Rock climbing is a wonderful activity for individuals of all ages! It is a fun undertaking which works to improve a variety of core body functions. Just to list a few they include grip/shoulder/core/leg strength, endurance, sequencing, bilateral coordination, memory, problem solving, body and safety awareness! The list could go on and on… Rock climbing is like performing a puzzle, only with your body! Not only does it draw upon a mental request making someone attend to the task at hand, but it also promotes physical engagement and problem solving skills in order to ascend the wall.
Before we start climbing, there are a list of items that need to be “checked off” accordingly. Climbing is a partnership, it consists of a climber - the person ascending the wall, and a belayer - the person supporting on the ropes from the ground. The climber goes up the wall and the belayer makes sure that the climber stays safe. There is a great deal of motor planning and fine motor task in order to get into the harness, to tie all the knots safely, and to make sure that everything is connected properly. This does not only go for the climber but for the belayer as well!
Before you climb and after you check each other, you engage language skills to verbally communicate back and forth which ensures you are both on the same page:
Climber: "On belay?”
Belayer: “Belay’s on!”
Belayer: “Climb hard!”
Climbing is not just a sport or recreational pursuit, it is an art. A beautiful art that KidSPOT is so excited to share with you! So we ask you, are you on belay?
Blog written by: Ciara Mestaz, Physical Therapy Student