How Rock Climbing Is a More Effective Fitness Workout

A simple Google search on the benefits of rock climbing shows a number of people who consider it great exercise. Unlike other workouts like running, rock climbing does more than burn unwanted calories. Anyone looking to get rid of excess calories and strengthen the core area has better luck in either indoor or outdoor climbing compared to kickboxing or some high impact martial arts like Taekwondo.

Weight loss

When climbing rocks, whether using a climbing gym or a mountainside, one uses the arms, legs to pull the body up. Consequentially, the arm muscles, thighs and core become stronger by pulling the body against gravity and holding it to the rock to avoid falling. According to a Harvard Health Publication report, a person weighing 155 pounds burns approximately 800 calories in an hour of rock climbing and 600 while rappelling.

Muscle toning

The Journal of Human Kinetics published a report in 2011 that stated rock climbers have considerably less body mass index, low body fat percentages, and increased arm strength. Rock climbing engages many muscles, such as the delts, obliques, abs, etc. All muscle groups work out in a single move in rock climbing. Coupled with the right nutrition, will result in stronger, arms, hands and thighs.

Prevent chronic illnesses

Rock climbing has proven cardiovascular benefits. Reducing unhealthy cholesterol in the body translates to the prevention of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and even stroke. According to the Centers for Disease Control, rock climbing offers an efficient, vigorous body workout that only requires one to three hours a week.

Increased body flexibility

During a climb, the climber has to leap and reach from far distance. When pulling the body up, the legs maintain a resting state on a protrusion to offer support to the body. The American College of Sports Medicine states that completing as little as two rock climbing sessions will improve the body’s overall motion and flexibility through stretching of limbs and joints.

Increased mental strength

Fitness has more than just physical benefits. Rock climbing requires agility just like kickboxing or weightlifting. A climber has to quickly judge which surface will provide better grip and select a suitable route. All these coordinated activities improve the mental agility.

Increased confidence

Rock climbing forces a climber to conquer their fear of heights. With the safety of the harness, the person can achieve milestones and overcome their fear beyond the peak of the rock or gym wall.