Sport climbing made its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020. How to start practicing this unique sport?.
With this new level of visibility, there are undoubtedly many people who are interested in starting to practice this unique sport. Photo: Pexels
LatinAmerican Post| Juan Manuel Londoño
Listen to this article
Leer en español: ¿Cómo empezar a hacer escalada deportiva?
Sport climbing was one of the sports that made its debut at these Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020. With this new level of visibility, there are certainly many people who are interested in starting to practice this unique sport. Here we bring you some recommendations that you should know about climbing, as well as tips for beginners of this practice.
What is sport climbing?
Climbing is an activity that humans have always done, but sport climbing is relatively recent . It is estimated that it was born as a sport during the last quarter of the 19th century in some sectors of Europe.
Sport climbing usually uses anchors previously fixed to the terrain to be climbed . This is not done, for example, in free climbing, where the person can only use natural terrain for support.
This small difference, and the use of safety implements that prevent falls, makes sport climbing much safer and more competitive than traditional climbing . There is a much greater focus on technique, so terrain as such is not that important. Thus, it is practiced outdoors and indoors.
Today sport climbing makes its Olympic Games debut! Can't wait! pic.twitter.com/8KsaBabT4o— Olympics (@Olympics) August 2, 2021
It is dangerous?
Like all sports, there is always a component of danger in climbing. However, in most internal modalities the rigorous checking of the equipment and the use of a helmet serves to avoid many accidents .
Of course, like skating or cycling, there is always a risk of injury and bruising while you are learning to climb.
It is also important to remember, as in all sports, that stretching is key to avoiding muscle pain . This is essential in climbing, as you are literally lifting the entire weight of your body constantly.
Where can you start?
Starting to climb is easier today than ever . You just have to find a climbing gym near you and take some classes to get started.
The equipment you need to be able to practice this sport is also minimal. The only requirement for beginners is comfortable clothing. Shoes, harnesses, and other specialized gear can usually be rented at climbing gyms . Remember that it is not wise to buy these implements before trying the sport, it may not be your thing!
As for the technique, here are some basic recommendations so that you do not go blank on your first climb:
Straight arms: You should only bend your arms when you are preparing to go from one anchor to another, this allows you to rest the muscles of the arms that you are not using.
Keep your body close to the wall: In this way, you avoid generating force outwards, which will allow you to have a more stable grip.
Use your legs, not your arms : Most people are stronger in their legs than in their arms. They hold your weight all day! If you feel like you're not strong enough on your first climb, you may need to use your legs more.