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Scaling the heights of fitness at the Climbing Centre

Kelsey Kerridge Bouldering wall







The Cambridge Climbing Centre at Kelsey Kerridge is a brilliant addition the local activity scene. It offers a huge variety of challenges for climbers of all abilities. Making it even more accessible, the wall is predominantly a bouldering wall, so there is no need for safety harnesses and ropes. 

A local attraction

A 200 metre square climbing surface, with a heap of angles and shapes; an overhanging barrels and an arch are among the many features that attract climbers from all over East Anglia to the climbing centre.

Aside from the challenge of mastering bouldering techniques, the Climbing Centre is a great spot to do a fitness session away from the familiar environment of the gym. Just when you are getting a little jaded with the regular routine, spending some time on the bouldering wall could just be the injection of variety that will kickstart you to reach new heights of fitness.

Climbing wall

Climbing Centre provides a high intensity work out

The movements involved in bouldering require extreme strength. It is a high-intensity activity that, while strengthening all of the major muscle groups in your body, really goes into super drive on your back, shoulders, arms and core.

At the same time, a work out at the Climbing Centre will also boost balance, body awareness, and, as you stretch to reach a hold, your flexibility.

Imagine the scene: your hip and torso muscles strain as you hold your body against the wall. You arch your back and reach your arm high to reach the next hold. Your calf muscles are burning as they hold you steady while you extend your body as high as you can. 

Then, your fingertips grip the hold and the whole emphasis shifts from calves and hips to shoulders and quads as you pull with your upper body and drive with your lower body. 

A complex exercise

While running, cycling and rowing teach the body to perform consistent, receptive motions as they build cardiovascular fitness, bouldering is a much more complex movement. This means you involve a greater number of muscles, working dynamically. It also means your muscles suffer fatigue much earlier than in many other activities. 

There is also a sense that bouldering challenges the mind because clambering up the routes is not just about physical strength. It also calls on mental resilience and problem solving. 

A study from the University of North Florida has found that activities involving coordination, spatial orientation and balance can significantly improve a person’s working memory and other cognitive functions. There is even evidence that eight weeks of bouldering can significantly reduce the severity of depression.


Accessible exercise at the Climbing Centre

And the beauty of the Climbing Centre is that it is easily accessible. You don’t need to be a member, you can simply turn up, take an induction course and then climb whenever you want. 

There are just two piece of equipment you need to get started. The first is a chalk bag so that you can chalk your hands to prevent them getting sweaty and slippery. The second is a pair of climbing shoes. These are designed with small soles and are a very snug fit so that you can slip your feet into small spaces and gain greater levels of stability on the face of the wall.

To build strength for bouldering, you can do some body weight training. Pull-ups, push up and plank variations will all help develop muscles for bouldering. But actually, nothing beats the buzz of scaling the Climbing Centre walls.