Want that strong and lean body from forearms all the way to your calves? Then rock climbing and mountain climbing are perfect options for you!
Rock climbing requires everything from strength to pull yourself up, the power to execute explosive movements, balance to stay upright, stable core to boost your efficiency and endurance to sustain you during longer climbs, so it’s really not a surprise that climbers are chiseled like those rocks they are climbing.
Mountain climbing is a little bit less intense, but it is an amazing workout for your legs and your lungs.
While the best way to get a climber’s body is to hit the rocks or find a mountain and start climbing, you probably want to make sure you are in decent shape before you begin your first journey.
Keep reading below to learn benefits of climbing and how to get a climbers body!
Reasons to Try Mountain Climbing or Rock Climbing
Many perceive climbing as child’s play, rather than a serious sport and a great way to get in shape. Fortunately, climbing is becoming more and more popular!
If you’re looking for a fun and exciting hobby or a new sport to try, take up climbing. You will learn many important lessons about the human body and mind, about setting goals and raising the bar.
Every route is a new challenge waiting to be beaten and with every fall you are a step closer to the top. You will certainly meet new friends and make unforgettable memories while being in amazing shape.
It can be beneficial both for the body and the soul, and most of all, it’s super fun. Here are 7 reasons to start climbing.
Climbing Relieves Stress
Climbers describe the act of climbing as being completely emerged in the moment where everything else is not important. This is exactly what most of us need after a hard day at work. It’s demanding mentally, and you get so focused that you simply must let everything else go (but your grip of course.)
While climbing, your body releases norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that relieves stress. That’s why climbers say they feel relaxed and happy after a good climb.
Climbing Can Help You Conquer Your Fears
If you’re one of the many people who suffer from a fear of heights, climbing is a great and safe way to finally overcome it.
Conquering your fear will not only give you a feeling of victory, increase your confidence and self-esteem, but will open a whole new world of possibilities. Don’t miss out on having fun and enjoying life just because you’re afraid.
It’s Not too Heavy on the Wallet
All you need to climb are some climbing shoes (you can even get used ones) and some well-fitted clothes that will not get in the way. Centers usually provide everything else, like harnesses, chalk, karabiners and belay devices.
Just find an a place that offers indoor rock climbing, and you are all set to go.
Work Those Muscles
Once you get into climbing, it will probably soon become one of your favorite ways to work out. It combines endurance, flexibility and strength exercises all in one.
Basically, you do cardio and weight training at the same time. Get your protein drinks ready and hit the rocks instead of doing your regular gym routine that has probably gotten a bit boring.
While climbing, you’ll use your arms to pull up, your legs to push and your core to keep you from falling. Plus, you do all that while having fun.
Convenient, isn’t it?
Feed Your Adrenaline Addiction!
If you’re one of the adrenalin junkies, here’s a new activity for you. You can try sport climbing that will get your heart pumping or opt for mountain climbing if you need a bigger adrenaline dose.
Studies show that our bodies release more endorphins, dopamine and norepinephrine when we engage in exciting and dangerous situations.
Once you experience this adrenaline rush, it’ll be hard to stop.
Climbing Helps You Develop New Skills
Climbers look at every route like it’s a puzzle.
You will soon learn to properly analyze every climb, and visualize the best and shortest route. At first it’s enough to just go with the flow, but as you advance, you’ll see how your brain spots the best holds and tricky sections.
You will learn how to be patient, concentrated and determined, while also exercising your problem-solving skills.
In addition, it exercises your reflexes and quick decision-making. Over time, you will overcome the fear of failure and set new and bigger goals. Conquering obstacles and setting the bar higher will give you an amazing boost of self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment.
Climbing Helps You Meet New People!
Climbing is not entirely an individual sport.
There is always someone who will spot you, help you with the equipment or just cheer you on. Climbing can connect people of different genders, ages, careers and life-styles, and soon, you will have new diverse friends to overcome challenges and share experiences with.
How to Workout to Get Ready for a Climb
If you want to be ready for mountain climbing or rock climbing, you’re going to need to be in a bit of shape first. Here are some exercises which will help you!
Make Sure to Warm Up
Before you do any exercises, make sure your rotator cuff (muscles that help stabilize your shoulder) are warm.
These exercises require very little equipment and very low weights—you just want to perform control movements that will warm up your muscles and get you ready for your climb or your workout.
Additional Information: Why You Need a Dynamic Warm Up Before Every Workout
Pull-ups and pull-up variations are great exercises for climbing since they target all the large lateral muscles in your back that you use during a climb. You can find any appropriate surface (you don’t have to have a specialized pull-up bar) and start strengthening your muscles.
You start with regular pull-ups and slowly start to introduce other variations like chin-knuckle touches where you lift your chin to your left knuckles, return to starting position and repeat on the right.
You can also try this variation (favorite of Dwayne Johnson): pull yourself up quickly but lower your body back as slow as you can. Or you can try circular pull-ups in each direction.
When climbing, you need strength to hold yourself up and support your weight, so it’s important to target everything from your shoulders to your core which is something you can do with planks. Perform the exercise like this: get into push-up position and keep balancing your weight on your palms and toes for as long as you can (or do it in sets of two minutes).
Make sure your head, shoulders, behind and heels make one straight line. As you boost your strength, you can even rise up onto your fingers to build hand strength for your rock climbing sessions.
After this exercise, you’ll be ready to hit all the best places to climb and conquer all the challenges. From Rumney, New Hampshire to Yosemite, California, no place will be unreachable for you!
Additional Reading: Alternatives to Crunches
This exercise is excellent for building your arms and shoulder strength which is something climbers can’t get enough. However, you can also try this amazing variation—push-up rows. Start in a push-up position resting on dumbbells and feet set wide apart.
Lower your body and after you push up, row one elbow back and bring your dumbbell towards your rib-cage. This push-up variation will target your pecs and triceps as well as your lats and biceps.
Do 10 to 15 reps and make sure to keep your core tight during your exercise.
Don’t think climbing targets only your upper body, but it’s also great for your legs. You need good leg power for both climbing and falling as well as for dynamic moves, so try these exercises to strengthen your legs.
Start with jump squats that will allow you to build explosive power needed for jumps and more challenging bouldering problems. Just as high as you can every time for the best results!
You can also practice single-leg squats that work your glutes and your quads and practice your balance.
These are very good at simulating climbing positions and movements as you can expect to find yourself in need to extend your leg far in order to find a foothold.
Concluding Thoughts – Getting a Climbers Body
If you do all of these exercises, you’ll not only notice improvements in your climbing abilities but also notice your physique getting more muscular.