Is Rock Climbing A Good Sport To Lose Weight: 5 Reasons

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Is Rock Climbing A Good Sport To Lose Weight

Exercise is always the first thought in mind when it comes to losing weight, but not all people are born with the drive to do it. As an alternative, you can do other ways to burn fat, including sports such as rock climbing.

But how is rock climbing a good sport to lose weight? Read on to know more.

Why Do Rock Climbing?

A vital part in implementing changes in your life is having the determination to succeed. This especially becomes difficult when you don’t love what you are doing.

Sometimes going to the gym day in and day out can easily become a dull routine after some time. If you go on rock climbing, it will surely be a fun and exciting sport that is never boring and could even teach you crucial skills along the way.

In most exercises, you’re likely only working out specific muscle groups at a time. But with rock climbing as your sport, it can be a great all-in-one workout that gives you a complete mental and physical boost.

Additionally, if you’re craving adventure or excitement, you’ll get to enjoy these and potentially shed some body weight. With all the fun and all the possible benefits of exercise, who wouldn’t want to give rock climbing a try?

How Does Rock Climbing Work?

Rock climbing involves both physical and mental effort. The basic point is that you try to climb from the bottom to the top of something.

When you start climbing, you will need a lot of coordination, balance, and stretching to reach the top. Though you shouldn’t worry if you aren’t any good with these, they are crucial as it is still a demanding sport.

Target Areas

  • Arms – Your forearms get a real workout from rock climbing, and your upper arms and shoulders pull you up when your legs can’t provide enough pushing force.
  • Core – Your core gives you the balance and strength that you need to hold your body close to the wall.
  • Back – Muscles such as your rhomboids, trapezius, and lats work with your core to keep you stable on the wall.
  • Legs – The proper climbing technique relies mostly on the legs for power.
  • Glutes – As a full-body workout, you’ll need the power of your glutes, along with your leg muscles, to propel yourself upward.

Type Of Exercise

  • Flexibility – You’ll do a lot of reaching and stretching from one hold to the next.
  • Aerobic – Climbing can push your heart rate to between 120 and 180 beats per minute.
  • Strength – Rock climbing can be fun, but it can also push your strength to its limit.
  • Sport – Climbing is growing in popularity and can be a competitive sport, but you can climb just for fun.
  • Low-Impact – If you detest jumping or high-impact routines, rock climbing is ideal for you. When you do it right, your feet won’t touch the ground.

Kinds Of Rock Climbing

Top Roping

This is great for beginners. Top roping requires another person to aid your climb through belaying. This means that in the event of a fall, your belay partner will be able to catch you.

Lead or Sport Climbing

This has the same mechanics as top roping but with added difficulty. While top roping’s only goal is to reach the top, lead or sport climbing ups the ante by having you do harder routes and other challenges.

Traditional Climbing

Still using the aid of a belayer, traditional climbing differs as you need to attach your own anchor gear inside the rock’s cracks or crevices if you want to continue the ascent.

Big Wall Climbing

Think traditional climbing but having to scale rocks at least as high as 1500 feet.


Bouldering is like sport climbing, but you are climbing on boulders rather than on cliffs and crags. This is scaling rock walls without the use of any gear. They are sometimes referred to as free climbing.

Advantages Of Rock Climbing Training

It is understandable that to lose weight, you must achieve either of these two targets: reducing the number of calories you take in or increasing the number of calories you burn.

You can accomplish weight loss along with other potential advantages with rock climbing. These benefits are:

1. Burns Fat

Rock climbing burns fat since most of it is an endurance exercise doing a lot for your cardio. Your body burns fat to provide the necessary energy to complete the courses.

It combines cardio and strength to help you burn calories and fat. Any exercise can help you lose weight as long as you burn more calories than you consume.

2. Strengthens Core Muscles

Rock climbing relies heavily on your core muscles. It engages your core muscles to keep you in the right body position and maintain a proper foot technique. Maintaining your balance and preventing your feet from sliding off the climbing wall all call for a strong core.

3. Tones Muscles

Another advantage is that rock climbing provides a convenient way to tone your muscles, as it engages most of them. When you tone your muscles, it brings down your overall body fat allowing your muscles to appear clearly.

4. Boosts Overall Health and Strength

When you rock climb, you carry your body weight across the course and often with additional gear. The strength and cardio components boost your heart and overall body health.

You also simultaneously increase your strength since the varying techniques and route difficulties provide you with the incremental challenges you need to build your muscles steadily.

5. Mental Health Benefits

Generally, physical activities can help with certain conditions. Climbing is about concentration and physical exercise. These can help keep you focused, clear your mind of outside worries, and build confidence and self-esteem.

Most notably, a study on patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) suggests that sports climbing can contribute to an enhanced quality of life. It appears that climbing offers the opportunity to relieve symptoms and enhance physical and mental fitness in patients with MS1.

Why Is Climbing Such A Good Workout?

Climbing is a perfect blend between fun and exercise. It works out most of your body muscles in different ways.

No two moves are the same during rock climbing which gives you variation and optimum exercise. It’s also excellent since it combines cardio and strength training but is low-impact enough to maintain in a less pressurized environment.

How Many Calories Does Rock Climbing Burn?

As an intense full-body workout, losing weight can be achievable with rock climbing since it can burn about 500-800 calories per hour. That is if you keep you rest is to a minimum in between routes.

Is Rock Climbing A Good Sport To Lose Weight?

Losing weight is possible since you burn calories when you climb. However, rock climbing is just a great addition to a weight loss plan. If you tend to have poor nutrition, you’ll unlikely lose much weight entirely.

Rock climbing is a great way to help you burn extra calories and excess fat as long as you eat healthily. A successful weight loss is a combination of exercise plus good nutrition. You can realistically lose a few pounds per week by eating a proper diet and exercising a little more than normal.

Should You Lose Weight For Rock Climbing?

Rock climbing can be done by just about anyone and has no weight limits. This means you can signup and participate in this activity or sport anytime you want to.

With rock climbing, you’ll probably start indoors using top-roping and eventually advance to climbing outdoors.

Tips On How To Effectively Lose Weight With Rock Climbing

  • Take part in the rock climbing activity weekly, at least two or three times per week. It can help you reach your goal faster and provide consistency.
  • Find climbing buddies such as other gym members or friends. They will help motivate you to work out, as you share a similar interest.
  • Set realistic goals and don’t be focused on instant results. Overworking your body can be harmful and won’t get you closer to your goal correctly. Know that improvements happen slowly, over time.
  • When climbing, select different routes in a specific order – such as up and down and side to side, etc. This can help you have a fantastic aerobic-focused session.
  • Enjoy each of your climbs. Part of the fun in rock climbing is the space to figure out how best to push your body and mind through the process of moving in a new way. This is all the more exciting and satisfying when you get to the top, knowing it was all you who made it up there.


Rock climbing is a great option if you’re looking to lose weight. It’s a fun yet challenging weight-loss activity regardless of your body type and weight.

If you’ve never considered rock climbing, think of it as a personal challenge to try something new. An added perk is that it can take you anywhere, and every experience you have will be different.

You’ll never know, it could eventually have a positive impact on many facets of your life aside from weight loss.


1 Steimer J, Weissert R. Effects of Sport Climbing on Multiple Sclerosis. Front Physiol. 2017 Dec 19;8:1021. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2017.01021. PMID: 29311957; PMCID: PMC5742106.


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