Rock climbing always seems to be the kind of sport that is beyond reach and is best left to the professionals, but you could not be more wrong. Though it may require excellent agility and Herculean strength, it is accessible for beginners and can be exceedingly fun once you get the hang of it. Dangling 40 to 50 ft from the ground may seem intimidating if you are new to rock climbing but we have got you covered! Here are 5 pro tips to help you start rock climbing and become familiar with the sport.
1. Acquire the Right Gear
You certainly do not need to spend a fortune on buying equipment for your first climbing sessions. In fact, you could simply rent the necessary tools at the facility. Rock climbing requires freedom of movement and therefore, wearing the correct outfit and equipping yourself with the right rock climbing gear sydney is imperative. Sports bras, tank tops, yoga pants or racer backs offer comfort and enough space to physically position yourself in the right angle to make the next leap. You should also invest in sturdy, comfortable shoes that offer a strong grip, ease of movement and prevent blistering or inflammation. Finally, keeping your own chalk bag filled with chalk powder to keep your fingers from slipping is a necessity as it enhances performance and ensures safety.
2. Train Your Body
Training your body and supplying it with the right nourishment is key to successful rock climbing. This particular sport requires a lot of upper and lower body power especially since it involves hoisting yourself and maintaining a firm balance throughout. Start a daily workout routine to build a strong core. Cardio intervals, crunches, squats, push-ups and kettlebell swings will help reshape your physique and build adequate stamina, helping you climb with ease and rely on your body for balance and protection.
3. Learn How to Use the Ropes
Every beginner rock climber must be belay-certified before going up the wall. For this reason, classes are essential as they help you warm up and learn muscle memory. You may consider simply reading up on the use of ropes and belaying in general, but that would not be of much use. A professional guide will not only instruct you, but also assist you in improving performance. Your instructor will teach you how to secure a figure eight and fisherman’s knot to tie the rope to the belayer’s harness and you will then keep your hand in a break position without letting go of the belay device. The climb that follows consists of the up, down, slope and slide movements and it is vital to learn how to properly use your hands when ascending the wall and creating the slack for the belayer to pull through and catch you.
4. Understand the Lingo
Effective communication with your belay partner is crucial for progress and safety when rock climbing. If you are not on the same page, there is a danger of hurting yourself. Learn the lingo of the sport and practice it while training to ensure proficiency and improve performance when climbing. You should be able to recognize different commands you might encounter such as, “belay on”, “take” (in case you are in need of a short rest), “got”, “off belay”, etc.
5. Leap and Descend with Flare
If it is your first time climbing, descending from the top can seem awfully nerve-wracking at first, but there is nothing to fear as long as you have taken the necessary safety measures. In fact, coming down for the first time can be quite exciting and fun! Whenever you are ready to descend, you simply have to alert your belayer with the command “lower” and with your arms stretched straight, you let go. Always keep your feet firmly against the wall so you can push off your legs and keep your knees safe from any damage. Your first leap is exciting and full of adrenaline so we suggest you enjoy the experience as much as you can and do it with absolute flare.