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  • Writer's pictureVertical Horizons

7 Reasons Why Rock Climbing Gyms Are More Popular

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

Climbing community in Vertical Horizons Climbing Gym

Did you know that indoor climbing is growing by about 18% annually?

Climbing has been a sport for centuries, but indoor climbing gyms emerged in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2021, climbing had its Olympic debut. It's not surprising to find new gyms in cities worldwide.

But what makes indoor rock climbing gyms so popular? Why do so many people love climbing?

Read on to learn why rock climbing gyms are around.

Climbing is Challenging

Rock climbing is more than a physical workout; it's like playing a vertical Twister game. Weight distribution, hand and foot placement, and planned routes make rock climbing a mental puzzle. Rock climbers are always thinking about their next move.

Routes are Fun and Unique

Why are rock climbing gyms fun? Every climbing attempt presents a novel route and new challenges. Climbers never get bored repeating the same motions and routines during their workouts.

The gym may switch it up when the climbers think they've mastered a problem! The best rock climbing gyms are those that keep things interesting for climbers. The possibilities for new climbing problems are endless indoors.

2 climbers climbing the wall while being watch by another climber

Climbing is a Self-Paced Activity

Unlike some sports, rock climbers are not limited by their weight, stature, age, or gender. Rock climbing competitions focus on individual skills and climbing times, making it an excellent sport for anyone to get involved.

Rock climbers enjoy competing against themselves. While climbing teams exist, most people focus on self-improvement and setting new personal records.

Climbing is Relatively Easy to Learn

Most rock climbing gyms require climbers to pass a brief safety course, but rock climbing is a relatively easy sport to start. Indoor rock climbing requires little equipment, and climbers build knowledge from experience.

There are no rules to the rock climbing game. As long as climbers are safe, climbing is no wrong way. Still, it would help if you took advantage of training courses and workshops.

Climbing is Good for Your Health

Climbing is a total body workout that engages every major muscle group. You also strengthen your flexor tendons and muscles in your hands and feet when you climb. Rock climbing increases core strength and improves circulation and balance.

Exercises like rock climbing release endorphins in the body, which help us to regulate stress and sleep. Endorphins make us feel good and optimistic about life.

You Can Climb in the Gym All Year

For all types of rock climbing, gyms are available year-round. If you're a member of an indoor gym, you won't have to stress about battling the elements.

Rain, ice, wind, and sweat can affect your outdoor rock climbing abilities. The elements can also threaten your safety and increase the risk of falls, scrapes, or concussions. By training at indoor gyms, you keep yourself and others safe.

Climbing Makes People Happy

Climbing has immense psychological and social benefits. Climbing teaches people to be confident, use self-control, and set goals for themselves. Solving a challenging route is one of the most empowering feelings in the world.

By searching for "climbing gyms near me," you can meet many incredible people. The rock climbing community is notoriously friendly and supportive. We love to see others succeed in and surpass their goals.

Climb on Board at Rock Climbing Gyms

Climbing is a centuries-old sport that finds new life at indoor rock climbing gyms. The popularity and success of climbing gyms are soaring. Climbers enjoy physical benefits, confidence, and community.

Are you ready to discover what the hype is about? Become a member of Vertical Horizons!

Group of women hanging on a climbing hold in an indoor climbing gym

At Vertical Horizons, we strive to be the gym where anyone from novice to expert can feel included. You'll meet where your climbing experience is enhanced, not only by the routes on our walls but by the climbers.

A little fun fact: one of our owners is an outdoor route developer in the area. He has worked to build a climbing community in Forth Smith over the last several years by creating routes in local crags so that others can get into the sport. So be sure to check out Jerry's route development work on

Not ready to start outdoors? Don't worry; sign up for any of our classes or just come in, and we will set you up. If you're content with climbing indoor routes forever, our climbing community is growing, and we'd love for you to join it.

Climbing is for everyone, and we look forward to seeing you soon.

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