Rope climbing is a great activity. Not only is it fun, but an excellent way to build strength. It works the same muscles at pullups or chinnups but with an added emphasis on the grip depending on the ropes thickness.
Because one arm is higher than the other as you pull yourself hand over hand rope climbing can be more difficult than traditional pullups. For this reason, it can be a great help toward eventually working to a one-arm chinnup. It’s also a great way to build grip and finger strength.
For beginners, the feet are wrapped around the rope to assist in the climb. Moving beyond this you can keep the legs hanging freely, or even in an L-sit position to increase the difficulty.
Once one rope is easy, you can climb with one in each hand. Once climbing upwards is easy, try climbing a rope upside down. Those are both demonstrated here.
This method of progression can go like this:
- Single rope, using feet
- Single rope, no feet
- Two ropes
- Single rope, upside down
- Two ropes, upside down
Other methods of progression involve climbing faster and of course just more times up and down. Here’s a great example of that.
This was an official Guinness World Record set on 9/10/10 with Marcus Bondi climbing 27.8 meters in the 60 second time limit. The rules don’t allow for use of the feet, nor sliding down the rope.
Make sure to stay within your limits and have a safe place to land should you have to come off the rope. You don’t want to drop from the top of a 30′ rope!