Rock climbing is highly addictive. Once you start grappling with the wall, you'll be hooked. Afterwards, you'll be very chatty about it, but also start to get sore. This brings us to the subject of avoiding injuries when climbing. Whether you are climbing for fun, sport or to reach some amazing height, there is no denying it is a sport unlike anything else.
It also, however, puts unique stresses on your muscles and joints, which can lead to big problems. How often during the day do you put your arms above your head and pull most of your body weight off the ground? Not very many, if any. Well, you do this over and over when climbing and it is a major physical workout. Sooner or later, you need to decide if you are going to take up climbing regularly or not. The reason for this is you either need to get in good shape or quit. There is a reason most climbers are thin and have ropey muscles.
The first place to work on is your shoulders. They are the fulcrum point when you climb and carry a lot of weight. The exercises are well known and simple. You want to do pull ups and lat pull downs. Go for larger reps instead of weight.
The more you climb, the more your hands will look like something out of a horror movie. We're talking hamburger city, here. Unfortunately, there really isn't much you can do. You just need to toughen them up, but try rapping your fingers with tape to minimize damage. It is always important to follow a day of climbing with an adult beverage or two.
If you want to actually hold your beverage or glass, you must work on your forearms. Climbing will torque them because of all the grips used. When getting in shape, it is important to focus on gaining strength, not muscle. You are not trying to "get big", just strong.
To this end, you also want to focus on flexibility. Being able to comfortably twist and move is invaluable. Perhaps the easiest of steps can really help you avoid climbing injuries. Warm up! Yes, it sounds sophmoric, but it really works. Take the time to stretch and loosen your joints. It can make a huge difference when it comes to avoiding injuries.
Aazdak Alisimo writes about rock climbing for NomadJournals.com - keep track of your climbs with rock climbing journals at NomadJournals.com.