Sport Climbing: 11. Resting on Routes

In this video we review the importance of resting on routes.

While on a long route, it is important to:

  • Look for large holds or stances where you can relax your body, and catch a rest.
  • Use straight-arm techniques to hang on your skeletal system, as opposed to pulling with your muscles.
  • Rely more on footwork and body positioning.
  • Relax your grip on holds whenever possible.
  • Reposition your body, and if possible shake out your individual hands, arms, or feet (wherever your body seems pumped or tight / cramped).

Once you feel your energy starting to return, continue climbing but try to stay relaxed. Try breathing through each move. While technical elements such as rope work and body positioning are important, good climbers often rely on subtle footwork and proper breathing to overcome cruxes. You should find yourself combining these techniques with little rests, before committing to big moves or crux situations.

Resting on routes can help you remain calm and relaxed during a climb, which leads to mental clarity. When you become too tense, the mental stress can be just as bad as the physical fatigue!

We hope you found this video helpful. Feel free to comment below with questions or thoughts!


Please remember, climbing is inherently dangerous. Climb at your own risk.