How to Get Strong and Good at Climbing?
An amateur climber trying to get good and strong at climbing.

Before we try out a sport we haven’t tried in the past, there’s always a sense of amazement that comes with it. It’s the same thing with climbing. Most folks begin with great enthusiasm only to find out that the activity still requires them to be patient in order to master it. However, one can’t help but wonder: now, how do I get strong and good at climbing quickly?

Keep in mind that there ain’t no shortcuts here. You’ll need to invest a lot of effort and time into your climbing practice. Still, things aren’t so gloomy. With a good piece of advice, you’ll be able to progress without much hassle. In the text that you’re about to read, don’t expect any shortcuts to getting good and strong and climbing, only some tips that will help you along the way!

First of all, try not to be afraid to tackle harder climbing routes. Also, you might as well start to practice falling. Additionally, keep in mind that it’s always best if you’ve got a climbing buddy by your side. Lastly, do exercises that will help you excel at this activity: push-ups, pull-ups, planks, etc. 

If you expect to become all-mighty and strong at climbing, reading just the preview won’t do you any good. Read the whole thing!

Tips for beginner climbers

Before we show some tips and tricks on getting strong and good at climbing, it’s better if we first browse through some tips for beginner climbers. All of these will help you improve your beginner technique greatly. Without further ado, let’s see ’em!

Find yourself a climbing partner

It takes two to tango, so… Okay, we’ll cut it with the cheesy opening. Now, of course, you don’t really need anyone to begin climbing, except, of course, someone to show you the basics. However, it might be good to find a friend that’s of similar interests. In other words: find yourself a climbing buddy. 

Also, if you’re a bit intimidated by the gym climbing crew (everyone-here’s-better-than-me mode of thinking), going there together with your friend(s) will make you feel less uneasy. Additionally, you and your climbing buddy will enjoy the opportunity to encourage one another when things get messy.

Learn a bit about climbing grades

As someone who’s just starting their climbing adventure, it might be good that you learn some basic climbing knowledge. In other words: you’ll want to learn a bit about climbing grades, and how different climbs are ranked. For more information about the subject of climbing grades, we’ve published an article about common mistakes that intermediate boulders (grades V3, V4, and V5) make. In it, you’ll find some good info on climbing grades.

Warm-up before each climbing session

Now, don’t go tackling those rocks before a warm-up session first. Simply introduce a basic, almost effortless warm-up session to your climbing session. Don’t be hard on yourself and make it last less than 10 minutes or so. Here are a couple of examples of what you might try out:

  • jumping jacks; arm and wrist circles; squats; push-ups; lunges; many other simple exercises. 

It’s a simple exercise that goes a long way. Your muscles will be more prepared for the “troubles” ahead.

Practice footwork (so-called silent feet)

Some say that it’s absolutely inevitable to begin your climbing adventure with downright horrible footwork (and a few of us can actually confirm such a statement). However, one is able to utilize the so-called “silent feet” technique (or “quiet feet” as some call it) while climbing. So, what’s it all about?

Well, this technique or drill, or however you want to call it, actually is what it sounds like. To practice it, simply try your best not to make any noise while placing your feet on the climbing footholds; you don’t want to hear your shoes touching the foothold. It sounds a bit on the silly side, but it actually works quite well since you’ll have to modify your core in order to command your feet better. Also, the sole fact you’re paying more attention to your footwork is pretty darn nice for beginner climbers. Speaking of feet, here’s an article covering the question of whether their size plays a role in climbing.

Okay, so those were some of the basic tips for folks just starting out climbing. Now, of course, the margins of this text don’t allow us to beyond this number, but we’d say it’s more than enough. Anyway, now we’ll expand the discussion and talk some more about how to get strong and good at climbing!

A person climbing and getting good and strong at it.

How to get strong and good at climbing?

Well, this will sound like a natural sequel to the tips we’ve shown you above. So, how does one get strong and good at climbing? Let’s consider your options!

Being consistent is key

Here’s the thing: you’ll want to set a target goal for days on the rock or in the gym. Whether we’re talking days per week, month, or season – it doesn’t actually matter. What matters is that you have some sort of consistency. Also, always give yourself a couple of days to rest and recharge. Keep in mind that climbing more frequently will, of course, see some results sooner. As if someone needed to tell you that one, right?

Additionally, learn how to tape your fingers for climbing by clicking on that link.

Challenge yourself/push the limits

There’s a saying that goes a bit like this: if you don’t push yourself, you won’t be able to reach your full potential and that’s a great shame. Figure out what your touchy points are and try to overcome those weaknesses. Don’t be afraid to try climbing different climbs, even though they seem unappealing or scary to you. The only way you’ll make some progress is by pushing yourself further.

Also, don’t be afraid to try out different climbing techniques. Speaking of which, if you’re wondering whether you should top-rope or boulder, simply follow that link.

Fear is your biggest enemy

Okay, this is now starting to sound like a self-help chapbook. But, seriously, fear is your number one enemy here. It’s safe to say that falling is your average beginner climber’s worst nightmare. And that’s why you’ll want to tackle that area of your mind. Here’s how:

  • You’ll want to start to practice falls. You’ll do this by finding a gently overhanging climbing route with sturdy hardware. Make sure you take a trusty belayer with you on this adventure. You’ll want to start small; take a couple of falls on the top rope for a start. Once you’re ready to move to lead, simply climb a little bit above the bold and take a short fall. Afterward, move higher and higher at a pace that suits you best and work with bigger falls.

All in all: try your best to do away with the fear of falling! Such a thing can greatly boost your climbing career.

Introduce some intentionality

Newer climbers are prone to go with the flow while climbing with a more experienced group. This, of course, can sabotage your personal improvement as a climber. The thing is: you’ll need to come up with a plan and goal you’ll want to reach that very day. Communicate it with your fellow climbers just so you avoid some potential misunderstandings and mishaps later on.

Okay, let’s see if there’s anything you can do to practice some of your muscles at home and get stronger at climbing!

How to get strong at climbing without leaving your home?

Here we’ll introduce you to some exercises that will help you get strong at climbing. The best thing about them is that you’re able to practice them inside the comfort of your home.

Push-ups

It’s like the most obvious choice, right? Right. Anyway, the about climbing is that it mainly works the pulling muscles (here you’ll find more info about it). Needless to say, push-ups work the pushing muscles. However, using both of these muscle groups will assist your body in staying balanced. And that’s very important since it will prevent some injuries that might show up as a result of poorly kept balance.

Pull-ups

Alright, who could’ve expected this one? Jokes aside, there’s a good reason why this one’s a favorite among many climbers. The thing is: it will strengthen many of the muscles you’ll use practicing the fantastic sport this article revolves around.

Planking

Let’s play a little game: name a more straightforward core exercise. Here’s a little tip: you can’t. So, how does do a regular plank? Just place your body in an ordinary position of push-ups. Once you’ve “made yourself comfortable”, simply bend your elbows at 90° and rest your body weight on your forearms. Stay like that for as long as you want or are able to stay.

Since this is a pretty easy exercise to do, there’s nothing stopping you from introducing something you’d call a challenge: simply try to lift and extend your opposite arm and leg. Try to keep that position up for a minute, then switch to trying out the right leg/left arm – right arm/left leg version. We’re sure you’ll find it more difficult than an obvious planning exercise.

The bottom line

Okay, so that’s all there’s to say about the subject of getting good and strong once you’re starting out climbing. Hopefully, all of the tips we’ve shared with you today will assist you in becoming an experienced and skilled climber! For more tips that will serve that very same purpose, feel free to visit this page on our blog.

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