Be nice to your body and warm-up before you climb! Whether you happen to be a new, experienced, younger or older climber we are built virtually the same. Warming up your joints and muscles before climbing can have significant benefits both physically as well as mentally for that day and in the overall scheme of your climbing experiences.
A quite common myth of warming up is that it only involves static stretching before activity. In actuality, it is healthier for your muscles to perform small exercises for 10-15 minutes to increase the movement and temperature in your joints to attain a full range of motion. The traverse is an excellent example of a self-paced, solid warm up. “It [The traverse] gets my hands familiar and warmed up. It allows me to problem solve which holds to grab, where to place my feet, and really take my time.” says Christ Hartzell an avid member of the gym.
Now stretching before you climb or afterwards is left to your discretion but it is likely you will feel better stretching beforehand as stretching can release endorphins in your brain that can rouse confidence, calm, and reduce pain. Stretching can also improve your strength at a greater rate as it allows more oxygen to reach tears and heal faster. This is a life-long healthy habit that experienced climber Greg Kraus encourages all around, ‘As an older climber I have to be very careful warming up and stretching slowly and thoroughly…[I] encourage new and younger folks who see older climbers that have slightly more experience to get some knowledge and ask questions.”
So feel free to come in and grab a stretching buddy or a belay and share a good climbing experience with another member. ‘This type of gym for local climbers is really incredible because of the friendly atmosphere that is hard to find.’-Greg Kraus.