Indoor rock climbing is a great sport, whether you have a home gym like Andrew and Kevin or go to a licensed rock climbing facility. Regardless of your indoor climbing preferences, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you get the most of your indoor wall. And don’t forget, regardless of what the brothers may do, it’s safety first!
1. Stretching: First things first. Get your limbs… limber. Do some stretches to get your blood flowing through your muscles. Climbers use muscles, which are not used during daily life. Warm muscles are less taut, making it easier to reach for the next rock and avoid injury.
2. Visualize your route: One of the last things you want is to get up on the wall only to be at a loss as to where to put your hand or foot, next. To avoid that it’s best to plan out your route beforehand! In particular, you want to gauge how far it is before the crux (the most difficult section of the route) is reached. You want to make sure that you start the climb so your hands, feet and body are positioned correctly when you reach the crux.
3. Hips straight, weight over feet: Your body is the ship, and your butt is the anchor. If you climb like a triangle, there will always be a weight pulling you back. Instead, keep your body close to the wall and your hips parallel. By keeping your body close to the wall you keep your center of balance over your center of mass and relieve pressure on your grip. (In other words, do not do what a certain someone is doing in the pic below!)
4. Use your legs to hold your weight, not your arms: Your legs are much stronger and will carry you further. Use your legs more than you use your arms, if at all possible. Your legs are far stronger than your arms, which will save you lots and lots of energy and prevent your arms from getting pumped. Also, try to have at least 3 points of contact on the wall at all times.
5. Look up and down: When beginners climb, they have the tendency to look up constantly. Looking up is great. You want to see where you are going and what hold you should grab onto next. But looking down is equally as important. Most often, when you feel like you can’t make the next move up it’s because you may have missed a hold below.
6. Take a fall: No matter how good you are, you will fall. Falling is part of climbing and it is a skill to learn just like any other aspect of good climbing technique. Take a deliberate fall in a safe spot to get over your fear. (Best done with a bro to spot).
At the end of the day, climbing should be fun, exhilarating, and good for you! When you’re up on the wall, focus on the space directly surrounding you, and nothing else. Make climbing time your time, and have a great time.