Best Climbing Exercises for Beginners

Starting out with climbing can seem quite daunting at first: completely new kit, knots and belaying techniques that need to be learnt, and the lingo that goes along with a new sport. If you’re just starting out, try these drills to help improve your technique and make you feel more confident on the wall.

Pause Drill

Choose a route that’s 2-3 grades lower than your max. Go to make the first move but before you grab the hold, pause for three seconds. Repeat on every hand hold (use the footholds like normal), until you’ve reached the top. This exercise is best done while bouldering as it forces you to use your core and use good technique to stay on the wall during the pauses.

Silent Feet

Climb as normal, but without making any noise. Climbing silently means you must use good technique to make sure that your hand and especially foot placements are precise, which saves time and energy.

Flagging Drill

Find an easy traverse wall. Climb the traverse, focusing on technique, but every time you go to move you hand, you have to flag one foot on the wall. Flagging is a crucial skill to master in climbing, so practising it on easy moves close to the ground will build up your confidence to then transfer those skills to higher walls. Practice using different feet to flag with and flagging in different directions to figure out what feels best and is the most effective.

ennis Ball Drill

Pick a wall that’s easy for you, then climb it with a tennis ball in each hand so that your hand is in a fist around it. Not being able to use your hands in the same way forces you to trust your feet, which is especially useful if you feel like you rely on your hands to get yourself up the wall.