A 30-Minute Workout
Simply climbing alone for 30 minutes without stopping provides one of the most calorie-burning cardiovascular workouts around, according to ShapeFit.com. According to the ProHealth.com Exercise and Activity Calculator, a 150-pound person burns about 370 calories during 30 minutes of rock climbing. A half-hour climb offers an alternative to more conventional lunchtime or after-work fitness workouts. Vary the handholds and footholds to increase intensity.
In this traverse rock climbing wall activity for two climbers, the first climber gets a head start for two or three climbing moves. The next climber pursues the first across the wall, trying to tag him. Once tagged, the first climber becomes "it," and the roles reverse. Climbers attempt to maintain efficient and quiet climbing movements while making quick decisions in this fast-paced game.
Balance challenges help to improve a climber's stability and coordination, as described by Body Results.com, a "Wilderness Sports Conditioning" website. In a balance challenge, the person climbs without using any footholds, without using any handholds, or only using one hand. Not using footholds teaches the climber how much weight she can put on her feet when smearing. By using only one or no handholds, the climber hones her sense of balance on her feet even more.
Increase the difficulty and intensity of successfully climbing across a traverse rock-climbing wall by designating only certain holds as in-bounds. Allow only holds of one color, size, and/or shape, or indicate permitted holds using colored tape or simply by pointing them out. Such specified combinations of handholds and footholds make up "boulder problems," or particular climbing routes on boulders or bouldering walls.
Zigzag climbing maximizes the amount of climbing possible on a relatively short wall. Start at one end of the wall. Climb to the top of the wall, and then back down as low as possible. Go all the way across the wall and back. Zigzag climbing teaches the climber valuable skills about effective movement on a vertical climbing surface. He will find such skills indispensable should he pursue vertical climbing in the future.