The KYDRA Club
Rock Climbing in Singapore: Why Climbing is Right Up your Alley
Climbing gyms have been popping up both in the heartland and CBD areas – it is now a popular alternative to usual routines at the gym and fitness studios. Since climbing works both your mind and body and is a social sport, many have realized its benefits and incorporated this sport into their fitness lifestyles.
What are the benefits of climbing?
It's a full body workout
Climbing works every part of your body – it builds your arms, finger strength, core muscles, and even your leg muscles! With various routes that require you to employ different techniques and work on different muscle groups, climbing also pushes you to work on your body coordination.
You're training more than your body
Guess which is the biggest muscle your body is exercising when you’re climbing? It’s your brain! Climbing requires you to problem-solve your way up to the top and be present on the wall. It’s a sport that will challenge you mentally and physically and that is what makes it so addictive!
You'll join an amazing community
Climbing is for everyone, and climbers are known to be an open and friendly bunch. It is common to share advice and techniques on solving the climbing routes, and because climbers are so ready to help one another get better, it’s really an uplifting sport.
Types of Climbing
If you’re ready to get into climbing, it’s essential to know what type of climbing you’d want to go for: bouldering, top-rope climbing, or lead (sport) climbing.
Bouldering is rock climbing without the use of ropes or harnesses, so it typically takes place on short walls (between 4-5 metres). Most bouldering is done indoors, and a safety mattress is placed at the base of the wall to support and soften the landing of a climber. As bouldering doesn’t require additional equipment and is highly accessible to new climbers, it is one of most popular climbing activities in Singapore.
Pro tip: The trick to bouldering is knowing how fall safely. Master your falling technique during your foundation training to prevent any serious injuries.
Top-rope climbing is a form of rock climbing where climbers are supported by a rope that runs up and down an anchor system at the top of the wall and back down to their partner (belayer). The belayer ensures that the rope is always firmly attached to the climber to
prevent the climber from taking large falls. Top-rope climbing is safer and less physically demanding compared to other forms of rope-climbing as the distance in a fall is minimized.
Pro tip: Beginners can first try out auto belay climbs, where routes are generally easier. You’ll also be able to climb solo with the support of the auto belay device and gym staff.
Lead climbing is more advanced than top-rope climbing, as the climber needs to ascend the route and clip the rope into each bolt or quickdraw to prevent a large fall – unlike having a rope fixed to a top anchor. With greater freedom of movement, lead climbing is naturally more demanding and thrilling.
Pro tip: Lead climbing is only recommended when climbers can comfortably top rope somewhere in the 5.10 climbing grade. You need a reasonable degree of endurance for this climb.
For bouldering, you would need a pair of rock-climbing shoes and a chalk bag with chalk ball or liquid chalk.
For top-rope climbing, you will need an additional safety harness, carabiner, and belay device. All climbing gyms in Singapore will have climbing shoes and equipment available for rent – so make sure you bring along an extra pair of socks to wear with the rental shoes.
On what to wear for your next climb, we recommend the Elevate 6” Lined Shorts which has increased mobility with side slits and muscular support with its inner tights. Made with Kyro Lite, the inner tights will also wrap comfortably around your thighs and offer sweat wicking properties. For your top, we recommend the Apex Curved Hem Tee which provides increased mobility with its curved hem. The Resurge Muscle Tee II is also a great option – a slim fitting tee to ensure climbing safety.
How Do I Choose a Climbing Gym?
Climbing gyms are created differently – some have different wall features such as a lead wall, a bouldering cave, and several top-rope lanes, while others are a simple indoor gym with a small number of walls. Consider your needs and climbing goals.
If you want to specialize in bouldering, choose a gym that has a large bouldering cave that is spacious and fitted with routes of various difficulty levels. If you are thinking of venturing into lead climbing, then a gym with the equipment and capabilities to support such a climb would be more suitable.
Pro tip for advanced climbers: look out for varied features, holds, and textures on the wall. Features like overhangs, slopes, and chimneys provide a more challenging climb.
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