Skilled climbers are individuals that have mastered the art of balance. It takes a combination of mental focus, muscle strength, endurance, and flexibility to become a successful rock climber. Ask any climber what you can do to improve in these areas and they’ll say practice is the key to developing your skills. Consistently practicing your technique and movement patterns will help make your rock climbing experience the safest and most fun it can be.
Rock climbing is an extremely adaptable sport with a number of participants that have physical disabilities. Climbers with limb deficiencies must adapt their climbing technique to create better body awareness and muscle control. Before, they may have relied on the strength of their legs, now climbers will have to focus on using their fingers and core to propel themselves upward. Again, it all comes back to practice.
Tips for Adaptive Climbing Beginners:
- Start Learning Indoors: Here you can experience a greater measure of safety and instructional assistance from professional staff.
- Prosthetic Choices are Personal: Find your comfort zone and make sure your movements aren’t being inhibited. It’s your choice whether or not you climb with your prosthetic as well as the kind you use.
- Take Steps Gradually: If you’ve never climbed before, there are a lot of specific muscles and tendons that typical fitness regimens don’t activate, so start slow regarding climb duration and difficulty.
References Available from the SIRC Collection:
1. Bourne R, Halaki M, Vanwanseele B, Clarke J. Measuring Lifting Forces in Rock Climbing: Effect of Hold Size and Fingertip Structure. Journal Of Applied Biomechanics. February 2011;27(1):40-46.
2. Brent S, Draper N, Hodgson C, Blackwell G. Development of a performance assessment tool for rock climbers. European Journal Of Sport Science. May 2009;9(3):159-167.
3. Draper N, Canalejo J, North C, et al. Reporting climbing grades and grouping categories for rock climbing. Isokinetics & Exercise Science. December 2011;19(4):273-280.
4. Macleod D, Sutherland D, Grant S, et al. Physiological determinants of climbing-specific finger endurance and sport rock climbing performance. Journal Of Sports Sciences. October 2007;25(12):1433-1443.
5. Magiera A, Roczniok R. The Climbing Preferences of Advanced Rock Climbers. Human Movement. September 2013;14(3):254-264.
6. Magiera A, Roczniok R, Maszczyk A, Czuba M, Kantyka J, Kurek P. The Structure of Performance of a Sport Rock Climber. Journal Of Human Kinetics. January 2013;36:107-117.