After a winter lockdown, it can be tough to even think about getting back on the wall. But it’s not all bad news! Oftentimes, when you return to climbing, your knowledge of bouldering technique and movement will mean that your ability will return much more quickly than it took to gain it in the first place. To help you along on your comeback journey, we’ve put together a list if tips to help make your return to The Climbing Experience as painless as possible.
Chances are, on your return, you’ll feel like a kid in a candy store. We’ve added loads of new problems to our walls, so there’s plenty to play with, but it’s important to start off both slowly and easily. Make sure you take plenty of rest in between attempts at problems you may be projecting, alongside dropping your grade down (just to start off with!) Remember that your endurance may not be what it used to be, so it might be an idea to climb little and often, rather than going for big long sessions.
Warm-up & down
Important always, but often forgotten, warming up and down is crucial to climbing in a sustainable way. Bouldering puts a lot of strain on the body and we always advise warming up and cooling down thoroughly- especially now your body is getting used to being more active again. Use both static and dynamic techniques, take advantage of the bands that you‘ll find in our training area to stretch, and don’t forget about your fingers! The last thing you want after not climbing for months is to be put out with an injury.
Careful with your fingers!
At the beginning of your sessions, or even for your first few sessions back, avoid putting too much strain through your fingers – even after warming them up. Finger strength is easily lost, so unless you’ve been hangboarding your way through lockdown, your fingers aren’t likely to be as strong as they used to be. Mono pockets and credit card crimps are things to work up to, don’t jump on them straight away! We’ve got a number of hang boards in our training area, and they’re a great tool for improving finger strength if used properly, so chat to a member of the team if you’re looking to learn how tp use them effectively.
Think about shoes
Climbing shoes aren’t the most comfortable things at the best of times, and it’ll be worse now that your feet aren’t used to being crammed into them. If you have a few pairs of shoes, consider using your least technical (flattest) pair to begin with – trust us, your toes will thank you! While we’re on subject, remember to pay attention to footwork; good technique will go a long way in compensating for any strength you may have lost over the winter. If you’re looking to learn a little more about different types of climbing shoes, check out our blog post here, or pop into our shop and chat with our resident climbing shoe guru, Ceri.
It’s not all about making the grade.
Grades are a great way to see where you’re at, track your progress, and know what you might be able to climb when you’re at the crag or another wall, but it’s easy to get a bit too hung up on them. It’s absolutely normal that being out of practice, your grade will have dropped slightly, but don’t let it defeat you! Climbing is nothing if it isn’t fun, so worry about enjoying yourself, and pushing what you can do, rather than the gr