There was a day when climbing a rope was part of childhood physical education. Real strength was required to ascend up the rope. There was no cheating. You either could climb up the rope or not. It was up to you to figure out if you had to use your legs to help or if you had enough strength to pull yourself up with only the power of your upper body. For most it was a race to the top to see who could climb the rope in the shortest amount of time. It really is a true test of upper body strength.
Rope climbing was once an Olympic sport. The world record time for climbing a 20’ rope was 2.8 seconds. Only the hands and arms were permitted to use for rope climbing events. Rope climbing is still used today in military training and is an event at the Police and Fire Games.
Not many other exercises can develop the pulling strength required to climb a rope. Along with building tremendous grip strength, coordination and endurance are a must for scaling the rope. Different techniques can be used to “rest” once you are up but you can never fully relax until you come back down.
Staring at the rope can be intimidating, especially if you are afraid of heights. There are many ways to scale rope climbs and still get the benefits of rope training. Short ropes can be used to climb without the use of legs as you ascend and descend repeatedly. Other drills can be performed with the rope to help you get confident
in tackling the bigger rope. Ask a coach if you have any questions on getting more efficient and confident in your skills.