Rope climbing not only used to be children’s favourite exercise present in most schools’ physical education programme but once It was also an Olympic Sport. It was a part of the Olympic Games between 1896-1936 and was then abandoned due to lack of “popularitics”. I have to say that watching someone sprinting 8 meters long rope in 4.87 seconds is probably…more exciting than watching horse-dancing in Dressage. Well, maybe that’s just me.

Although rope climbing is not anymore a piece of this great event, competitions are still being held in some locations around the world with the most popular taking place in France and the Czech Republic. If you are interested in the history of rope climbing  you can follow this link for more information.

Gymnastics Pro – Rope Climbing

Why Rope Climbing ?

Legless Rope climbing is not only one of the best Bent Arm Strength Pulling exercises, but it’s also a great way to maintain healthy joints and soft tissue. For these and other more specific reasons (eg.tendon prehab), it is seen as bread and butter in sports like gymnastics or Olympic wrestling.

The unique movement of climbing results in muscles being recruited in a superior fashion. It will engage not only the whole back muscles (rhomboids, lats, traps and more) but also abdominals, thigh, arm muscles – biceps, brachialis, brachioradialis, elbow stabilizers, forearm and grip: flexor radialis, flexor digitorum, flexor pollicis longus to name a few. Instability and other factors present during climbing will also result in much higher motor unit recruitment which will add in an increase of contractile strength of a muscle.

Make Sure You Are Ready

Rope Climbing can be a great for you in many ways as long as you are ready for this. If you start as an adult you will probably need some preparation. Remember you are not a child. Children’s connective tissue is much more resilient to increased demands of strenuous strength movements.

Legless Rope Climbing will require superior demands on scapula stabilization when compared to exercises like pull-ups or chin-ups. Apart from muscle strength, you will also need a good amount of tendon prehab to be able to pursue full-time rope climbing. Overzealous unconditioned adult individuals will more than likely end up with accumulating case of tendonitis.

Unless you have the right Scapulae stabilization which can be achieved in Straight Arm Scapular Strength progressions, and at least 8-10 full range of motion body-weight Chin/Pull-ups, you have little business playing with the full legless rope climbing. Even then you’d be advised to gradually increase the intensity in order to condition your tendons. Until then you are better off concentrating your efforts around prerequisites.

So don’t rush, do your homework first or you might end up with a bad case of tennis elbow or biceps tendonitis.

Advanced Rope Climbing

You have a full legless continuous rope climb of 5-8 meters and you are bored ? Here are some links that will keep you busy 🙂


Reverse Chameleon Climb

Reverse Grip Climb

Front Lever Climb

Behind The Back Climb


  1. Sir recently I have started rope climbing
    Plz plz plz guide me.
    I do leg less rope climbing I want to improve on skill and finesse

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