Just One Reason Rock Climbing is Awesome

I just stumbled upon an article about a female rock climber who was just starting out. Rock climbing is an amazing sport for many reasons. It has the ability to bring people together in a community, it taxes both your mind AND body, and you work together with other climbers to solve problems.

However in my personal opinion, one of the very best things about rock climbing is that female and male climbers have drastically different natural abilities which are advantageous to them, respectively, in very different ways. This is just one reason why rock climbing seems to attract both women and men.

To illustrate this point, Vertical Rock’s Facebook fans are 49% female and 49% male. Also, some of the most famous rock climbers are women (Lynn Hill anyone?).

Anyway back to the article, written by Amy Cirincione and entitled “Climb Like a Girl.”

Women tend to carry less upper body muscle than men. So a newbie male rockclimber with upper body strength can often muscle his way up a beginner route. He can wrap his hands around some meaty holds and haul himself up the rock face in a series of pull-up-like moves. This strategy will get the job done. It can also blow out his shoulders and “pump out” his forearms. And it won’t make him a better climber in the long run.

Next, she touches on the specific advantages that women have that allow them to be incredibly effective climbers.

“One of the best pieces of advice I was told early on by another female climber,” says climber Trisha Cooke, “was that especially for women, climbing is in the legs.” Women’s center of gravity is naturally lower, so we are used to using our lower body for lifting and carrying. We are aware of and more flexible in our hips. So when a beginner climber relaxes her arms and focuses on moving her feet, she climbs stronger and higher.

Read the whole story here