crowd them; if they need some room, give them the opportunity to move away from you. Proper etiquette will get you everywhere!
5. Don’t Forget About Your Chalk
Chalk is essential for providing extra grip on the holds, so make sure you have enough of it before going climbing. Many indoor climbing gyms will provide some chalk for use, but it’s always better to bring your own.
6. Chalk Your Arms
Chalk your arms will help give you a further grip when you’re on the wall. Chalking your arms is a huge debate in the climbing world, but I personally do it. You should definitely give it a try as it might give you the edge you’ve been looking for.
7. Know Where You’ve Left Your Chalk Bag and Water Bottles
Indoor gym climbing can be very crowded and it’s easy to misplace your chalk bag or water bottle. Before you start climbing, make sure you know where these items are so that you don’t end up losing them and causing harm to your fellow climber.
It may seem unlucky, but people can injure themselves if they trip or even fall over these misplaced items.
8. Make Sure You’ve Passed The Belay Test
If you’re not familiar with the term “belay test,” it’s basically a safety procedure that all climbers must pass in order to use the rope climbing part of the climbing wall. Make sure you understand and adhere to all the rules set by your local gym before attempting any climbs.
9. Switch It Up If You’re Plateauing
If you’re finding that you’re not progressing as quickly as you’d like, try switching it up by attempting different routes or trying a new bouldering wall problem. This will help you to focus on the technique and potentially find new ways of tackling the same problems.
10. Enter A Climbing Comp
If you’re feeling brave, why not try entering a climbing competition? This is a great way to get some extra practice and push yourself above and beyond your comfort zone. It can also be a lot of fun with the added bonus of potentially winning something!
11 Outdoor Climbing Tips
Outdoor climbing can be a great way to get out of the city and experience nature in its finest form. Here are some outdoor rock climbing tips to help you make the most of your outdoor adventure:
1. Know The Risks (And Be Prepared)
Outdoor climbing has its own unique set of risks, so make sure you understand what you’re getting yourself into before attempting any climbs. Be prepared for the environment and take all necessary safety measures before leaving the ground.
2. Pack The Right Gear
Having the right gear is essential for outdoor climbing; from gloves and ropes to carabiners and quickdraws, make sure you have all the items you need before heading out.
3. If You’re Starting Out, Climb With Someone Experienced
If you’re brand new to outdoor climbing, it’s always best to climb with someone who has experience. This way, they can help guide you through the process and keep you safe from any potential dangers.
4. Climb Somewhere With Plenty of Grades Available
The more options you have for your first outdoor climbing experience, the better. If you live near a well-developed climbing area, consider yourself lucky.
The more climbs you try at different levels (even if you can only do a few climbing moves), the more comfortable you’ll feel climbing on a rock.
5. Repeat The Easy Climbs (There No Shame In It)
When starting out, it’s important to practice on the easy climbs. This is how you’ll build your confidence and become a better climber. Don’t be afraid to repeat the same climb multiple times; there’s no shame in it.
6. Make Sure You Know How To Fall
Outdoor climbing is a lot more unpredictable than indoor, so it’s important to know how to fall if something goes wrong. Before attempting any climbs, practice falling in a safe environment and make sure you understand the risks.
7. Always Have The Necessary Safety Gear (And Know How To Use It)
No matter what grade you’re climbing, it’s important to have the necessary safety gear. This includes helmets, harnesses and belay devices. Make sure you know how to use these pieces of equipment properly before heading out on the rock face.
8. Be Respectful Of The Outdoors
Always respect the environment while out climbing and make sure you leave no trace. Don’t damage the rock, pick up any rubbish you find and be mindful of other climbers in the area.
9. Learn To Rappel
Rappelling is an important skill to know and understand if you’re looking to climb outdoors. Make sure you know how to safely rig your rope and practice rappelling in a safe environment before attempting it on the rock.
10. Travel Light
When heading out for a day of climbing, it’s important to travel light. Don’t bring anything you don’t need and make sure all your gear fits in one bag; this will help reduce the amount of weight you’re carrying on the climb.
11. Dress For The Weather
The weather can change quickly when climbing outdoors, so make sure you’re prepared for all possibilities. Wear layers and bring an extra jacket in case the temperature drops or it starts to rain.
15 Ways To Improve Your Rock Climbing Technique
1. Climb With Your Feet
A lot of people rely on their arms to do most of the work when they climb, but using your feet is just as important. It’s all about balance and having a good lower body technique helps you move more efficiently up the wall.
2. Practice Different Kinds of Grip
There are several types of grips in climbing, so practice them all. It’s important to diversify your grip, as this will help you get better at using different holds and angles which you might come across when climbing outdoors.
3. Keep Your Weight on Your Skeleton
When climbing, it’s important to keep your weight on your skeleton and not just your arms. This will help you save energy and keep you from getting too tired during a climb. Try to focus on transferring the weight of your body onto your feet instead of relying solely on your hands.
4. Strengthen Your Grip Strength
Grip strength is essential for successful climbing, so it’s important to develop it as much as possible. You can do this by doing exercises such as pull-ups and hangboarding at home or in the gym.
5. Improve Your Balance
Balance is key in climbing, so practice balancing on small holds and edges. This will help you build the necessary strength to stay balanced in tricky situations when you’re outdoors.
6. Keep Your Body Close to the Wall
When you’re climbing, it’s important to keep your body close to the wall. This will make it easier for you to reach the next hold and help prevent you from getting off balance. Try not to lean away too much as this will tire you out quickly.
7. Think About Static Climbing Technique
The static technique is all about slow and steady movements – it’s important to be patient and take your time. Don’t rush your moves, but instead focus on maintaining a good balance between strength, body position, and breathing. This will help you conserve energy when you’re climbing long routes.
8. Think About Dynamic Climbing Technique (When Its Necessary)
Moving on from static movement, we have the dynamic climbing technique. This involves quick and explosive movements. When you’re in a situation where time is of the essence, this technique can be helpful as it often requires less energy than static climbing. Just make sure to focus on precise and accurate movements, so that you don’t miss any holds or waste energy unnecessarily.
9. Develop Smooth Movement
Smooth, efficient movements are key in rock climbing. Try to practice different types of movement, such as walking up the wall or making large dynamic moves, so that you can become more comfortable with the basic techniques when you’re out on a climb.
10. Build Your Endurance
Climbing is all about endurance – the longer you can keep climbing, the better. Try to build up your endurance by doing short, intense workouts and adding some aerobic exercises into your routine as well. This will help you climb for longer periods of time without getting tired. And of course, work on your upper body strength too.
11. Develop the Right Muscles
It’s important to train the right muscles for climbing. You need to focus on building your upper body, core, and lower body strength as they all play an important role in a successful climb. Try to incorporate exercises that target each of these muscle groups into your routine.
12. Focus On Your Breathing
When you’re climbing, focus on your breathing and always try to keep it steady. This will help you stay relaxed and conserve energy for the rest of the climb.
13. Find Rest Spots
Whenever you’re climbing, it’s important to stop climbing and rest in spots where you can easily hold your body weight. This will help prevent fatigue and conserve energy for the more difficult parts of a climb. Keep an eye out for good spots on the wall where you can rest and catch your breath before continuing.
14. Learn How To Fall
It’s important to learn how to fall safely. Practice falling in a safe environment with soft mats and make sure to keep your knees bent and arms up when you are falling. This will help you stay protected if you ever encounter an unexpected situation while climbing.
15. Watch and Learn
One of the best ways to learn how to rock climb as a new climber is by watching other good climbers. See how they move and take note of any tips or tricks that you can use in your own climbing. You can also ask experienced climbers for advice on technique, gear, and more.
Rock climbing can be an intimidating sport, but with the right tips and techniques, you’ll be able to conquer your fear and reach new heights. Remember to stay focused, practice good technique, build up your strength and endurance, and always have fun!