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How to take your climbing skills to new heights

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Bouldering, top roping, lead climbing or speed climbing. However you climb, there’s always a real sense of achievement that comes with reaching the top and challenging yourself on the wall.

If you’re looking to take your climbing to the next level, we have put together some top tips to help you reach new heights and become a better climber.

Why climbing?

There’s more to climbing than reaching the top or the feeling of accomplishment after completing a tough climb. No matter your choice of discipline, climbing has many health benefits, making it the perfect option if you’re looking to start a healthy lifestyle.

Climbing can also help you achieve any specific fitness goals you’re working towards. Not only does the sport strengthen the muscles in your arms and legs. climbing also improves your flexibility which is key for sport practitioners at any level. After a few weeks of practising on an indoor climbing wall, you’ll also notice improvements in your coordination and balance.

Beyond the physical aspect, climbing can also boost confidence and help with problem solving skills as every route requires thought and tactics.

Here are our indoor rock climbing top tips.


Practice makes perfect isn’t just a phrase. It is a mantra great climbers live by.

Just like any other sport, consistency is key to start seeing real progress and develop muscle memory. So climb regularly, even if your sessions at the indoor climbing centre are short.

Set yourself a target for the number of days you will spend at any indoor climbing centres, either weekly or monthly, and stick to it where possible. Not only will you get into a habit and improve your skills, but you’ll also spend more time around experienced climbers, who are likely to share their top tips.

Don’t neglect your technique

Climbing has many technical aspects, which can sometimes surprise beginners.

In addition to getting to grips with the indoor climbing equipment needed to practice safely, there are several techniques beginners can learn. Perfecting them may be a quick way to improving.

Start with your footwork. Despite common misconceptions, your legs are your biggest assets when it comes to indoor rock climbing, so knowing how to use your feet can make a world of difference.

The best climbers know exactly where to place their feet and in what position to reduce strain on their arms, which is essential for longer climbs.

You should also practice your accuracy by switching feet on a hold or placing it in different positions. You’ll develop your confidence and learn when to use:

  • The edge - using specific parts of the climbing shoe e.g the inside edge or the toe.
  • Swapping feet – using balance and coordination to swap feet on small holds.
  • Smearing - pressing the sole of your shoe directly to the rock or wall.

You can also challenge yourself on the wall. If you cannot reach something, try and move your feet higher before your hands.

Don’t neglect your fitness

While technique is essential to become a good climber, good overall fitness can go a long way. Climbing uses the muscles in your arms and legs, therefore developing them may be the key to take your climbing skills to the next level.

Mix things up

Challenge yourself by trying new climbing routes or disciplines. This can be a good way to become a well-rounded climber.

A good way to progress is to step up and try something a little harder, even if it’s just some of the moves. Don’t be intimidated by steeper wall sections or more experienced climbers. Remember everyone starts somewhere. Not only will variety make things fun, but it will also allow you to work on your weaknesses as a climber.

You can also reach out to more experienced climbers or the climbing centre team for advice, direct feedback and support while trying out more difficult climbs.

If you’re used to indoor bouldering, then give top rope (sport) climbing a go. Used to outdoor climbing? Why not give indoor climbing a go. Fancy a taste of the Olympics? Try a speed climbing wall and compete to get on the leaderboard.

Every discipline comes with its own challenges which will help you develop your overall climbing skills.

David Morris

David Morris Content Contributor, Warwick Sport

David is an avid runner and writes about different aspects of fitness, health and wellbeing. He enjoys running, fitness classes and outdoor activities with his daughters.


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