You rock! Scale some dizzy heights with indoor climbing

Get ready to scale some dizzy heights and come back toned, trim and feeling on top of the world with indoor climbing.

It’s time to give new meaning to the phrase ‘on the rocks’ with something a little healthier than a brandy or whisky – we’re talking rock climbing! The activity has been gaining popularity over the past decade with more and more people heading for their local wall and reaching for the ropes. And before you dismiss it as something ‘out of your reach’, or because you think you don’t have enough upper body strength, it’s technique that matters, not how strong you are, according to the British Mountaineering Council (BMC). And the more you climb, the more strength you’ll build.

Learning the ropes

Indoor walls are a safe and controlled environment to start out on, and most UK cities and towns now have one, plus they’re perfect in winter. When climbing indoors, you’re attached to a rope while scaling a vertical, manmade, moulded wall. You usually climb in pairs with one person on the ground looking after your ropes and another climbing straight up the wall.

Your instructor will show you crucial skills, such as how to correctly put on a climbing harness, how to attach yourself to the rope, how to belay another climber – a rope technique to ensure you don’t fall – and how to safely lower your partner to the ground once they’ve reached the top. Once you’ve shown you can use the wall safely, you’ll be allowed to register to climb unsupervised.

Climbing walls are very sociable places with various different courses on offer, from beginners to ladies-only sessions and most allow you to hire the kit so you can try before you buy. The amazing sense of achievement, not to mention a toned body in super-quick time, will no doubt have you roped in to going back for more!

Visit to find your nearest wall.

Health benefits galore

Whether on a wall with ropes or bouldering, there’s a plethora of physical and mental benefits to be gained from climbing…

You burn calories

A one-hour climbing session can use up well over 700 cals.

You build strength

The physical effort required to move your bodyweight up a wall not only builds strength in your upper body, as you would expect, but also your core, legs, hands and feet.

Lungpower improves

Climbing requires a high level of physical exertion. It gets your heart pumping and lungs working and really enhances your cardio fitness.

You stay focused

Searching out different places to put your hands and feet is like a puzzle that makes climbing a great mental workout!