5 Bouldering Training Tips for Growing Climbers | Oxygen Plus

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From First Grip to Full Send: 5 Bouldering Training Tips for Growing Climbers

May 10, 2024 4 min read

    tips for boulder climbing

    "It's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." – Sir Edmund Hillary

    If you're reading this, you probably are one of us! Total geeks about getting back to the boulder gym or out in nature to top your next boulder problem. Bouldering isn't just about climbing a rock; it's about overcoming obstacles, both physical and mental. And that is why we love it. This challenging sport has evolved significantly over the years, transitioning from a training method for mountaineers to a full-fledged sport in its own right. Both indoor and outdoor bouldering have grown in popularity, providing a vibrant community for enthusiasts from all walks of life. The Minneapolis Bouldering Project, for instance, stands as a testament to this amazing culture and the inclusivity bouldering offers. There is no age gap, culture gap, everyone is welcome as they are, at the level they feel comfortable at. In this article, we'll explore the rise of this dynamic sport but also offer five practical hacks to enhance your bouldering skills so you can enjoy it even more next time you get out there.

    Five Hacks to Maximize Your Bouldering Performance

    climbing hacks

    You might be asking yourself how to get better at bouldering, and unfortunately we hate to break it to you, but that mostly happens through practice. Though to improve your bouldering faster, whether you're scaling the walls of the Minneapolis Bouldering Project or tackling natural formations, we’ve gathered our top five hacks to maximize your bouldering performance:

    1. Focus on Form Over Strength

    While physical strength is important, proper form is crucial for bouldering, some may say even more important than strength. Work on your technique, such as foot placement and body positioning, to make efficient use of your strength. This will help you tackle problems more effectively and avoid injuries. If you are unsure of what the right technique is, watch youtube videos or find a coach who can help you along the way. Both beginners and advanced climbers can benefit from some extra coaching.

    2. Dynamic Warm-Ups

    Before you start climbing, engage in dynamic warm-ups to increase your blood flow and flexibility. This can include light jogging, stretching, and bouldering-specific movements like 'goblin squats' or 'spider climbs' to prepare your muscles for the intense activity ahead. This way, you’ll be able to jump right into your favorite problem and get it to the top.

    3. Visualization Techniques

    One of the key strategies in bouldering is to visualize your route before you begin. Spend time studying the problem and imagine yourself completing it. This mental preparation can significantly improve your climbing efficiency and confidence. Another way this technique can be used is by envisioning that you have made it to the top, envisioning that you just caught that one hold that is too far to catch. Your body will then adapt and you are more likely to actually get to what you envisioned.

    4. Cross-Training

    Incorporate other forms of exercise into your training routine. Activities like yoga for flexibility, swimming for endurance, and weightlifting for strength can complement your bouldering skills and improve your overall athletic performance. Some of our favorite cross training exercises are:

    5. Regular Rest and Recovery

    Bouldering is physically demanding, and without proper rest, the risk of injuries and accidents increases. 

    Ensure you have adequate rest days and consider active recovery methods such as:

    • Light stretching
    • Aqua therapy
    • Red light therapy
    • Sauna
    • Recreational oxygen to improve the oxygen flow in your body, to maintain your body’s performance.

    The Rise of Bouldering: Indoor and Outdoor Escapades

    Bouldering differs from traditional rock climbing in that it focuses on short, challenging routes, which you may know as problems, and it focuses less on high altitudes. This distinction offers a unique blend of physical puzzle-solving and athletic rigor, making bouldering an accessible yet demanding sport for many. The rise of facilities like the Minneapolis Bouldering Project shows a growing appreciation for this form of climbing, providing a controlled environment where beginners and pros alike can hone their skills. Outdoor bouldering, meanwhile, connects climbers deeply with nature, offering raw and untouched problems that inspire and challenge the adventurous spirit.

    Building a Community on the Rocks

    At its core, bouldering is more than just an individual sport; it's a communal activity that thrives on shared experiences and mutual support, whether you’re a beginner or a pro, whether indoors or out, the bouldering community is known for its welcoming nature and the strong bonds formed among climbers. Events and competitions serve as social and professional gatherings that help to foster a sense of community and drive the sport's popularity.

    Climbing and Supplemental Oxygen

    climbing with recreational oxygen

    For years alpinists have taken supplemental oxygen to the top of the world, from Everest, to K2, Aconcagua. Even climbers on more tame high elevation adventures choose to bring along supplemental oxygen in case they experience the effects of high altitude. Now, climbers are experimenting with supplemental oxygen closer to sea level for the boost it gives to endurance and mental clarity. Whether on the wall or at home recovery Oxygen Plus canisters give you the boost you need to feel your best self and perform at the highest level.




    Oxygen Plus (O+) products, which contain pure recreational oxygen, are intended for recreational, intermittent use only, not to be used as medical nor life-saving products. Prolonged use is defined as uninterrupted intake for more than 8 hours. Any person with any type of health or medical condition should consult their physician prior to the use of O+ products. Since O+ is not a medical product or intended for medical use, it is neither regulated nor approved by the FDA. 

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