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Indoor Wall Climbing

as a hobby

Climbing is as close as we can come to flying.

Margaret Young

Indoor climbing is an exciting and challenging sport that can provide both physical and mental benefits. It’s a great way to stay active while having fun! If you’re considering starting to practice it, here’s what you need to know: Indoor climbing involves scaling artificial walls using handholds and footholds. It’s a full-body workout that can help you build strength, endurance, and flexibility while improving your balance and coordination1. To get started, you’ll need to find an indoor climbing gym near you and take an introductory class to learn the basics of safety, technique, and equipment.

Helpful content to start indoor wall climbing as a hobby

We aim to provide accurate information, but errors might be found. Always exercise judgment and discretion.

Videos

Short visual inspiration.

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YouTube | What Happens To Your Body When You Climb | w/ Shauna Coxsey
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YouTube | 5 Fundamentals of Indoor Rock Climbing | Rock Climbing

Podcasts

Play an episode while exploring the page.

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Spotify | Episode #73 – 40 Ways to Improve Your Training & Climbing – Part 1

Indoor wall climbing has many benefits, such as improving your strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, coordination, problem-solving skills, and mental focus.

Terms

Basic lingo for orientation.

  • Belay: The act of securing a climber with a rope and a device that can control the rope’s tension and speed.
  • Boulder: A short and low climb that does not require a rope or a belayer, but usually a crash pad for safety.
  • Crux: The hardest part or move of a climb.
  • Dyno: A dynamic move that involves jumping or lunging from one hold to another.
  • Flash: To complete a climb on the first attempt without any prior knowledge or beta (information) about it.
  • Hold: Any part of the wall that can be used to grip, pull or step on.
  • Route: A specific path or sequence of moves on a wall that is marked by colored tape or holds.
  • Problem: A term used for a bouldering route or challenge.
  • Top-rope: A type of climbing where the rope runs from the climber to an anchor at the top of the wall and back down to the belayer. This reduces the risk of falling far or hitting the ground.

How to start indoor wall climbing as a hobby

First moves for getting acquainted and breaking the ice.

You might want to try bouldering first. Bouldering is a type of climbing that stays relatively close to the ground and doesn’t use ropes. You don’t need a partner and you don’t have to worry about heights.

To start bouldering, you need to find a climbing gym that has bouldering walls. Some gyms have both rope climbing and bouldering walls, and some are specialized in one or the other. You don’t need to buy shoes, as you can usually rent them at the gym.

Once you are at the gym, look for the problems board. A problem is a term used for a bouldering route or challenge. The problems are categorized by difficulty levels and each level has a different color for its holds. The easiest problems are usually green or yellow. They should be easy enough for you to make a few first moves.

Then, just have fun and explore. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and tips from other climbers. The climbing community is friendly and helpful.

Remember to always be mindful and careful. Follow the safety rules and respect the etiquette of the gym.

P.S. Some cities offer outdoor bouldering walls for free. You can find them in parks, playgrounds, or public spaces.

Books

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How-tos

Step-by-step tutorials.

Articles

Further reading.

Websites

Go-tos for information.

Movies

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YouTube | Official Trailer | Free Solo | National Geographic UK

FAQS

Get a clue.

What equipment do I need to get started?

It might be a good idea to begin with bouldering – a type of climbing that stays relatively close to the ground and doesn’t use ropes. To try bouldering, you don’t need any equipment, just comfortable clothes. You can rent shoes at the gym.

How difficult is indoor climbing?

Indoor climbing offers routes for all skill levels, from beginner to advanced. The difficulty can be adjusted to your ability and comfort level.

How much does indoor climbing cost?

Some cities offer outdoor bouldering walls for free. You can find them in parks, playgrounds, or public spaces. Admission fees to indoor climbing gyms typically range from $10-30 per day or $30-100 per month. You’ll also need to budget for gear, shoes, and other equipment.

Can I climb alone?

For rope climbing, it isn’t recommended to climb alone. But you can cautiously experiment with easy bouldering problems by yourself.

Apps

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Tips

Additional advice for beginners.