Bouldering is a great way to get in some exercise and work out your core while also having fun. It is a form of rock climbing involving ropes and harnesses, often outdoors on small rock formations. You can also boulder inside on climbing walls and artificial surfaces.
Bouldering is suitable for those of all fitness levels. However, here are a few useful bouldering tips to make the experience easier.
1) Don’t Forget To Use Your Legs
When bouldering for the first time, most people concentrate on using their arms to pull themselves up to the next hold, but your legs can also do a lot of the work!
According to topbouldering.com, pushing from your legs is essential to mastering the art of bouldering, as your arms will tire quickly if you don’t use the muscles in your legs.
2) Climb Using Your Toes
When climbing for the first time, people often gain a foothold using their foot’s midsole instead of their toes. Use your toes to allow yourself far more movement on the wall as you can pivot easier and have a far greater reach.
Climbing using your midsoles also significantly increases the risk of slipping and falling.
3) Keep Your Arms Straight While Climbing
When climbing, you can decrease your fatigue by keeping your arms as straight as possible. If you keep your arms bent, you’ll predominantly engage with your forearm, bicep, and shoulder muscles. If you keep them straight, you can shift some of this effort to your lower body.
Avoid grabbing the holds by your chest and reach for the next hold your aim to grab. Only bend your arms when transferring between holds.
4) Keep Your Hips Close To The Wall
When climbing, try and keep your hips close to the wall. You are far more likely to fall if your butt is sticking out!
When you let your hips hang away from the wall, your center of gravity is further away. This means you’re transferring more of your weight to your fingers and toes (rather than your legs and forearms), and you’re more likely to slip.
5) Take A Moment To Read Your Climbing Route
When you first start climbing, it’s tempting to run headfirst at the wall and start going up. But you must scan the walls footholds and plan your route up first. This will allow you to climb with more efficiency and prevent you from getting worn out.
6) Familiarize Yourself With Popular Gripping Techniques and the holds
It can be intimidating to look at a wall and not know how you will grip onto those tiny holds to get to the top. Looking up a few popular gripping techniques to implement when moving between holds can make your climbing practice a lot easier.
Many types of holds can appear on a wall. Learning each of them and how best to climb with them can really help when it comes to scaling a tricky wall. Depending on the hold, you may need to adjust your grip and center to hang comfortably.
Whether you’re looking to get a start in bouldering or just started and looking for some extra pointers, these 6 tips will give you the confidence and skills you need.
Just remember to climb with your legs and toes, keep your arms straight and hips close to the wall, and consider your climbing route and holds to use before you start. That way, you’ll improve quickly and move past the beginner level.