Indoor Rock Climbing Basics You Need To Know About

By Liam Neeson | Tips and Tricks

Jan 18

Indoor climbing is a popular form of rock climbing wherein people would scale man made climbing walls. These are artificially constructed walls attached with holds that look like actual mountain walls. Indoor climbing is safer because of controlled environment, friendly sport and for all ages. Weather is an important factor to be considered in indoor climbing. In indoor climbing, holds are easily visible in contrast with natural walls but the challenge is finding a good hold or foothold.

Indoor climbing gyms are increasing nowadays, due to its popularity.  Some of the popular climbing walls in world are Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, Castle Climbing Centre, Lock Climbing Wall and Manchester Climbing Centre.

The climbing walls are constructed with holds for hands and feet. Previously indoor walls were made up of brick or wooden. This is been now replaced with thick multiplex board with holes drilled into it. Hand and foot holds of different shapes and sizes can be bolted on in different positions to create number of routes. For a textured surface, the wall may take the form of crack or overhang.

Advantages of Indoor Rock Climbing Over Outdoor Rock

  1. Environment

The environment is designed to make it easy for you to climb in indoor climbing, while the atmosphere is sky high in outdoor.

  1. Size of the holds

In outdoor, there will be a huge rock which is unique and complex. In indoor you will make your own holds that suit you.

Climbing Goals To Be Set Before Building A Wall

Before you start to build a wall, decide what type of training you want to do.  Different features of a climbing wall are good for various types of training.

Strength training

It is the physical training mainly focusing on muscular contractions which build strength and size of skeletal muscles. A steep overhang wall is good for strength training. For this type of training, you do not need a long distance, but an area to accommodate a steeper angle.

Endurance training

It is an act of exercising to increase endurance. The term endurance refers to aerobic system which includes cardiovascular and simple muscular endurance. The type of climbing wall that works well for endurance would be vertical or slightly overhung and longer in distance.

Steps To Be Followed In Building a Climbing Wall

Planning and Designing

In this phase, you decide on the wall’s shape, size and features. Plan a model by considering your budget and location. The planning phase should end with a decision that whether you are going to construct a wall or not. In designing you should consider about the bill of materials, exact costs, and type of joints, specific cut angles loads and stresses. You must have a clear idea about technical hurdles before completing designing.

Making a sketch and a model

Construct a model with some basic work drawings. Label the distance for each hold. Take a reference to an existing structure for distance. Establish all angles and dimensions in a model so that you have an idea while building a wall.

Collecting materials and tools

Collect the proper materials for your wall. Some common materials uses in creating walls are plywood, screws, and nuts and bolts.  If you want to add texture to your wall buy paints, rollers and brushes. You need to use climbing shoes, ropes, and chalk bags.

Building the climbing wall

Take a material which you are going to build a wall, measure and mark the locations where you are going to fix the holds. After finishing a wall you need to double check the wall with the model.

Adding features, textures and holds

After finishing the main material, fix the holds on its position; give texture that looks like rock by using paint.

Addressing maintenance and safety considerations

Consider about weather and safety place your wall. Proper maintenance is needed.

Indoor training helps us to improve our health in many ways check out that in detail below:

  • You will learn mental control along with your climbing skills.
  • You will get benefits from both strength and endurance training which make body healthier and fitter.
  • Indoor climbing increases flexibility in your body
  • The various exercises involved in rock climbing can aid in the prevention of chronic illness such as heart diseases, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes.
  • Indoor climbing helps us to burn 800 calories hourly during climbing.
  • Regular rock climbing helps you to develop concentration, determination and problem solving skills.

Indoor climbing is the safer, comfortable and controlled environment sport which can be done by all ages. It gives us strength, improves your health and confidence.  Either you can build your wall on own or join the gym where you will get more experience with trainers and climbing partners.


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