Indoor climbing or “bouldering” is a sport where climbers move along short routes without the use of ropes. Routes are much shorter than outdoor climbing and usually don’t exceed 10 meters (30 ft) in length by 3 meters (10 ft) tall. Climbers can fall off as many times as they want but only the last move of each route counts.
What does an indoor climbing wall consist of?
A climbing wall is made out of multiple large wooden panels, which are usually 30 to 40 cm thick. These panels can be tilted in order to create slabs or vertical walls. Climbing routes are marked on the panel with colored tape and/or plastic holds.
The panels are attached to each other, the climbing floor and the ground with bolts.
How does indoor climbing affect the body?
1- Indoor climbing is a great way of exercising as it uses many different parts of your body at once. Climbing creates an overall well-rounded workout by engaging both large and small muscles in your body.
2- Climbing also has a strong mental component that trains focus and problem-solving skills.
3- Climbing is a good workout for your shoulder girdle because it builds up the muscles in your arms, shoulders, chest, and upper back. This can be beneficial to you because having stronger shoulders reduces the chance of injuries to the shoulder. Climbing also strengthens your forearms and hands which will help you with using your fingers more effectively.
4- Climbing is also known to improve hand grip endurance, making you less likely to drop items like phones or keys.
5- An indoor climbing workout can be significantly harder than other workouts on some days due to how it engages your full body. Climbing also builds up a good level of fitness which makes any other workouts you do that day way more effective and efficient. In short, climbing can be exhausting but in a very fun way!
What are the drawbacks of indoor climbing?
1- Climbing can cause injuries to your fingers, arms, legs and other parts of the body. Especially for beginner climbers it is recommended that you first take classes on climbing technique to avoid injury.
2- Climbing usually requires a fair amount of physical training so in order to get started or improve you will have to put in some effort outside of climbing.
3- Climbing requires a large amount of concentration and focus which in turn can make it hard for people to hold a conversation while climbing. Climbing and having conversations at the same time is possible but difficult.
4- Climbing routes are marked with colored tape and/or plastic holds, so when you climb your shoes might get dirty.
5- Climbing harnesses can take some getting used to. Some people even experience mild discomfort when they first start wearing them!
6- Climbing shoes aren’t cheap! Depending on how much you climb, your shoes may only last a few months before the soles are worn down too much for climbing safely. Many climbers recommend buying two pairs of shoes at once so that when one pair is worn out you have another ready to go.
7- Climbing can be dangerous. If you don’t know what you are doing, it’s easy to make mistakes that could cause injury to yourself or others around you. This is especially true if there are children in the climbing area, as they might play around you and distract you from what you are doing.
8- Climbing requires a good amount of mental endurance. If you don’t have the motivation to keep going after a few moves, it can be hard to find the strength to try again!
9- Some people simply don’t enjoy climbing/there is no climbing nearby/they don’t have the time to go climbing.
10- Climbing has a lot of etiquette involved which takes some getting used to, especially in busy gyms with lots of new people.
11- The cost of joining a climbing gym will vary depending on where you live and if you are an adult or child. You might not want to spend the extra cash if you only want to try it out for a short time.
12- Climbing is physically demanding, and not everyone wants to take on such a challenge. If climbing sounds like something that you would get bored of quickly, then perhaps other hobbies are more suited for you!
What does the future hold for indoor climbing?
Indoor climbing is being seen as an increasingly mainstream form of exercise that’s as fun as it is effective. The number of indoor climbing gyms that exist now is an indicator of this. Climbing grades are even being included in fitness tests such as the Cooper test! These factors combined bode well for the future of indoor climbing, which will only become more popular over time.