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Indoor climbing: how to learn the basics

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Portrait von Anja
Sales employee, Transa store Europaallee Zurich
© Fotos

You’re best off learning how to climb indoors. In the video, sales advisor and climber Adi explains which courses are best for this, while sales advisor Anja reveals how best to warm up before going climbing.

Climbing gyms swap rugged rocks and sunshine for colourful holds and artificial lights. However, they’re a great place to learn the basics, improve your technique and get started with minimal equipment, particularly if you’re new to climbing.

Climbing courses and tips for beginners

In the video, sales advisor and climber Adi explains what courses are out there and what equipment you need, while sales advisor Anja reveals the best warm-up for climbing.

Climbing courses: top rope and lead climbing

If you’re new to climbing, the easiest way to begin is by doing a guided indoor climbing course. These courses build on each other and will give you a good grounding in the sport so you’re sure to make progress.

Taster course

Taster courses give you a sense of what climbing’s like. They’re about scaling a climbing wall, feeling the holds in your hands and hanging from the rope. It’s a chance to have fun and try things out. A taster course isn’t a training course, mind you.

Foundation course 1 – basic climbing technique

In the first foundation course, you’ll learn how to belay using a top rope. The rope is already hung at the top, at the end of the route. In other words, you don’t need to hang the rope anywhere as you’re climbing. Foundation course 1 is usually undertaken in small groups, so you’ve got plenty of time to ask questions and familiarise yourself with your safety device.

Foundation course 2 – practising lead climbing

Ideally, you’ll have completed foundation course 1 and spent a bit of time doing top rope climbing. This will give you a bit of practice for foundation course 2, which focuses on lead climbing. In other words, the rope isn’t hung up at the top for you: you need to hang it into the expresses yourself while you’re climbing. This requires more skill and practice from the climber and belayer alike.

Improve your climbing technique

So, you’ve completed the foundation courses and you’re a familiar face at the climbing gym. One day, though, you may start to feel like you’ve plateaued. If so, we’d recommend going climbing more frequently. Bouldering might also help you to build up the muscles you need, as this sport is highly strength-focused.

Alongside climbing-specific training, exercises to balance out these movements are key. Climbing places great demands on your shoulders and fingers. To avoid this impacting your posture, you should specifically strengthen the counterparts to the muscles used when climbing. Classic exercises for this include scapular press-ups, normal press-ups and handstands.

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