Climb your way to a fitter body

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Looking for fitness inspiration and a mental challenge? A climb could give you the body you want.

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Sydney rock climber Sarah Yousouf spoke to Rachel Livingstone from Bondi Beauty.

If you like the idea of searching for the best path up a rock face and using your whole body, climbing might be just what you are looking for.

Bondi Beauty talks to Sarah Yousouf direct from her most recent climb – and personal challenge, the Grampians National Park in South West Victoria, infamous worldwide for its amazing rock formations and breathtaking views.

What do you love about climbing?
Climbing stimulates your mind as well as working out your body. Part of climbing is problem solving – where to put your hand or foot, so you can reach the next hold, whilst maintaining your body position and then moving into the new position. Every transition and every climb leaves you with a sense of both mental and physical achievement. Climbs are also graded, so you can set yourself new challenges and know you have progressed as you conquer each level.

Which muscles does climbing use?
Climbing really is a whole body workout, from your feet to your fingers. You’ll work your legs and butt, back, shoulders and arms, as your push and pull up from foot hold to foot hold, hand hold to hand hold. Your core muscles work constantly, helping to keep you balanced and support you as you transition to the next position. Grip strength gets more important the more advanced you become as the holds get smaller. I trained 5 days per week for 4 months to do the Grampians climb and it feels fantastic to be pushing my limit.

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Sarah in action.

How can someone get started in climbing?
Find a local climbing gym and take a friend to ‘belay’ (hold the rope and take up the slack). In just 10 minutes you get the safety talk and are shown the ropes – literally, and then you are up, up and away. If none of your friends are game for the adventure, many gyms offer find-a-partner or social nights. Otherwise, you can try bouldering which is lower to the ground. You land on thick mats instead of being attached to a rope. This is also a great type of climbing for those who are afraid of heights. Although, climbing has actually helped some people conquer this fear.

Are there any other great reasons to start climbing?
The rock climbing community is amazing. People in climbing gyms are knowledgeable, friendly and more than happy to help beginners. It’s a sport for all ages. Try something different this weekend and who knows, you might just become addicted to the challenge of the climb.

Climb your way to a fitter body
www.climbfit.com.au
www.9degrees.com.au
www.sydneyrockclimbing.com
By Rachel Livingstone Personal Trainer & Owner of The Health Hub

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Rachel Livingstone

CONTRIBUTOR

Rachel is a PT and Maternal Health specialist who found the gym at 14 through her weight lifting dad and never looked back. Originally from the UK she finally settled her wanderlusting feet on the shores of Sydney and can often be found on the back of a paddleboard exploring Rose Bay and the beautiful harbour.

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