The Health Benefits of Bouldering at Indirock

October 31, 2023

What is bouldering?

Bouldering is a funny name – so what actually is it?

This short read will take bouldering back to basics and break down everything you need to know. There are so many physical and mental health benefits, and once you’re into it, you’ll never go back.

A definition of bouldering

Bouldering is a form of free climbing, which basically means climbing without ropes, which was usually practiced on smaller boulders of rock. The mecca of bouldering is a place in France called Fontainebleau, which is where mountain climbers used to go off-season to practice their skills on lower rock formations. If you’re bouldering indoors, there will be thick crash pads below you to cushion any falls. So the only equipment you need is a pair of shoes and some chalk for your hands – both of which can be hired from Indirock!

In the UK, the legal height limit for indoor climbing walls is 4.5 metres, and at Indirock our walls are max. 4m high. Looking at this from the ground it might not seem that high, but when you’re at the top of a bouldering route we assure you it feels high enough!

The benefits of bouldering

Bouldering has so many benefits to our physical and also mental health. This is our starter for ten – there are many more!

● It improves cardiorespiratory fitness.

Rock climbing is good for the heart. According to one study, it requires the same amount of energy as running an 8- to 11-minute mile.

● It builds strength.

Climbing is a full-body exercise: You’ll use your upper body, core, and lower body, and will especially work your pulling muscles, including your biceps, wrist flexors, back muscles and even fingers and feet.

● It boosts brain power.

Rock climbing isn’t just a great workout for the body—it also exercises the brain. In one study, climbing for about two hours boosted working memory capacity by 50%. It’s all about planning, decision-making, reacting, coordinating, and balancing. This plays a huge role in not only physical development and control, but also in sharpening the mind and improving our brain’s ability to make decisions.

● It’s good for mental health.

Climbing is deeply meditative. Even if you’re having a rubbish day, you’ll have no choice but to block out unpleasant thoughts. You get a deep mental break, because you’re focusing on doing one thing – not falling off the wall! Some practitioners even use climbing therapy in conjunction with traditional psychotherapy to treat depression, anxiety and stress.

● It’s very sociable.

Because bouldering doesn’t require partner work or long climbs up high, a lot of time is spent on the ground discussing your next route (or any topic under the sun) with your fellow climbers. It’s so much more sociable than going to the gym, which is why we see many people ditch the gym membership for a bouldering membership instead!

● It’s a fun confidence-builder.

In bouldering, failure is inevitable and accepting that can be empowering. Nobody will complete every route in a gym first try, so you get used to failing but still wanting to go at it again until you succeed. And when you finally do succeed, it is a true natural high! This is a great way to build resilience in young people and adults alike. We’ve had thousands of climbers through our doors, and we’d love to welcome you too. Take a look at our offers and we hope to see you soon


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