Often thought of as a hobby for outdoor enthusiasts, this strenuous activity is becoming a mainstream method of getting a complete workout.
Rock climbing is being used by more and more individuals looking for a hardcore way to get in shape. With new indoor facilities being opened around the world, it’s now possible to rock climb year-round regardless of geographical location.
Rock Climbing Benefits
The physical benefits of rock climbing are numerous, according to Fit Day. They include weight loss, improved cardio fitness and increases in muscle tone.
You’ll use your upper body, core and lower body as you pull and push your way up the rock-climbing course. You’ll really see a difference in your core strength as you use your balance to avoid falling. You’ll also see improvements in flexibility as you stretch to reach higher and higher.
To get ready for rock climbing, you should begin a basic strength training and endurance training workout routine. For strength training, perform exercises that target the chest, arms, shoulders, abs and legs. Increase resistance regularly to keep the routine effective. For endurance training, substitute in longer workouts in between your regular sessions of cardio exercise.
The Mental Aspects
Rock climbing fits in with the caveman workout style of thinking: it’s about more than just getting your body in physical peak shape.
According to the Washington Post, rock climbing can be compared to a game of chess, requiring you to think ahead in order to successfully execute the moves. You’ll also have to face mental obstacles as you try to get over your fears: whether it is a fear of heights, a fear of falling or the fear of failure.
Rock climbing is one sport you should definitely not tackle on your own. If you plan to climb outdoors, hook up with someone who has experience and can show you the basic moves.
You’ll also need the right equipment, which can include ropes, harnesses and proper footwear. For your first sessions, you’ll likely stay mostly on the ground as you learn how to use your equipment.
Indoor rock climbing gyms can show you how to climb, rappel and belay. Climbing up and down a mountain gives you one part of your workout, but belaying can provide the other. When you belay, you must keep the rope in place and give slack as needed while the other person climbs.
Rock climbing can be a fun hobby, and it can also give you the exercise you need to reach your fitness goals.
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