Why Climbing Gives You The Best Workout of Your Life
When you think about reasons to engage in a physical activity, most people naturally want to know the physical benefits first. That’s fair, because if you’re going to spend your time doing something, then you should have something to show for it when you’re done. Climbing doesn’t disappoint. When you start climbing, you will:
Work Out Your Whole Body
Climbing a wall will work every muscle group in your body, and it’s also a fabulous cardiovascular workout. Climbers burn calories at a rate equivalent to high-intensity activities like spinning and resistance workouts. But unlike some other cardiovascular exercises, climbing integrates aerobic exercise with muscle building. That means you get a full-body workout every time you climb (and you won’t get bored while you’re doing it).
Climbing : Build Strength
Not surprisingly, it takes strength to climb straight up a vertical wall. But don’t worry if you’re not already a weight lifter with ripped biceps and shoulders. You’ll be working all of your muscle groups simultaneously, and each day you climb you’ll grow stronger. In fact, research suggests that dynamic movements requiring multiple muscle groups are more challenging (i.e., they build strength faster and more effectively) than simpler exercises. Takeaway: you get a full range of strength-building benefits without having to pump iron at the gym. Worth it? Oh, yeah.
And climbing isn’t just about your arms, shoulders, and back. Yes, you’ll get a great upper body workout, but you also need core strength to keep yourself parallel to the wall. That’s especially true as you increase your skill and start taking on more challenging walls, like the ones that begin to angle out over your head. Experienced climbers also use their legs just as much as their arms as they ascend. Pushing up with your legs while pulling with your arms keeps you from tiring out too quickly and enables you to climb longer and farther than relying on your arms alone.
Improve Balance and Coordination
In addition to the benefits for your heart and muscles, climbing will also improve motor skills, balance and coordination. That’s because successfully navigating the various hand- and footholds on the wall requires meticulous eye-hand-foot coordination, balance, and stamina. You have to pay attention to your breathing and your core muscles (which are essential for balance) as well as watching where you came from, where you are, and where you’re going. Simply put, climbing is a total body exercise that increases power from your head to your toe.