By Isabella Broggini
When it comes to building strength and keeping fit, outdoor sports such as rock climbing are proven to have numerous health benefits. However, for people who live in cities like New York, accessing an outdoor space for rock climbing isn’t always feasible. Luckily, some fitness facilities offer indoor rock climbing walls that can have the same benefits of doing the sport outdoors, without requiring the time and money needed to access outdoor rock climbing venues. Other than being great for your health, rock climbing can also be exhilarating, and often the excitement that you feel when doing it will mask the fact that you are actually exerting yourself physically. Below are five great health benefits that you can expect to gain if you engage in regular indoor rock climbing:
1- It’s a total body workout
Completebody`s Downtown Manhattan Rock Climbing Wall
One of the great benefits of rock climbing is that it works both your upper and lower body muscles. You will strengthen muscles in your back and arms when pulling yourself up, and you’ll be forced to engage the muscles of your core, quads, and calves to stabilize your body while climbing. Working all of these muscles in a single workout makes your time spent at the gym more effective, and it is a great solution for those who do not have time to come in to the gym multiple times a week to work out different muscle groups separately. To prevent potential injuries during your rock climbing session, make sure that you take time to warm up and stretch appropriately before beginning.
2- You’ll increase your range of motion and flexibility
Having an appropriate range of motion for every joint is crucial in order to move our body freely without experiencing injuries. The range of motion of each of our joints can be improved through increased flexibility, and engaging in regular rock climbing can help us become more flexible. Think about it: rather than moving in the same direction as you would in other exercises such as running, rock climbing demands that you move your body up, down, and to the sides; all in one workout! This constant change in direction requires your body to adapt and learn to effectively move in all three planes of motion (sagittal, frontal, and transverse). In addition to increasing your flexibility, this will also give your body the ability to move effectively and with increased strength while engaging in everyday activities (such as when carrying groceries, reaching to grab items in a cabinet, or throwing a football).
3- You’ll improve your strength and cardio during a single workout
Instead of choosing between focusing on cardio and focusing on strength during a single gym session, rock climbing allows you to do both simultaneously. The constant movement involved in climbing will cause your heart rate to elevate, which will allow you to burn more calories. An average rock climbing session can burn between 500 and 900 calories, making it a far superior workout than most treadmill runs. In addition to improving your cardiovascular fitness, rock climbing allows you to build muscle because you are essentially lifting your entire body weight from one position to the next. Since, as mentioned previously, rock climbing is a total body workout, you’ll be able to tone all of your body during a single training session.
4- Your grip strength will improve
Climbing up a rock climbing wall has the obvious benefit of improving your grip strength, because without a strong grip you will not be able to make it up the wall. Improving your grip strength with regular rock climbing will not only make you better at the sport itself, but it will also benefit you in other areas of training and life: you will be able to lift heavier weights at the gym, you will be able to hold your grocery bags for longer, or even become better at holding your dog back when he tugs on the leash. If you struggle with a weak grip when lifting weights, incorporating rock climbing into your training routine may be just what you need to help you lift heavier loads.
5- Rock climbing can boost brain function
Scaling an indoor rock climbing wall isn’t as easy as it might seem to bystanders; it involves a lot of problem-solving and body awareness that can improve brain function over time. Think about it: every time you climb to a new position on the wall, you need to decide on the best placement for your hands and feet to avoid falling. You also need to choose the best moment to shift your weight to a new position. These moment-to-moment decisions are a great way to improve your brain’s processing capabilities. Rock climbing also requires you to be completely present in the current moment, therefore it can be an effective way to improve mind-body awareness and also reduce stress.
If you’re looking to save time at the gym by working multiple muscles simultaneously, and if you want to exercise both your mind and your body, then rock climbing might be the perfect addition to your current fitness routine. Don’t know where to get started? Contact us today to learn more about Complete Body’s indoor rock climbing wall and for tips on how to get started.