Written by James Cooper
Last Updated

When you first start out rock climbing your focus will be on learning all the techniques so that you can climb safely, as well as how to use all of the key kit and equipment, but as you start to get the hang of it, you will be looking at how to become a better climber instead. 

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There are many factors when it comes to improving your climbing skills but by far the easiest way to get better at climbing is by climbing. Practicing the skills, you worked so hard to learn is the best way to perfect them. 

But there are other things you can look at if you want to get better at rock climbing so here are a few things to think about to help you improve over time.

 

Climb Frequently and Consistently

If you want to get better at rock climbing you need to climb as often as you can and try different climbing options, whether it’s at the gym or outside. The more frequently and consistently you can climb, the more your skills will improve. 

The best way to improve your skills, your techniques and gain the strength and fitness you need to be a better climber, is by increasing your experience levels through climbing more often and trying out different styles. 

Give yourself targets for your climbing and set yourself challenges. If you just do the same climb every time, you won’t develop your skills so it’s important to try new things, try different and harder climbing walls and venues.

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Make Your Own Climbing Plans

When you head out on a climb with a group, make sure you have your own climbing plan and goals that you want to achieve. Don’t just happily follow the more experienced climbers without knowing what it is you want to do. 

Choose the route you want to take and any particular techniques you want to try before you head out and try to do something that challenges you to get past your comfort zone, to add to your all-around climbing experiences. 

 

Work on Your Weaknesses

It might sound obvious but if you want to become a better rock climber you need to work on the areas where you are weakest. While it might be easier or more comfortable to stick with what you are good at, it won’t make you better. 

You need to face the climbing styles which challenge you and which you might find scary as it’s the only way you will be able to grow as a rock climber. Simply sticking with what you know will keep you in your comfort zone. 

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Overcome Your Fears

One of the key challenges which all rock climbers face is the fear of falling, which is a completely natural instinct. However, the way you face it and overcome it will be the key to your success in becoming a better climber. 

If you get scared it takes your focus off your climbing, which makes you climb poorly and then you feel more unsafe, so your reaction to being afraid can have a big impact on your ability to become a good climber. 

All rock climbers face this fear, but the difference is how they train themselves to cope with the fear and overcome it. One way to do this is to practice falling safely, to help your confidence in your safety gear and your abilities grow. 

 

Don’t Give Up

Improving your rock-climbing skills takes time, dedication, thought, and practice so it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight. Each new challenge you try will seem impossible and daunting at first, but with practice, it will become a new skill to add to your list.

You shouldn’t think of things in terms of something you can or can’t do, they are just things you have and haven’t learned or tried yet. If you find certain things intimidating, break them down into simple tasks and undertake them one at a time. 

For example, try challenging routes repeatedly, using different techniques, until you can do a clean climb. If you are worried about falling, then use a top rope as you practice but keep trying to challenge yourself and don’t give up. 

You can try working through one section at a time, getting a friend to help you, and practice different techniques each time you attempt the route again. There is nothing like the feeling of finally climbing a route that previously seemed completely impossible. 

Although some climbs might feel too challenging, the only way you are going to grow as a climber is by facing the things which make you afraid. Of course, you need to stay safe so never do anything that might put you in real danger, but you need to get out of your comfort zone.

 

Learn from Other Climbers

You can also learn from other good climbers by watching their techniques, whether out on an actual climb or by watching climbing videos. The more you can immerse yourself in climbing techniques and the more things you can learn and try, the better. 

If you are struggling with improving your techniques or find yourself stuck in a rut with your rock-climbing development, then it might be worth getting professional lessons and guidance from an expert climbing tutor.

 

Improve Your Overall Fitness

If you are struggling with your climbing skills it might be that you need to improve your overall fitness and strength before focussing on your rock climbing. Improving your leg strength and arm strength will certainly go some way to helping you become a better climber. 

Switching up your overall fitness workouts might well help you to break another comfort zone and build up more muscle and stamina, which you can then use to direct your climbing skills and become an even better rock climber. By working on your fitness, your climbing skills, and overcoming your fears, you will be well on your way to becoming a better rock climber. 

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