5 Complementary Sports to Indoor Rock Climbing

5 Complementary Sports to Indoor Rock Climbing

May 02, 2016

Pursuing sports that are complementary to climbing will not only keep you in peak physical shape but may also help prevent injury, improve technique, and alleviate burnout or boredom. Here are five sports to complement your regular climbing routine and provide a great community for cross training and adventure. 

Yoga

Climbing and yoga are natural allies. Yoga helps build core strength, improve balance, and reduce mental chatter - all essential to rock climbing. Yoga can also alleviate shoulder and back strain and muscle tightness common to rock climbers. Yoga also teaches awareness of our feet, the foundation of climbing technique, while strengthening and relaxing those often overworked muscles.   

Jiu Jitsu

Jiu Jitsu is a great sport for building physical strength, coordination, balance and weight shifting. Jiu Jitsu is also great for building confidence, something that beginning climbers often need more of. The art of grappling with another person is also a great opportunity to develop strategic planning and problem solving – skills fundamentally necessary in rock climbing.

Surfing

Climbing and surfing share a common bond with nature and adventure, resulting in very similar cultures. Like climbing, surfing can take you on far away adventures to exotic destinations but can also be enjoyed closer to home. Surfing is a great workout for your core and upper body, and will result in better balance, dynamic mobility and full body strength.

Skiing

Skiing is a mountain sport, much like climbing.  It is not uncommon to ski to the base of a climb, or vice versa, so familiarity with both sports can open up a world of opportunity in the backcountry. Skiing is also a great cardio workout and often the sport of choice when the whether is too cold or snowy for climbing, keeping your legs strong and fit in the off season. 

Strength Training

Strength training is an essential element of a strong climbing routine. Contrary to popular myth, strength training and body building are not the same, and you wont build up a bunch of excess body mass just through strength training alone. In fact, compound weight lifting is a great way to help improve your strength to weight ratio and shed excess weight. Compound lifting also helps improve your dynamic mobility, stabilize your joints, and prevent over-use injuries and tendon strain. There are a variety of workouts that fall under strength training. Check out our Group Fitness classes to learn about climbing and specific strength training from our own Andy Raether.



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