In your childhood, no tree was too high for you and no climbing frame was too hard to climb! But as you grew up, you probably have stopped to climb a variety of things, like most others. However, climbing is one of the best ways to train your whole body and so I will explain some of the benefits of climbing and will convince you to start again right away (this time, maybe not on trees)!
I’ve always been fascinated by climbing, so I convinced my parents early on that I could attend an outdoor climbing class. In 4 to 5 years I learned the basics of rock climbing, different belay techniques and advanced techniques in various courses and climbed with my family outdoors quite often.
However, a big disadvantage of this type of climbing is, that at least one other person has to accompany you, because on your own, you cannot secure yourself very well. Unfortunately, as I grew (my schedule did as well), climbing disappeared in my life, until a few years later I decided to resume this great hobby, but this time without the need for a partner.
I discovered bouldering, unsecured climbing in a safe height, so I could always climb when I had time and I was not dependent on a partner. Also, the preparation (packing equipment, rolling out the rope) did not take as long and due to the very intense routes the time of a climbing session was shortened. For almost 8 years, bouldering has become an indispensable part of my week and although I climb with friends every week nowadays, I can also climb on my own at any time.
Whether bouldering or rope climbing, in any case, from an athletic perspective you can expect a hard to beat full body workout. As a beginner, a lot of finger and forearm strength will be demanded of you and you will ask yourself, how this is supposed to be a full body workout. But as time goes by, you’ll notice that more difficult routes can only be climbed by efficiently positioning your feet, skilfully shifting your center of gravity, and occasionally, a few ounces of explosive upper body power.
As technically very demanding sport, there are routes for everyone. Are you more of an explosive type? Then you will definitely find some jump routes! Do you prefer upper-body challenges? Then expect some routes you need to challenge without using your legs! Are you looking for technically tricky routes that make you think? Then you will surely find that more than once in bouldering! (there are really many creative route setters)
At the end of an intense climbing session, you will surely find, that you have put a lot of strain on every muscle in your body (and maybe even on muscles, you did not even know you had), a feeling I’ve only experienced in few other sports. Therefore, as an athlete, I can only recommend integrating bouldering into your training schedule to optimally complement your workouts.
Do you have any questions about climbing or bouldering? Let me know in the comments!
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