Can Indoor Rock Climbing Build Muscle? Why Indoor Rock Climbing Is the New Trend for Fitness

Can Indoor Rock Climbing Build Muscle? Why Indoor Rock Climbing Is the New Trend for Fitness

Indoor rock climbing challenges you in ways that few other physical activities can. When you’re scaling those walls, you’ll be undertaking a cardio and strength training session at the same time.

Daily Burn suggests that rock climbers can burn anywhere from 500 to 900 calories per hour. The exact amount of calories you burn will depend on how active you are during the session and how hard you push yourself. 

But what if you’re more interested in building muscle than burning calories? You’re in luck. Rock climbing can improve your strength and endurance. Most of your major muscle groups are active during a climbing session.

Muscles You’ll Be Working

As you climb, you’ll need to hold yourself close to the wall and try to stabilize your body before reaching for the next hold. You’ll be relying on your core muscles, including your abs and obliques.

Your back muscles are another stabilizing force as you cling to the wall. Your lats will likely be doing most of the work, but your rhomboids, deltoids, and trapezius will also play a role.

Expect to really work your forearm muscles while climbing. Many novice climbers often experience forearm soreness following their initial sessions, as well as some discomfort in the wrists and fingers. Be sure to stretch these areas (as well as your other muscle groups). You’ll also be putting your upper arms to the test.

While you might rely on your arms to some degree for that upward mobility, the legs should really be doing most of the work here. Allow these lower muscles to propel you, and you’ll be rewarded with well-toned legs and glutes. 

If you go to a rock climbing gym like Rock’n & Jam’n, you can take instructional lessons to learn the correct form. This will ensure you get the most out of your climbing adventures.


Yes, rock climbing can help you lose weight and tone and build muscles, but it helps to begin from a fairly healthy starting point.

A cardio routine like jogging will help you prepare for some heart-pounding sessions. Some bodyweight exercise, such as chin-ups or pushups, will get you used to hoisting your own body. And a proper diet will ensure you have the energy you need to power through the climbing sessions. Visit spots like EmNet Organics for a healthy and tasty dose of the nutrients you need. Carbs and protein are also your friends when it comes to energy-enhancing diets. 

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