How to Improve at Indoor Rock Climbing

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!

Pilates for Climbers

Pilates for Climbers

Pilates is one of the most superior methods of cross training for athletes. This form of exercise helps build strength from the inside that can aid in performing difficult postures you have aimed to attain. Here are some of the best Pilates for climbers:


The Roll Up

It helps strengthen your core while stretching your hamstrings and lats. To perform the roll up, lie flat on your back while keeping your feet flexed and arms over your head. Flatten your stomach and slowly bring your arms upwards. Then lift your head slowly so that you are now looking at your feet; reach for your toes while curling up one vertebra.


The Swan to Child’s Pose

Make this routine a part of your climbing workouts as it helps in opening your chest and drawing your shoulders back and down. Start this routine by lying flat on your stomach with your legs and feet squeezing together and your elbows placed near your ribs. Your palms should be flat on the floor. Slowly breathe in while pressing your shoulder blades down and lifting your sternum. Use your gluteus to give support for your lower back. End this set with a child’s pose by turning your head to the right and then rolling it through the left.


Double Leg Stretch

This is one of the important climbing exercises to help improve your abdominal strength. Curl your shoulder blade and hold both knees close to your chest while keeping your abdominal area tight. Then spread your arms and legs out to form the shape of a hammock. Next, sweep your arms around and hug your knees to the chest again. Inhale while extending and exhale while hugging.


Waist Twist

This workout helps the oblique muscles by strengthening them for spinal integrity. Stand on a balance disk while keeping your back straight; then, bring your arms to the side while twisting your torso to the left. Then come back to the original position and twist your torso to the right.


Spine Curl

The spine curl should become an essential part of your climbing workouts to make your spine and hips more flexible. Start by lying flat on your back with knees bent and feet at hip distance. Press your pelvis to the ground then sequentially (one vertebra at a time) bring your lower back upwards. Then, lower your back in the same way and bring your pelvis back to a neutral position.

Pilates can offer you a number of benefits that can help make your body more flexible and agile. Dedicating as little as 20 minutes every alternate day to pilates during your climbing exercise routine will also suffice to strengthen your body and make it flexible enough to avoid common injuries.

Tips to Help you Climb Better

Tips to Help you Climb Better

How many times have we all heard the phrase ‘Experience is the best teacher’? Too many times to remember. And how many times have we actually understood what it’s really trying to say? Not too many again.

The human brain gets used to certain things and starts accepting them as they are when we do something continuously for a while. The test is to keep challenging your brain to not get into a monotonous routine and actually improve on habits.

Climbing is one such thing. If you’ve been climbing for a while and are still making the same mistakes, you know you need to get out of the cycle. Here are some rock climbing tips to help –




Patience is a virtue and people who have mastered this art, have eventually mastered everything they wanted to. If you are failing at getting the right foot locks, you might want to try and see if any other way is possible. You need to keep trying different variations to get the right one and for that, all you need is patience.


Learn from experiences 


You have been going rock climbing for a while and have received many rock climbing tips from various people, but are still struggling with a boulder problem. It’s time you know your strengths and weaknesses and use your strengths to strengthen your weaknesses. Might sound difficult to do, but if you make it a habit, it’ll almost become a habit.


Challenge yourself – Set higher goals 


The first and most important thing you need to do is to challenge yourself to do better. If it took you 5 hours to complete a particular climb, try and finish it in 4. If you struggled while with rope climbing techniques last time, try and incorporate them better this time around. The challenge set higher goals and accomplish!



Check your gear 


The last time you climbed, it was summer. But in winter, your gear might need to be set up differently. Get them checked and replace if need be. Make sure you check your gear every time before you go rock climbing.  You don’t want to be losing grip on the boulders just because the sticky rubber in your shoe has worn out from your previous climb.

Improve your fitness 


If you were panting by the time you climbed half way up, we shouldn’t even be giving you this tip. Fitness is a must while rock climbing. Even on the days, you aren’t climbing, move around your house exercising or hit the gym. It’s important to keep yourself moving.

Like we started by saying, experience is the best teacher. So go out and learn more at the local crag!

Yoga in Rockville

thrivelogo-with_urlWe are pleased to announce a new partnership with Thrive Yoga of Rockville, MD! Our new resident yogis have developed a fantastic program of Yoga for Climbers with the goal of building strength, getting limber and staying healthy.

FREE Member’s Only Yoga will be offered weekly starting August 11th. Two 45 minute sessions will be offered each scheduled evening starting at 7:00pm and 8:00pm. Dates scheduled so far are August 11, 18, 25 and September 1st. Space is limited so be sure to call the gym ahead of time or arrive early to reserve your spot.

In addition to the Free Member Clinics, our members will be able to purchase additional yoga classes at the Thrive studio with a 20% discount. All you need to do is show your Earth Treks scan tag and you receive 20% OFF ANY Thrive class or class series! (discount NOT valid on any $49 monthly series).View photos of Thrive’s beautiful studio at their website here.

This is a wonderful partnership that both our members and community will greatly benefit from!

16862_422625050031_248207855031_10740637_5622481_nA few key details about the Member’s Yoga Clinics in Rockville:

  • Yoga is free and for members only.
  • Space is limited to 25 members per session.
  • You have to sign up for yoga to be guaranteed a spot and can only do so on the day of. You can get yourself on the roster either in person or via phone by calling Earth Treks Rockville.
  • If you sign up over the phone you must check in for yoga at the front desk so we know you’ve arrived. If you do not check in a minimum of 10 minutes prior to the start of the session, your spot will be released.
  • If all 25 spaces are filled, you may add your name to the wait-list. Spots that were reserved over the phone and were not checked in, will be released to folks on the wait-list.

partners01About the Instructors: Dave Bowen, co-owner of Thrive is an ISHTA yoga instructor will focus on yoga postures, breathing techniques and concentration/meditation tools that will help climbers gain more focus, flexibility and strength.

Susan Bowen, co-owner of Thrive is also an ISHTA yoga instructor and offers classes that are challenging and inspire students to explore the practice of unifying the breath, mind and body to a place of comfort. Susan was first introduced to yoga 20 years ago while in college and has studied and practiced yoga all over the United States.

 Thrive Yoga in Rockville has offered yoga to more than 8,000 students in nearly 6 years. Check out Thrive Yoga online or on their Facebook page. 

Tips for Climbing This Summer

Tips for Climbing This Summer

Climbing is an intensely physical activity and pursuing it during summers can really wear one out if proper precautions are not taken. However, a climber can attempt and complete any desired climbs by following some summer climbing tips. These will help avoid climbers tiring their bodies and preventing any injury as a result of a tired mind and body. Here are a few tips to help you while climbing in summers:


Carry Plenty of Water to Keep yourself Hydrated 


One of the main reasons why climbers end up tiring themselves sooner is dehydration. Climbers should compulsorily carry adequate amounts of water in bottles or in a hydration pack to keep them hydrated all the time, especially when attempting climbing all-day long outdoors. Taking small sips of water at regular intervals instead of drinking only when you are thirsty is a better way of staying hydrated. Also, try to avoid caffeinated or sugary drinks before and during your climb.



Wear the Right Clothing 


One of the keys to summer climbing is to dress in loose, comfortable clothing. Make sure that you wear climbing apparel made of absorbent material and in light shades, as it will absorb less heat and keep you cooler while climbing. Do not forget to grab a pair of sunglasses and a hat to keep your head and eyes cool while climbing outdoors. Also, using sunscreen on your body is a suggested safety measure when climbing in the sun.



Carry the Right Climbing Gear 


One of the important climbing credos for summer would be to ‘Climb Light’. Pay attention to even the minutest detail when planning the gear you carry with you. Heavy loads will exhaust you or too many items may make you miss out on carrying an important one. Other than your gear, you will also have to carry food and water as well, so choose what you carry carefully. Carrying a very heavy bag in the sun can exhaust climbers soon.



Carry Essential Eatables 


Carrying essential eatables is necessary while climbing to keep your body energized. Make sure you carry meals that will provide hydration and energy to your body. Avoid any kind of food that can make you feel lethargic or tired soon after eating. Apart from food, you will need mid climbing meal; pack a small meal for recovering your energy once you have finished climbing.

Stay Alert about Overheating 


This is one of the most crucial climbing tips for summer. Make sure you are aware of the symptoms of overheating before climbing to avoid any accidents. Some of these symptoms you need to look out for include heavy sweating, leg cramps, flushed face, headaches and nausea among the others. If you feel any of these symptoms, take a break in a place with shade, hydrate yourself and wait till you feel better.



Follow these summer climbing tips to ensure that you and your climbing partner do not fall prey to the heat while climbing. One can easily prevent accidents by keeping such tips in mind and enjoy climbing outdoors in summers.