Bouldering is popularly viewed as climbing in its purest and most simple form.
The beauty of this modern sport is the ease of practice and having fun climbing without wearing excessive gear, outdoors or indoors.
However, if you are feeling stagnant, it’s time to check out some advanced bouldering tips.
With the already written guide for beginner climbers – what is bouldering, this article focuses on the advanced level for boulderers with some experience but get stuck in the mid plateau at a certain grade.
Though, the tips will not harm starters who need to understand these principles from the beginning.
12 Bouldering Tips for Beginners
Bouldering is an excellent way to get in shape while having fun.
It is an excellent way to improve your climbing skills and it is a great way to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors.
There are many ways you can improve your bouldering skills.
However, there are some basic tips that will help you get started.
1. It is easier to climb with the help of toes
Some climbers think they can use the middle section of their feet to get more resistance from the boulders.
They use the middle part of the sole to climb the boulders.
It is not the right way to climb a boulder as you will not get the traction required for using intense force.
Using toes to climb boulders is one of the best bouldering tips for beginners.
Using toes to climb on the boulder wall can give many other advantages.
You can reach distant locations on the climbing wall as stretching your feet increases your reach.
Most climbing shoes cannot hold more weight on the midsole as they have curved tips to hold small parts of the boulders.
Climbers may slip if they try to stand on a boulder with the middle part of their sole.
2. Legs can produce more force to push you upwards
You can climb any wall if you know about the abilities of different muscles of your body.
Many try to climb the wall using force from their arms.
This technique will not take you far as you may climb some lower hardness walls, but walls with high hardness grades will be impossible for you to climb.
You can learn some bouldering tips to help you with the climb.
You can use the bigger muscles of your body to get more force.
Legs have the bigger muscles in the body as you use them every day to carry the weight of your body.
Arms can help you in situations where you cannot use the legs or stabilize your body when using force from the leg muscles.
Doing all the pulling with the arms can exhaust arm muscles fast and reduce your bouldering performance.
Expert bouldering athletes use their legs to make a swing force to reach the boulders unreachable with their arms alone.
3. You can keep yourself stable by keeping your hip near the wall
Keeping your hip near the wall can make a difference as you will increase your ability to hold more weight on your feet.
Beginner climbers may keep their hip away from the wall unintentionally as they are following the routine of the body as they are standing.
Humans tend to stand straight and lean if they want to hold something.
Leaning will move the hip away from the wall.
It will also move away from the center of gravity and reduce your feet’s ability to hold more weight.
You may have to use more force from your arms and fingers to keep you on the wall.
It will exhaust all your energy rapidly.
You may have to look towards the side instead of looking towards the wall.
It will take some time to train your body to stand straight on the bouldering wall.
4. Different holds require specific gripping techniques
You cannot use one type of holding technique for different holds.
You can start by learning about different types of boulders.
Some of them are on the list.
- Slopers. These holds are sloppy for the handgrip.
- Gastons. This hold requires fingers and palms to hold it while thumbs are pointing outwards.
- Side Pulls. It is to pull your body sideways on the bouldering wall.
- Jugs. These are the large hold. You can hold the lower part of this hold also.
- Under Clings. These holds have a face towards the ground.
- Pockets. You can use more than one finger to hold them.
- Matching Hands. These holds allow grabbing with two hands.
- Pinches. You can use the pinching motion with your thumb and finger to hold it.
- Crimps. These are one of the smallest holds that only allow holding with one finger.
You can grab a hold using three ways. You can use the pull-up motion to grab them.
Pull down force and side pulls are vital forces to grab a hold.
5. It is easier to climb when you keep your arms straight
If a climber bends his arms along the way to the top of the climbing wall, he will use his arms often.
When a climber uses arms, he has to use the force from all the upper body muscles.
The muscles from the arms to the back lose some energy when you use the arms to climb the boulders.
You can keep your arms straight to allow your body to use more force from the leg muscles.
It will also help your body relax while climbing the bouldering wall.
Using your lower body to push the upper body is the best way to go to the bouldering walls faster.
6. Understanding the climbing route is essential
Most climbers do not plan their way to the top of the bouldering wall if they are climbing the wall with lower difficulty grades.
It is impossible to do it when climbing the high-difficulty grade climbing wall.
Most walls with more difficulty have only one or two climbing routes.
You cannot start climbing by looking at the first holder only.
Making a route in your mind before you start the climb is essential.
You will also save energy by avoiding testing the different holds.
7. Overuse of chalk can lead to disaster
Using some chalk to keep your hands dry is one of the best ways to increase traction on the holds.
More chalk does not mean more traction in all cases.
Liquid chalk can make your hands wet if you use more quantity.
The wetness is due to the long frying time of the liquid chalks.
Applying more chalk will increase the drying time.
Dry chalk also reduces traction in larger quantities because it will produce dust.
This dust reduces friction by enhancing the lubrication between your hands and holds.
You can dip a finger in the chalk and apply it on both hands for better chalk application.
8. Fear of falling can prevent you from reaching your full potential
Most experts think that falling is a part of climbing.
It is the same as reaching the top of the climbing wall.
Falling also indicates that you are taking risks and becoming a better climber.
You should not fear falling from the bouldering wall if you have cushion pads below you.
Climbers also take help from the spotters to avoid injury during falling.
You can remember which holds forced you to fall from the wall.
You can work on your technique to improve your grab on the same hold.
It will also enhance your bouldering skills.
9. It is easier to learn new moves while climbing with others
If you want a bouldering tip to help you learn faster, you can climb with others with better skills.
Humans learn with visual memory.
You can improve your bouldering skills by watching others climb ahead of you on the climbing walls.
You can also take advice from people climbing with you on the same climbing wall.
It will help you better as you will apply the technique at the same time.
Most climbers feel happy to help beginners improve their game.
It is because they got help from their seniors also.
10. Having fun while climbing can train all your muscles
You can have some patience with the climbing training as starting specific muscle training at the early stage of your climbing may hurt some muscles.
You may also suffer due to muscle pull if you do not use the perfect technique to train specific muscles.
It is best to start climbing the boulders without thinking more about which of them to use.
It will help you make the process fun as it gives you some motivation.
People suffer due to muscle aches at the start.
You can pass this phase to reach the specific muscle training at a later stage.
11. Rests are as crucial as exercises
It is better to take some rest between climbing sessions.
It will help you be more energized as you can use more force to climb the boulder after resting.
Experts recommend taking three to five minutes of rest between climbing sessions to ensure the availability of energy to climb in your body.
You can also prevent injury by taking rests.
Your body is prepared to handle stress after some rest.
Your chances of injury increase if you are not taking some rest between the sessions.
Muscle recovery time will also reduce when you take some rest during climbing.
Thirty minutes of rest for every hour of climbing is the best way to move forward.
12. High-quality climbing shoes can make a difference
Most climbers spend hundreds of dollars to buy climbing shoes with the perfect fit.
It is crucial for climbing success as climbing shoes enhance your grab on the holds.
If the climbing shoes are big than the actual size, you may lose grip during climbing.
It can hinder your training on the climbing wall.
You will not see any success in boulder climbing without high-quality climbing shoes.
You should buy climbing shoes that are made according to your feet structure as it will help you improve your climbing skills.
13. Challenge yourself to spice up climbing
You don’t have to stick to your strengths, instead burl up a steep wall if your body is strong enough.
Also, if padding up a slab is your cup of tea, go for it.
For a participant to be an all-rounded boulder climber, it’s critically essential to create a repertoire of movements on different hold types and using different angles.
Mastering on holds that you are weaker will help you reap benefits in the future.
Making various moves will help try challenging problems– from steep walls to slabby, pockets to pinches, and static to dynamic.
10 Advanced Bouldering Tips
Here are our ten advanced bouldering tips if you have already passed the basics.
1. Try hard
If you are looking to advance in bouldering, this is the number one rule.
While facing your fears, you should put in 100 percent effort despite the difficulties.
With time the body adapts to that stimulus that you offer it, and once you persistently attempt the same climbs, it gets difficult to advance.
So, keep trying harder and harder until you grasp the climber’s concept.
2. Have patience
To be a professional boulderer takes time. Greatness doesn’t come through overnight.
On how to get better at bouldering, you require skills and strengths, equally.
It doesn’t happen through shortcuts; careful footwork and efficient movement take several years of practice to gain the skills.
Keep in mind that climbing walls are a mental and physical sport.
It would help if you grew your logistics and mental aspect to build your strength.
So, have the patience to work on the bouldering advanced techniques for a couple of seasons and allow failure to be part of the process.
3. Organize projecting and training days
It would be best if you had a solid plan for the training days and the performing days to simplify everything.
It involves taking a few days to rest and having other days to go hard on the challenging boulder moves.
When you are out on a trip, don’t mix yourself up trying to balance the rain, it doesn’t work like that.
Although the weather tends to dictate and change your plans, training days call for sacrifice.
4. Think critically
The wall should be your puzzle, so take time and figure it out and use your brains to get to the solution.
While climbing the wall, the trick is to stop at it and take a deep breath after getting to a new problem; it should not necessarily be a resting position.
One of the greatest skills and abilities to learn is assessing, thinking, and planning while holding onto an extremely challenging position.
And once you stop to think, you get to have a look at the position of your hips, analyze your next hold, and plan the position of the body upon getting to the next hold.
5. Climb with great climbers
Another advanced bouldering tip is learning more when you engage with more experienced boulderers than anyone else.
We are not inclining that if you don’t practice bouldering with rock stars such as Daniel Woods you won’t succeed.
Simply, learning from the best is inspirational.
However, it might bruise your ego when you bypass your friends who burn you off while climbing; you can only become better with great climbers.
They can teach you great tips and analyze how you climb the wall from a different perspective.
It’s an invaluable way on how to get better at bouldering.
You can even take a video of each other while climbing a bouldering problem.
Knowing the different shapes, abilities, and sizes of the various techniques used will surprise you.
You get to pick and learn several tips from that.
6. Consistency is the key
Consistency is the key if you want to advance yourself in any sport.
Plan yourself and create time to do a lot of practice for perfection.
Climbing a few times a week, even for short sessions, will improve muscle memory and body awareness.
Some boulderers take a couple of weeks without practicing or are inconsistent with the training, making their progress disappear.
For you to prevent that from happening, it’s advisable to be consistent with training.
It’s the only way to advance your bouldering tips, especially in the first years, to develop your muscle memory.
Effectively, bouldering has never been easy.
But relaxing and controlling your breath is necessary to help you not expend unnecessary energy on the wall.
While at it, you should think critically and give your body time to reach the next hold.
Before you start climbing, you should ensure to study the entire route to clear any doubts once you begin climbing and practice rhythmic breathing to keep your moves smooth.
8. Manage the skin religiously
You might overlook this bouldering tip, but the skin will make a huge difference on a rock and gets even more intense on higher levels.
While planning your climbing days, you should have your skin in your mind.
If your skin got blisters after your last bouldering, you should give it time to heal before you plan on the next move.
9. Warm-up before each session
When doing outdoor bouldering, the warm-up is not the same as indoor bouldering.
The problems outside have difficult terrain, and the bouldering grades are not spread the same as the indoor wall.
So, it would be best if you warmed up to prepare yourself properly.
It helps you to take things slow and not be careful about outdoor problems.
Warming up is very paramount to injury prevention and peak performance.
Note that you will only know that you are ready to climb after warming up after you become all sweaty.
10. Enjoy the Process
Now you know how to get better with bouldering.
It’s time to get your bouldering onto the next higher level.
Enjoy the process.
You are now in a good place to learn wacky moves that might look impossible but finally become doable.
One great place to go bouldering is to go rock climbing above the churning Kullen sea.
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Last Updated on March 8, 2023 by Roger