Rock climbing has become one of the most popular ways to get a good workout via an adventurous and challenging activity where you work both your mind and body.
It can certainly feel a bit intimidating at first when you are just starting out, however. Where do you put your hands? What happens if you fall? Luckily there are rock climbing gyms for beginners to help introduce you to all of the proper safety techniques and movement concepts related to this exciting sport.
Rock climbing is fun, motivational, and a great workout too. Here’s everything you need to know to get started:
Find the Right Rock Climbing Gym
Once you’re ready to start climbing, you’ll need to find a rock climbing gym that accommodates beginners. If there are multiple gyms in your area, look for the one with the best reputation and instructors.
How do you settle on a great rock climbing gym that meets your needs?
The best gyms in this case are ones that offer a variety of activities and beginner classes you can partake in. You want to make sure there are routes with different levels of difficulty as well to keep yourself challenged as your new skills progress. Some gyms will offer additional class options to help increase your general strength level through supplemental activities such as guided yoga and strength conditioning classes
How is the equipment? Look for a gym that has equipment that’s well taken care of. You will often find rock climbing gyms that have weights and other useful exercise areas that will make the experience even more beneficial.
Watch the other climbers. Are they friendly? Is there a good community at the gym? Are people helping each other? You will also want to see if the coaches, instructors, and staff appear kind, understanding, and well informed of industry safety and instruction practices.
Learn Pre-Climb Stretches
Don’t go into your rock climbing sessions cold!
It’s never a good idea to go into any workout without the right warm-ups. Rock climbing is a full body sport so it’s important to make sure your muscles are not tense before engaging in the actual exercises.
Before jumping at a climbing wall, consider doing some of these warmups:
Jumping Jacks: This is good for getting your heart pumping and making you feel more alert.
Wrist Circles: Put your hands in a fist and rotate your wrists in one direction five to 10 times. Then move them in the opposite direction five to 10 times. This will loosen up your wrists and get rid of any stiffness. You can do the same for your arms as well as your ankles.
Lunges: Lunges can make your legs and glutes stronger while also getting those areas warmed up. Try going into some deep lunges and then placing your elbow on the floor (the same side as the leg that’s forward) and stretching that arm up towards the ceiling to get a good back stretch in.
Leg Swings: Find a rig or something to balance on and swing one leg forward and back about 20 times. Then do the same with your other leg. After that, swing your leg back and forth, then the other leg. This will loosen up your hips.
Start Taking Climbing Classes
Joining a gym is one thing, but if you are serious about rock climbing, you might want to consider taking structured classes. This is where the quality of the gym you choose really matters.
If you are in the Philadelphia area, Reach Climbing has adult rock climbing courses for beginners that are rated five stars by over 600 people! They offer small classes with Climbing Wall Association certified instructors who focus on you and your needs. They even have classes for children as young as 2 years old as well, so your whole family can get involved!
Reach Climbing also has a full schedule of classes for all experience levels, as well as yoga, fitness, and ninja classes too. If rock climbing is something you want to get into, this is definitely the best place to start!