ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

5 Benefits of Rock Climbing in High Schools

Updated on March 25, 2018

Whether you're a beginner or a hard core expert, anyone can reap the health and mental benefits of rock climbing. This is especially true for high school and middle school students. Rock climbing prevents a fun physical activity that is easy to get involved with and pushes them outside of their comfort zone to make friends and learn new skills.

You may surprised by all the aspects of teenage development that rock climbing can augment when it is added to a structured school program.

Improve flexibility with rock climbing.
Improve flexibility with rock climbing. | Source

1. Climbing Improves Flexibility

If you've ever seen someone stemming up a climb (that's when your legs are fairly wide spread to support yourself) you have an appreciation for how important flexibility is in learning to rock climb. As climbs become more difficult sometimes the only way to make a few of the more tricky moves is to work on your flexibility. Stretch before and after normal exercise and give beginner yoga a try if you're looking to up your flexibility (and therefore your climbing).

Even if you don't work on becoming more flexible directly, climb tends to gradually loosen you up. Challenging moves can push you to your limit before you realize though so make sure to stretch before you climb to avoid injuries.

2. A Positive, Healthy Community

Rock climbing is mostly seen as an individual sport but unless you hit only the self belays at the gym, you need other people involved. Because you need other folks to get through climbs it forces you to make friendships even if you're a normally introverted person. The love and sometimes the inherent danger of climbing causes you to naturally form close relationships with your climbing partners and that is essential to any happy lifestyle.

On top of the health benefits of the sport itself, climbing a lot gets you involved in a group of like minded people. And climbing friends are good for your health! Climbers tend to have healthier lifestyle habits and are all around friendly and supportive people. You might find yourself getting involved in other outdoor activities that get you in shape through your climbing buddies. Often there's overlap between climbers and other outdoor activities like mountain biking, hiking, water sports, etc.

3. Rock Climbing Gets Teenagers Outside

Climbing outside adds on even more health benefits. Some climbing areas have long approaches and even the mild ones get your blood pumping on the trail. Spending time outside exposes high school students to the local trail system and gives them an appreciation for the outdoors they will take with them throughout their adult years.

Though there is a lot to learn about climbing inside first, a climbing program wouldn't be complete without getting the beginner climbers outside. Or if the school doesn't have the resources for a climbing trip, teenagers can seek out climbing guides in their area to help guide them on their first few trips. Most climbers are happy to share their expertise and show newcomers the way.

Climbing with gear can require more expense and expertise than minors are ready for. In that case bouldering is a great option for many young adults. With just a crash pad or two and some safety knowledge they can explore together and find some challenging boulder problems.

Bouldering or climbing outside has many health and fitness benefits.
Bouldering or climbing outside has many health and fitness benefits. | Source

4. Rock Climbing Builds Physical Endurance

Climbing requires lifting your body weight over and over again. So long climbs build up endurance. You use smaller muscle groups in your hands and arms than most people and end up really developing strength there. In order to conquer them you learn how to rest when you can and your muscles have to be able to recover quickly so you can keep moving.

If you are looking to improve your endurance through climbing, spend as much time on the wall as possible. See how long you can go without touching the ground. It doesn't have to be on routes that are at the peak of your performance but you should be climbing just under that so you can focus on pushing yourself for longer. Try to maintain good form as you get more and more tired so next time you're on a grueling climb good form will come naturally.

Hang boards exercises develop finger, arm and joint strength.
Hang boards exercises develop finger, arm and joint strength. | Source

5. And Mental Endurance!

Nothing requires mental control like climbing way above your last piece of pro and maintaining your cool. Rock climbing is a notoriously mentally tough sport. It requires tons of focus and determination to make it up each climb. There is obviously a very important physical aspect of climbing but the mental aspect is often even more important.

To improve mental endurance and determination young climbers can try focusing on a project that is a grade above your normal climbing difficulty. Or pick a project that requires a different climbing style than what they are used to. Either of these approaches will force them to think of their climbing style differently and try new approaches to get to the top.

Share Your Thoughts on Climbing Programs in High Schools

What do you think about using climbing as a means to get students more active? What physical activity do you do to improve your climbing?

© 2016 Katy Medium


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)