Is rock climbing right for you?
Rock Climbing is a growing sport, gaining popularity amongst younger demographics, while at the same time keeping participation levels for athletes well into their 60s (and beyond). The purpose of this blog is to encourage you to try climbing; future blogs will discuss how to prevent and manage injuries.
The growth of the sport has been encouraged by advancements in gyms, both locally in Sydney, and abroad. Some of the best gyms in Sydney include Sydney Indoor Climbing Gym, St. Peters and Sydney Indoor Climbing Gym, Villawood , Climb Fit in St. Leonards, Climb Oz in Blacktown; and The Ledge at Sydney University amongst others. Interested? Why not try it now! Of course, their are also many outdoor climbing locations where one can benefit from physical activity in a natural environment. One company you might consider is The Blue Mountain Climbing School.
Climbing combines problem solving, athleticism and emotional control. These different aspects, along with the very social nature of the sport, contribute to its growing popularity. While there is risk associated with any activity, injuries early on in one's climbing career are relatively rare.
The incidence of climbing related injury rises as one gets stronger and spends more time training. Hand injuries account for a large proportion of climbing injuries, as do shoulder and elbow injuries. However, 50% of the injuries from climbing are to the lower limb.
There are different subtypes of climbing: Top Roping, Lead, Bouldering, Speed, Sport, Trad and on and on... However, most people enter the sport through top roping in a gym. Here, one is tethered to the wall during all ascents. When one disengages with the wall, the static rope and one's belaying partner prevents any rapid descent. .
As far as exercise goes, climbing is fantastic, weather as a complementary sport for cross-training, or as a sole passion. While one immediately thinks of upper body strength: toned arms, hands and shoulders, some of the best gains are in global, full body strength, including core stability and dexterity. It's a requirement that you move your whole body, and while arms will get you so far, typically, greater gains come from footwork and balance.
Regular exercise is essential for a healthy body, and compliance typically relies on enjoyment of the sport. If you have fun, you're likely to participate. Therefore, if you're looking for a way to get fit and climbing sounds exciting, please contact a local climbing group asap.
Sports N Spine chiropractor, Matt Bulman, has been involved with the climbing community for several years. He began climbing in 2007, and in 2013, he established The Climber's Clinic. He has been a chiropractor at the Oceana Bouldering Finals; Australian National Lead Climbing finals, and many Sport Climbing Australia events. He regularly gives injury prevention and management talks at local climbing gyms, and has also presented at the Australian climbing festival.
...Our next blog will cover common climbing injuries, how to manage and prevent them. .