How to Improve at Indoor Rock Climbing
What is indoor rock climbing?
Indoor climbing is a fun and safe sport for all ages that provides a controlled, supervised environment where beginners & professional rock climbers can exercise. There are over 3,000 climbing facilities worldwide & several climbing gyms offer classes to get you started. There is usually trained staff available that can teach the necessary safety techniques, and climbing gear is available for rent or purchase.
How is indoor climbing different from outdoor climbing?
Indoor climbing is quite different from outdoor climbing. There aren’t always bolts available as belay points like there are indoors & hence, less safe cams or nuts, or even manual assistance is required. The bolts may be insecure & the stand isn’t as stable & you need to belay dynamically. Also, in outdoor climbing, the bigger falls because of fewer pre-established belay points.
Ways to improve on indoor climbing
Try to down climb as much of the route as possible in the climbing gym rather than simply lowering off as usual. This demands intense concentration on footwork & knowing that you have to down climb the route, will make you more observant and focused on the way up. When the rock gets steep and the moves hard, there’s no more important strategy than to increase the pace of your ascent. Climbing quickly is primarily a function of skill, not strength or power (we’re not talking about lunging wildly up a route); in fact, the less strength and endurance you possess, the more important this skill becomes.
In the context of a two-hour gym session, squeezing in a greater volume of climbing with only brief rests, is better than doing just a few “performance” climbs with extensive rest. Longer rests and performance climbing may make you look better, but the greater volume of practice will make you climb better! Research has shown that beyond the initial successful trials of a skill, practice should be performed with variable conditions and levels of fatigue.
Try indoor climbing gyms
A good climb is basically therapy disguised as a sport. It forces the climber to realize their true abilities versus their perceived abilities, increasing confidence. Your arms will become stronger the more you climb & you will develop nice toned shoulders, as this muscle group is used to keep you stable on the wall. Because it’s a low-impact cardio exercise, your breathing and heart rate will improve as well. It’s not hard to find a good indoor climbing facility or an indoor climbing gym in Virginia or DC. It’s a great place to start for a lifetime of health benefits!