Rock climbing can be described as any situation where you’re ‘climbing’ up a rock. It could be at a climbing gym, a mountain side or a natural rock climbing location, or a ‘bouldering’ spot which is rock climbing, only it’s done sideways as opposed to climbing up. To read the full article go to Peak Pursuits
There are many benefits of this sport, but they’re not all physical. Some of the perks are actually emotional and psychological.
Physical benefits of rock climbing
Rock climbing is a difficult sport. You’re required to use your strength to cling to the wall and often times you are holding most of your muscles in a static hold, constantly tensed. You should aim to be as relaxed as possible to get better at climbing, but sometimes you can’t and it’s very hard work. This is a good thing.
Notable physical benefits of climbing:
Stronger arms.Your arms will become stronger the more you climb, this is because your arms are used to traverse the climbing wall or face. Your grip strength will increase dramatically after just a few weeks of climbing.
Stronger Shoulders.Of course your shoulders are part of your arms, but the strength you’ll gain in your shoulders is important. You’ll develop nice toned shoulders, as this muscle group is used to keep you stable on the wall.
More powerful Thigh muscles.Your legs will become more toned, although this isn’t one of the main muscles that will become stronger. Your legs are used to push you up fro leg holds and further up the wall, but it’s not a ‘very strenuous’ workout for them.
Stronger Back and neck.Your neck will develop stronger muscle groups around it because you’re always looking around you and up and down as you climb. The nature of the sport also means your back gets nice workout too!
Forearms. Look great when they’re toned, and your strength here will increase a LOT.
Improved Cardio.Because it’s a low impact cardio exercise, your breathing and heart rate will improve as well as your stamina etc..
And every other muscle group (pretty much). It’s a full body workout and can improve your strength, endurance and speed in most muscle groups on your body. The nature of the exercise forces you to use your entire body to climb the wall, not just your upper body. Many people think it’s just about having strength in your arms, but it’s not.
It doesn’t just keep your muscles fit, but it also stimulates and improves your cognitive ability, problem solving, confidence etc. Let’s look at the mental benefits of rock climbing.
Better goal setting.To climb rocks you must set goals and move towards them.
You’re more aware of yourself.It requires you to be more aware of the space around you, and how you’re moving your body through it.
It can relieve stress.When you’re climbing, nothing else matters. It’s much the same effect that skydiving has on you, because you’re so focused on the moment and what you’re doing right now, you don’t have time to worry about things like work or bills. It’s an antistress device!
More confidence.If you can climb up a mountain, you can do anything. Things that seemed like a big deal before, (public speaking, confrontation, job interviews) now don’t seem hardly as daunting.
Better perseverance.When you’re climbing you always want to get to the top, and you’ll keep trying to get there. That’s what makes it such a good sport because it teaches you life skills as well as giving you a workout.
It pushes you and makes you want to achieve more, and that’s a skill that’s useful not only on the climbing wall, but in every aspect of your life.
Try it this Summer!