Rock climbing can be an exhilarating sport to undertake. The reward, of course, is the sense of victory and achievement you feel as you reach the top of the mountain. While it can be an exciting sport, it’s not something you can just jump into without any preparation. Here are some tips to help you get started.
It’s Not All About Upper Body Strength
There’s a popular misconception that rock climbers must rely on upper body strength. In fact, you’ll have much more success, if you focus on your feet and where they’re going. By focusing on where you’re going to move your feet, you’ll find higher foot holds and be able to ascend faster.
Worry About Your Own Progress
As is true in starting any new venture, people often focus on how they’re doing in comparison to others. In most cases, you don’t know how long they have been climbing or what their workout routine is like, so there’s little room for accurate comparison. Instead, focus on developing your skills at your own pace and be supportive of your fellow climbers.
Don’t Forget to Stretch
Stretching before any physical activity is important, but it’s especially important to a successful rock climbing adventure. Stretching the hips, for instance, can make you more limber and versatile, which will help you reach higher foot holds and climb faster. One good stretch routine is to lie on a floor or on a mat in a frog position with your knees bent at each side. Stretch in one minute intervals, relaxing between stretches, for about five minutes.
Use All Five Fingers
Many climbers don’t use their pinky fingers when climbing, but that can inhibit their abilities. Using all five fingers of each hand will give you a stronger grip.
Practice Good Skin Care Habits
Healthier skin means stronger skin and that can be a great benefit in climbing, especially where your fingers are concerned. After each climb, it’s best to use an antibacterial moisturizing ointment or lotion. Look for one with anti-inflammatory properties as well.
Don’t Be Afraid to Fail or to Fall
Failure means that you’re learning. As long as you don’t let it keep you from tackling the next climb, it’s okay to fall and admit a small defeat. Get back up, treat any injuries you might have suffered, and get back to climbing. Treat failures as an opportunity to improve.
Mountain climbing is more about personal victories than most other physical activities. You’re not competing with others and your adversary is not the mountain. The key to success in mountain climbing is improving yourself and overcoming your own fears.