The Proper Way to Climb a Rope

The Proper Way to Climb a Rope
Many people have returned to the effective simplicity of the rope climb for their workouts. Rope climbing has the advantage of working multiple muscle groups at once. Plus, it is a demanding exercise that rewards effort. Getting into rope climbing, however, takes a little more work than with simpler exercises. Rope climbing takes precise technique to prevent injury and maximize your climbing efficiency.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Rope
  • Rope
Step 1
Grip the rope above your head. Make sure to place both hands adjacent to each other when first starting. Keep your arms as straight as possible, eliminating the need to start from a flexed-arm hanging position.
Step 2
Take your weight off the ground by pulling yourself up with arm strength alone. The goal of this step is to get you on the rope as quickly as possible, so you spend as little time as possible draining arm strength. This means that you will want to perform the next step as quickly as possible.
Step 3
Lock your feet on the rope. Getting into a climbing foot lock position begins with draping the rope hanging below you over your trailing foot. Step down on top of the rope with your other foot, locking the rope between your feet. Make sure the rope is running down the inside of your ankle, increasing the friction. If you have locked properly you should be able to hang from your arms with the vast majority of your body's weight supported on your feet.
Step 4
Climb by dragging your feet up the rope, feeding the rope's through the lock created by your legs. After a few inches, maybe even a foot or two, clamp your feet back down on the rope. Use your arms to maintain your balance, rather than to provide the lifting force. You should have your clamped feet several inches higher than before, with your body in a tucked position.
Step 5
Stand on your clamped feet, moving your hands higher up the rope as you stand. Your body should now be back in its starting position-only several inches or a foot higher up the rope.
Step 6
Repeat by drawing your legs up again and then standing again. Continue using your arms for balance rather than lifting.
Step 7
Once you are finished, return to the ground by reversing the motions. Alternatively, you can slowly slide down the rope by allowing the rope to trail slowly through your clamped legs while your arms move hand over hand down the rope.

Tips & Warnings

Consider tying knots every few feet up the rope until you've gotten better at climbing without them.
Rope climbing can be rough on the hands.

Article Written By Louie Doverspike

Based in Seattle, Louie Doverspike has been a professional writer since 2004. His work has appeared in various publications, including "AntiqueWeek" magazine, the "Prague Post" and "Seattle Represent!" Doverspike holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hamilton College.

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