Rock climbing involves intimacy with mental strength and nature. While rock climbing may seem like no big task initially, it often involves things like falling flat on your back or your fingers becoming bloody and raw, which requires more than ice packs and Band-Aids to fix. Let’s discuss some best practices for beginning rock climbers to get you started on the right foot.
Stretch Your Body
Flexibility and motion make climbing a breeze. Consider a warmup and cool-down routine before and after rock climbing. Opening your joints affords you the ability to reach a variety of holds and positions. Focus on areas of high strain: hips, thighs, ankles, and shoulders.
Utilize Your Finger Strength
Yes, climbing is a whole-body sport. But without the proper use of all of your fingers, your grip will fail you. Though the pinky feels like an outsider at times, it’s imperative to get used to using it. Utilizing your pinkies improves your grip positioning and helps you avoid injuries.
Nurture Your Skin
Stretching beyond sunscreen and oils, nurturing your skin plays a vital role in your body’s ability to climb day in and day out. Pack your sunscreen so you don’t burn to a crisp, but also consider things like healing ointments for your fingers and pain relief creams for joints and muscles. Focus on keywords like antibacterial, moisturizing, and anti-inflammatory.
Though physical, rock climbing is very much a mental challenge. Learn to get comfortable with failing. Failure is where strength and success often emerge. Fear of falling, the complexity of the move, or just a sheer lack of confidence can all deter you from being successful. If you drop from the rock, get up, catch your breath, and try again.
Think about the possibility of enjoying something physical while also increasing your mental strength. There is a correlation between the rocks and many real-life scenarios. Prepare yourself before you find the next boulder with these best practices for beginning rock climbers, and remember, it’s okay to fall—but always get back up!