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Trying Indoor Rock Climbing For the First Time

Rock Climbing For the First Time on My Birthday!

In our Women That Rock (Climb) community group, FitSugar member Beaner shared with us how she spent her birthday this year — indoor rock climbing for the first time ever! She's going to go again but wants to know if there's any way she can avoid having sore forearms after climbing. Can you offer her any advice on how to avoid feeling so sore? I'm sure she'd love to hear from you.

For years — yes years — I've wanted to try rock climbing, and finally on my birthday this past Saturday, my husband took me to this indoor climbing gym near our house. We got harnesses and shoes (are they supposed to be uncomfortable?), and I clipped myself to the rope that was hanging from the ceiling. The other end was attached to my hubby, who had done this before, so I felt safe and taken care of (he couldn't drop his wife, right?!). I looked up at the wall in front of me and just started going for it. About three quarters of the way up, I looked over my shoulder to see my husband belaying down below, and I freaked a little. My fear of heights kicked in and I gripped the little hand holds tightly and said as calmly as possible, "I think I'm ready to come down now." He tried to encourage me to go a little higher but I said, "Nah, how do I get down?" For some reason I thought I'd have to jump and free-fall, but he showed me how to repel and that part was really fun. It didn't take long to feel more comfortable and confident climbing higher and on my second time up, I even reached the little bell on the ceiling (I think it's for kids, but I was so psyched to make it to the top, I had to ding it!). I had a lot of fun and plan on bringing some other friends next time we go. The only thing that stinks is my forearms are so sore. Any way to help prevent that?

Are you a climber or want to know more about the sport? Share your own climbing tales in the Women That Rock (Climb) group. Not a climber? Be sure to take a look at our other community groups — there's something for everyone!

Join The Conversation
lighthouselady lighthouselady 7 years
I'd love to try it but haven't seen anywhere to do so. I'll be keeping my eyes open for an opportunity.
tigrelis tigrelis 7 years
I also only tried rock climbing for the first time recently. I barely used my legs and feet and my weak upper body strength gave out. I wish I'd monkeyed around a little more with my legs!
mondaymoos mondaymoos 7 years
While the soreness in your forearms is inevitable (even seasoned climbers will be sore if they're progressing in ratings), proper weight distribution is extremely important. It's very common for new climbers to not use their legs (feet) properly and rely on upper body strength when it's not necessary. Move your feet up the wall first and hands second.
thewinkingstone thewinkingstone 7 years
Beaner, props to you for taking on a new experience! Climbing is a great sport to get into and I definitely encourage you to stick with it. As for the soreness you feel in your forearms, that's to be expected almost any time you get on the wall, even for seasoned climbers. The best way to keep your muscles from burning out is to stretch both before and after you climb. A great stretch for your forearms is to: 1. Press your palms together with fingers up (like prayer hands) and down, which will stretch your wrists. Then, 2. Flip your hands (palms still together) away from your body until fingers point down. Draw your wrists upwards without moving your shoulders. You'll feel it in your forearms. Also while you're climbing, it's beneficial to take breaks and shake out your arms one at a time, as it restores blood flow and keeps your from pumping out. Happy climbing!
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