Tips for Larger Climbers

Let’s get real. It can be pretty intimidating to walk into any setting where there are people who are tight bodied and train hard.


You feel judged. You judge yourself. You feel guilty. You feel watched. We get you.

We strive to be the most inclusive community you will ever find.

We don’t care what you look like, we care that you send (climb to the top).

And if you can’t, we’ll help you get there.

Here’s 4 tips to get you climbing if you’re overweight (or just a big girl, like The Pad’s own Kristina here):

Fancy footwork – Don’t rely on your arms.

As you get started, put all your weight in your feet. As you continue upward, keep looking for your next foot placement. Your feet hold you up! They do that when you walk so why is this any different?

Get your hips into the wall – this goes along with the footwork.

If you hang back, or if you try to hold up your weight with your arms, you’ll get tired and you’ll fail. Putting your hips into the wall distributes your weight properly onto your feet and makes going up easier.

Fall with grace – don’t push yourself to the point of panic!

Feel free to test the waters of a fall by jumping off right before you get there. Land with bent legs and go backward. See how easy it is. Shed those fears.

Don’t chase the numbers. Try lots of different climbs.

You might be best at small holds, overhangs, or what have you. The number is an estimation of difficulty – but every person is different. Don’t limit yourself!

Bonus Climbing Tip!

Ask for beta (help)

We all started somewhere, too! Nobody gets better without asking for help unlocking a move and getting better technique – the person you asked will be psyched to start you on your journey!


If you’ve tried climbing and love it, consider taking a class!

Learn more about our available climbing classes here!

Woman climbing wall
5'10", 240lbs, but Loves to SEND IT!
Climbing makes me feel strong! - K
Hey #unlikelyclimbers – Want some awesome motivation? Check out Drew on Instagram – @drewclimbswalls He’s constantly exploring what it means to be a larger climber. He’s super motivating and supportive, and loves the sport!
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