Special Feature

Rock Climbing Tips for Beginner

Rock climbing is a fun way to work out and test your problem-solving abilities. If you want to begin climbing, but don't know where to start, you're in the right place!

Below are some of our staff recommendations for breaking into the climbing scene. Try them out at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center's (SRWC) very own Rock Wall!

There are plenty of ways to train without gearing up. Mechanical grip trainers and resistance bands can help you build up the grip strength for longer climbs. You can also try using hangboards; training devices designed to help simulate differing shelf sizes used for grips, or holds. Want our advice? Try hanging off the boards for two to three sets of 10 seconds, or use them as pull-up bars for a harder workout. Practice makes perfect, and the easiest way to train your body for the strain of climbing is to just gear up and try it! Also remember that climbing uses the entire body, so working up your strength slowly will help you to avoid pulling muscles or ligaments.

When you come to the SRWC's Rock Wall, you will see colored grips screwed into the climbing wall. These grips, or holds, create different routes to get up the wall and generally follow a color-coded system based on their difficulty. Starting with an easy route is essential for building confidence and grip strength. No one is an expert right away and difficult moves can cause injury if done improperly. Don’t be afraid to ask a SRWC Rock Wall staff member about our grading system. We usually suggest beginning with one of our 5.7 routes and progressively working your way up. Pro Tip: To avoid fatiguing quickly, try stepping up with your legs, rather than pulling yourself up with your upper body.

As you prepare to climb, asking questions is always a proven way to learn more about the sport. Excited to climb? Join us at the SRWC Rock Wall today! Learn new climbing skills from our SRWC staff and use them in our climbing challenges for this semester: the Mile High Challenge and Belay a Mile Challenge. Climbing equipment is free and SRWC Rock Wall staffers are ready to belay and teach. We are open Monday through Thursday, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays from 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and on weekends from noon to 5 p.m. What new heights will you reach this fall?

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