When you’re a time-pressed suit, you want the most out of your lunchtime workout. What do you do when the nearby gym or yoga studio has become a bit of a bore? Try a sweat session with bouldering.
Break the monotony of chest presses and endless chaturangas by scaling walls at Boulder Movement, a spacious indoor climbing facility at OUE Downtown Gallery.
Bouldering is the reckless little brother of rock climbing, and it’s a bitch on your back, shoulder and core muscles.
Unlike the more considered approach of rock climbing, you scale routes on low walls, sans the ropes and harnesses. There’s a burst of exhilaration on the climb, even if walls don’t go higher than 4m. You can freefall anytime and that’s part of the thrill.
Hear it from bouldering convert, personal trainer Garrett Teh. A passionate basketballer, he had injured himself and could not return to regular workouts. He joined the gym as a Climbing Fitness Coach in 2017 after bouldering helped him get out of the rut.
“The recovery time was longer than expected. I became inactive, lethargic and lack the discipline to keep myself fit. Then I discovered bouldering. I enjoyed the sport. It’s gentle on the knees as long as you don’t jump from the top.”
He tells Keyyes what bouldering does for the mind and body.
It’s a super efficient, total body workout.
Virtually all major muscle groups are engaged in a single rock climbing session.
Extend your hand for an out of reach hold, you’ll be working a whole bunch of big and small muscle groups simultaneously — the abs, obliques, delts, traps, biceps, lats, quads, and calves. It’s perfect if you’re not a fan of repetitive sets at the free weights section.
It burns calories the fun way
It’s pure adrenalin. Your heart rate spikes as you reach for boulders to scale the wall. Your grip and hold decide if you’re crashing into the mats below. All this adds to a calorie-busting session.
Depending on the intensity of the climbs, you could burn 300 to 500 calories in half an hour. That’s a lot more fun than 30 minutes on the treadmill.
It’s great for the grey matter too.
Bouldering is a sneaky test of your problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination.
The colourful holds are puzzles waiting to be solved. You’ll have to figure out how to get to the top by grappling on holds of the same colour. It’s tough, rewarding and you should get ready for a strong dose of confidence when you knee up at the top of the wall.