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What are Good Rock Climbing Techniques?

By Sonal Panse
Updated May 23, 2024
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Aside from having the right rock climbing gear, it is necessary for a climber to know the correct rock climbing techniques for both outdoor and indoor rock climbing activities in order to avoid injuries and accidents. Before setting out on a climb, a climber is advised to do some limbering up exercises to loosen stiff muscles and joints. By improving the overall flexibility of the body, the climber is able to move more easily, and lessens the chances of developing cramps during the climb.

Beginner climbers might start with indoor climbing walls to develop the knack for tackling more demanding rock-face wall climbing. While discussing rock climbing techniques, many experienced climbers speak about visualizing the climb beforehand. This involves checking out the route from the ground and making mental notes about how the route might be traversed. Charting the course in this manner can give the climber a better idea of how to proceed. After a route has been completed, it is a good idea to study the way it was traversed and learn from it for future climbs.

Developing a good sense of balance is perhaps one of the most important of all rock climbing techniques. Knowing how to balance the body weight while climbing lessens the pressure on the hands and the arms. It will help to maintain the body weight on the legs, if the arms are used to shift the weight. For situations where the arms are required to support the weight, the climber needs to develop the ability to move quickly from one point to the next.

Another equally important element of rock climbing techniques is knowing when to rest. It is necessary to balance extended sequences of dynamic movements with brief periods of rest. A climber should seek out opportunities that allow for this during the climb. Brief resting periods are essential for refreshing tired muscles, and for increasing the climber's endurance capacity.

In order to develop better climbing ability and technique, a climber needs to try out as many different routes as possible and preferably routes of varying degrees of difficulty. Such regular climbing experience will hone the climber's technique, and give him or her a better judgment of how to navigate safely through a tricky situation. It will also help to carefully study the rock climbing techniques of other more seasoned climbers and ask them for any rock climbing tips that they might be willing to share.

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Discussion Comments
By drtroubles — On Nov 25, 2011

@Mae82 - If you are wanting to learn how to rock climb I would suggest getting a coach at one of the indoor rock climbing parks. There are a lot of techniques I could explain to you, but it really is best to have someone with you, showing you where to place your hands and feet.

I will say though, get the best rock climbing shoes you can afford. Knowing that you are wearing proper gear can really help you stay focused, plus it keeps you more comfortable. I once made the mistake of climbing with too old shoes and it was a bit of a disaster. Lesson learned though.

By Mae82 — On Nov 24, 2011

Can anyone recommend some good rock climbing techniques for beginners?

My friend and I have just joined a local rock climbing club as we are looking to meet more people and wanted to do something challenging. We've both been to indoor rock climbing facilities, but I am sure that the real thing is a lot different.

We will definitely be wearing the best climbing harness we can find so that we don't have any accidents. I know that it will be a long time before I try any free climbing as I just don't have the confidence for that yet.

By Mykol — On Nov 24, 2011

The only rock climbing experience I have had is at an indoor place where they have several different walls you can climb.

I think this is a great way to gain some experience and learn some indoor rock climbing techniques before attempting something that is more challenging.

Someday I hope to do some rock climbing and mountain climbing, but think I need to become familiar with everything before I attempt something that big.

The indoor walls give me a chance to understand how it all works and feel comfortable with what I am doing. Once I feel like I have mastered everything there, I will feel a lot better about planning an outdoor trip.

By julies — On Nov 23, 2011

I have never been rock climbing, but this is something I have always been interested in trying.

One summer when we were in Colorado visiting the Garden of the Gods, I saw quite a few rock climbers. This group I was watching were doing this on their own, as opposed to paying for someone to guide them through the experience.

You can also schedule a rock climbing tour at the visitor center. If I ever go back here, this is something I definitely want to try.

You could tell they were seasoned rock climbers. I was just as interested in watching their rock climbing moves as I was in seeing the sights at the Garden of the Gods.

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