Rock climbing—it’s a sport, and passionate lifelong hobby. Many people enjoy all aspects and life lessons gained by climbing cliffs, mountains, and other rocky surfaces. It’s a sport that can give you many benefits, from physical fitness to a new prospective on life as you climb to the top of the peak, and see the world from a totally different view.
Sometimes climbers get “tunnel vision”, focusing so much on physical fitness, finger strength, the right diet and other factors in processing, that they forget the most important part—climbing. The most significant part of progressing and gaining more climbing skills is by spending the hours practicing—whether that’s indoors on an artificial wall or outside, the choice is yours. While all aspects of an athlete’s health and skills need to be practiced and taken into account, the best training for climbing is climbing itself.
Let’s check out ten ways you can improve your climbing skill right now and get to the skill levels you desire. Remember, constantly is key, which leads us to our first tip.
1. Aim for Consistency
What’s the fastest way to get to better at climbing (or anything)? Consistency. Climb anything, anywhere, and keep it consistent. You’ll see your skill improve relatively quickly when you get accustomed to moving your body into different positions, grasping onto different ledges or edges, and just overall enhancing your physical abilities. You’ll get better your overall skills, climbing technique and gain more experience.
2. Don’t Let Fear Stop You
Climbing is something many people are scared of—and that’s the way you should try your hand at climbing. Conquer your fear and gaining new skills will help you in your everyday life and not let fear try to keep you down.
On that same thought, don’t get stuck at one climbing level. Of course, take the time you need to learn and process—everyone is at a different pace. But you don’t want to let the fear of more difficult climbs and higher levels intimate you and keep you from moving forward.
Your confidence will naturally grow as you climb more and adjust to the unique challenges each route—each climb—will present to you. If you’ve just recovered from a fall or took a few days off, it can take a few tries to find your footing again and get back to where you were before. Sometimes, you won’t feel like constantly challenging yourself and want to just have a little fun.
3. Climb With A Purpose
Sure, having a fun day climbing is perfectly fine, and something all climbers should do often. But if you want to train like an athlete and build the skills need to advance, being intentional with your climbing will make your learning expenses much easier and quicker.
Of course, you can choose climbs that you are complete comfortable with, and that look exciting and cool, but you should choose a few that are challenging as well. Having a plan, an objective for your time climbing is a big part of your future success!
4. It’s Okay to Ask for A Little Help
How can you improve your climbing? One, watch other climbers, whether in real life or online. And two: ask questions! One of the best ways to get better at anything is to surround yourself with people who are better than you, and climbing is no different. You can learn a lot from watching them climb, and they can suggest new techniques and movements you may have never thought of—you’ll never know if you don’t ask, and most people are happy to share a few tips.
5. Try, and Then Try Again
It’s easy to find a few videos done by pro rock climbers and watch them do their thing, and wonder how they seem to climb so effortlessly. It’s important to realize that there have been countless hours of work put into their epic climbing skills. From the days spent figuring out and memorizing moves, linking sequences—there is so much work put into every aspect of rock climbing, and if you want to reach that level, you’ll need to put in that work, too.
So, what is it called when you try the same route over and over again, practicing and practicing, and finally get it right? Redpointing, and it can take time to master. A great way to think of it is not something you can’t do, realize that it is all a process of getting you from the ground to a skilled rock climber. Break it down into manageable chucks, and you’ll start to see that it gets easier as you go along.”
6. Prepare Yourself—Mentally
One of the most difficult part of climbing in the metal ones. Even if you are normally not bothered by challenges, the mental barriers that can come from rock climbing – hights, fears of falling or getting injured-are to be expected, and should lessen as you gain more experience. Learn to trust the equipment. A climbing rope is strong enough to lift you, and the harness and carabiners aren’t going anywhere. You will be fine.
7. Grades Aren’t Important
Progress: It’s what we all strive for—it’s motivating and fulfilling. There is always a new level, another cliff, another hight to climb, so don’t get so caught up in the different cliff grades or your skill levels that it limits your future in climbing. There’s so much to the sport beyond moving into harder grades, and if you stick to the tips we are showing you here, plus a whole ton of practicing, you’ll get there.
8. Climb With a Friend
When starting out, it is always nice to have a familiar face around. If you’ve got a workout buddy or a friend interested in trying a new activity, see if they’d like to join you. If you don’t have anyone you’d like to ask but still want a rock climbing companion, no worries: there are most likely several rock climbing groups, meetups, or online groups that you can meet fellow rock climbing enthusiasts from and develop your interests together.
9. Guiding Services
One way to get a feel for climbing outdoors before you start is to take a guided climb! Normally more expensive than climbing indoors, climbing with a guide can give you the basis of the activity, and you can see if this is something you’d like to pursue.
10. Have Fun!
Yes, that’s obvious. But it can be easy to forget when thinking like an athlete, but it’s one of the reasons (if not the main one) of why you decided to start climbing, right? Be sure to balance your training and enjoy every step of the journey. Be patient, trust the process, and have fun along the way.