Building upper body strength by using a rock wall

 I wanted to do another activity besides running since it's been so hot out lately. My friends are really big into rock climbing and are members at a local rock climbing gym. I thought I'd give it a try. I've only done it one other time and it wasn't at a gym. I didn't know what to expect. I remember last time that I was having trouble grabbing onto the rocks because my hands were so sweaty. My friend reassured me that when you go to a rock climbing gym they have chalk to help with that.

After arriving, my friend thoroughly explained how to tie the ropes and where the hooks went. I thought in the beginning there is a lot involved with just climbing up a wall. When I've done it before, the instructor just straps you in and says ok you're ready. But this was different because you didn't have anyone looking after you. My friend is belayed qualified, which means she is able to be at the bottom of the wall with the rope connected to you to tighten the slack during your climb. In addition to that, I tried the auto-belay which is similar, but you do not need someone at the bottom. You rely on the hook that is attached to the floor instead of having someone holding the rope for you. This sounds like it may be harder or even a bit scarier not having someone there, but it actually was much easier.
The walls that had the auto belay had bigger rocks that were easier to grab on to. The chalk really helped as well. Once getting to the top of the wall, all you have to do is push off with your feet and squat a bit so your knees do not scrape the rocks on the way down, and the belay will automatically lower you to the ground. The first couple of times it was hard to just let go, thinking that you would fall, but there was no way that would happen because the belay would catch you.

I enjoyed trying a different activity. Being a runner, I don't pay as much attention to my upper body, but this is a great upper body workout, and you will definitely feel the burn afterwards. You have to push your body out of your comfort zone and try something new.


What activities do you enjoy when it's too hot to run?


  1. Great idea, I haven't been rock climbing in years, but it really is so much fun you forget you are doing a workout!

    I started my swim workouts this past Monday, which was great since the water helps to keep cool!

    1. Glad it is finally warm enough here to swim too. I've been trying to do leg exercises in the pool. Do you do any water aerobics?

    2. I have in the past, but it's been a long time!

  2. I love rock climbing! On actual rocks...I think I'm too short for in a gym! I can never reach the next rock by just an inch or two, but I'm scared to jump. I love yoga, though, and that's something I can actually do on a normal basis.

  3. That is always our problem, we are too short!