How to Climb Better

How to Climb Better
Skilled climbing requires a combination of skill, strength, flexibility, and balance. By practicing your technique and cross training with targeted exercises, you can dramatically improve your climbing ability in a short period of time. As with any physical activity, your rate of improvement with climbing depends on how often you train and how much effort you put into it, but even recreational climbers will see improvement after a few months of proper training.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Start developing your physical endurance. Climbing is a physically demanding sport that can quickly wear you out. The better your endurance, the longer you'll be able to train. Cross-train with an aerobic activity, such as running or swimming, to build your endurance.
Step 2
Work on your strength. Because climbing is an entire-body workout, simply climbing is one of the best ways you can train for climbing. For training you can do at home, buy a pull-up bar or a fingerboard to build strength in your arms and hands, or simply do exercises with free weights.
Step 3
Work on your balance. Building a greater sense of balance will help you hold your body close to the wall. You can easily work on your balance at various times during the day by standing on one leg. With one leg planted firmly into the ground, move the other leg in front, behind, and to the side of your body without letting your foot touch the ground.
Step 4
Work on your flexibility. Greater flexibility will help you reach difficult holds. In more difficult climbs, you may have to bring your foot up to the level of your waist. Yoga is a great method of cross training that can improve your balance, flexibility, and strength. Make a point of simply stretching a little bit each day, especially before any type of exercise.
Step 5
Work on your technique. If your climbing gym offers a technique class, take it. You'll learn the best ways to position your feet on the holds, how to turn your hips into the wall to gain greater reach, and how to climb with control.

Tips & Warnings

Buy your own rock-climbing shoes. Climbing shoes should fit tight (at least a half-size smaller than your regular shoes) to give you more control on the holds. Rented shoes from your climbing gym may be worn out and won't give you as much control.

Article Written By Karen Eisenbraun

Karen Eisenbraun has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Knox College and has been writing professionally since 2004. She is the editor of a weight-loss surgery support website and is currently studying to become a certified holistic nutrition consultant.

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