The sport of rock climbing is essentially the process of safely scaling an outdoor rock face or an indoor climbing wall from top to bottom. In this blog post we will explore 5 essential benefits you will gain from rock climbing.
Rock Climbing Builds Muscle and Core Strength
In order to scale a rock wall, you must use the muscles of your upper body to pull yourself up to the next hold. You must also use the powerful muscle in your legs to push you higher up the wall. The connection between the muscles in your upper body and the muscles in your legs is your core. When you climb it’s important to engage your core muscles to in conjunction with your upper and lower body. Rock climbing is an incredible full body workout!
Rock Climbing Increases Focus
One of the surprising benefits of climbing is how focused you become. When you are 35 feet above the ground on a rock face your mind becomes completely focused on the task right in front of you. We live in a world of constant distractions and we are told that multitasking is an important life skill. The singular focus that we experience while rock climbing is a skill that is transferable to other aspects of our lives.
Rock Climbing Builds Community and Increases Communication
Rock climbing is a social activity that takes place with other people. When you climb you are part of a climbing partnership that includes you the climber and your belayer. Your belayer is person at the other end of the rope that takes in the slack through a belay devise as you climb up the rock. Your belayer is essentially responsible for your safety and you are placing your life in their hands. Communication is key to this social interaction and must be clear and concise. Aside from the belayer there are usually others on the ground cheering the climber on or giving words of advice about how to climb the route. Friends who rock climb together stay together!!
Rock Climbing Increases Spatial Awareness, Flexibility and Range of Motion
Range of motion is the full movement potential of a joint. Range of motion can be increased through improved flexibility. When you raise your foot near your hip and place is on a rock ledge foot hold you are increasing your flexibility and thus your range of motion. Many sports such as running have repetitive actions on your muscles. When you rock climb you must use all your muscles to move in many different directions. This increases your spatial awareness, flexibility and range of motion.
Rock Climbing Teaches Important Life Skills
Climbing a rock from the bottom to the top is, at its core, about overcoming obstacles by problem solving and determination. In front of you on that rock are only so many hand holds and so many foot holds and you as the climber have to figure out the sequence of moves that will get your from the bottom of the rock to the top. Every day in life we face challenges that are obstacles that we must figure out how to overcome. Some obstacles are small and some are enormous and feel overwhelming. The experience of overcoming an obstacle that is a rock climb by problem solving and determination is directly transferable to other experiences in life.