Body Positivity for Climbers: 5 Tips to Improve Body Image
Today, coach Maddy talks body-positivity for climbers…
Weight has always been a point of discussion and debate in climbing. In recent years, we’ve moved away from the idea that lighter and leaner is the only climbers’ body, and we see plenty of advanced climbers sporting all kinds of body-types.
Nonetheless, both in wider society and within the climbing community, body-image and body-dissatisfaction continue to be sources of stress for many people.
So, we’ve compiled 5 tips for helping improve your body positivity:
1. Be aware of who you follow
Notice the impact that following different people on social media may have. There are lots of climbers out there, and it may be a positive change to follow climbers with a broader range of shapes and sizes, or who actively post about body image.
2. Think about what clothing you feel comfortable wearing
There are now lots of brands making climbing-specific clothing. There may be a lot of leggings on Instagram, but there are also plenty of stretchy, more loose-fitting trousers if that is what feels best.
3. Losing weight isn’t the only way to manipulate the strength-to-power ratio
For most climbers, the majority of the gains when it comes to the strength-to-power ratio lie in the ‘strength’ element. Focusing on the function of your body, and what it can achieve, can be a good way to shift focus away from what our bodies simply look like. Chronically restricting calories can have a hugely detrimental impact on our well-being, mindset and physical performance.
4. Having children may change a climber’s body
This is like a lasting memory of something our bodies have achieved! When we are postpartum (or at any stage in our lives!), don’t be tempted to suck in the tummy as this increases intra-abdominal pressure, which can be detrimental to the pelvic floor.
5. Introduce exercises that don’t focus on your body’s weight
Unlike pull-ups and hangboarding, free weights, machine weights, callisthenics, other floor based strength work, etc. don’t consider progress in relation to your weight. Tending towards these types of exercises can shift your focus back to performance and reduce focus on weight which can improve body positivity.
Do you have any tips for improving body image for climbers?