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Health

How to Boulder

No Harnesses, No Problem

Bouldering, which a type of rock climbing in which a person doesn't wear a safety harness, is certainly not a hobby for the faint hearted. But, if you're rough and tumble, or an adrenaline junky, this is a sport that you can get into! But learning how to boulder can be a bit tricky. There's so much that goes into it. The basics, however, are all that you need to really get started. These tips are a great place to start.

Get the Right Equipment

bouldering rocks harness

Having the right equipment before you start bouldering is beyond essential. You simply can't start out without the proper equipment, or you're going to end up unable to boulder… or worse, injured. The first thing that you need is a good pair of climbing shoes. You can find climbing shoes at sporting goods stores. The fit should be very snug. If you're going to be climbing outdoors, then you definitely need a helmet before heading out.

Safety First!

measuring tape

Because bouldering doesn't involve safety harnesses and very little rope, it is, by nature, a dangerous sport. To minimize this, bouldering involves a crash pad beneath the climbing area, to help cushion those who fall or who must jump. Another important safety factor is the height at which people climb. When bouldering, you should never climb higher than four meters. Learning how to fall, as we mention below, is also a safety issue, as falling improperly can lead to serious injury.

Stretch

girl stretching

Bouldering is a strenuous exercise. And, just like any other exercise, you need to warm up before starting. Beginning with a few stretches is a good way to make sure your muscles are at their absolute best. Arm stretches are especially important, but you shouldn't minimize leg stretches, either! Beyond that, a bit of light cardio before heading up might get your blood flowing better, making your body work more efficiently.

Choose the Right Difficulty

huge mountain rock

You can't jump straight to the most difficult climbs. Instead, you need to seriously evaluate yourself for where your talent is. Choosing the wrong climb can lead to frustration and a serious injury. If you're new to bouldering, then you should start with the absolute easiest climb possible, and take your time with it. You can progress to more difficult climbs later. As climbs become easier, reevaluate yourself to decide where you are in your bouldering skill.

Learn How to Fall

girl with helmet rock climbing

If you're bouldering, you're going to fall. It's an inevitability, and simply another part of the sport. Though there are crash pads below where you'll be bouldering, you shouldn't rely on just them to keep you safe during a fall. Learn how to fall yourself. There are a lot of different falling techniques, but one is the most common:  When you fall, try to land upright, on your feet. Bend your knees; don't lock them. If needed, roll immediately to the side. This will absorb the shock of the fall.

Bouldering is a fun, but difficult sport. With these tips and tricks, you'll be climbing in no time… and you'll be climbing safely!

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