To the people who are less informed about the area of adventures, bouldering and rock climbing may be the same. They both might seem so similar at first, but they are different in their own sense. When you are trying them out, you are sure to find conspicuous differences between the two sports. Anyone who approaches these activities for the first time must learn their basics so that they don’t end up in a fall. If you want to hit the top of the cliff, you need to use a set of different techniques, training routines, gear, and muscle groups. Rock climbing and bouldering have different features that you need to understand to know that they are unique. So, let us have a look at the key differences between the two.
1. Techniques and Style
Being a good rock climber is different from being a good boulderer because the foothold and hold types are different in both. Since the high wall climbing routines are more sustained and consume a long time, everyone who attempts it must have great mental strength, good memory, and endurance to take on the challenges on the way up and to remember all the sequences you follow during the climb. On the other hand, bouldering doesn’t require as much memory like that for rock climbing because boulders are shorter. But all boulderers have to maintain the right body position to hold onto the rock at all times.
2. Endurance and Strength
If you are aware of the working of sprints and distance running, you are sure to understand the difference in endurance and strength required for climbing and bouldering. Marathon runners need more endurance than strength, whereas the sprinters need more raw power than endurance. Rock climbers who set their foot on cliffs that range between 8 and 40 meters rely on endurance rather than on strength. If they have to climb the distance with ease, they need more stamina. Boulderers need more strength because they most often climb boulders up to a height of 5 meters. This short distance is, however, a harder climb; so, they need more power than endurance. With that being said, both boulderers and rock climbers require strength and endurance.
3. Muscles Used
Any rock climber who attempts a route that is easy for them might be using the slow-twitch muscles of the climb. On the other hand, in bouldering, fast-twitch muscles are used since explosive moves are required.
As mentioned earlier, both these activities put into use a different set of muscles; so, they might also need different training routines. Rock climbers train themselves for endurance more than bouldering skills and strength, and they do it by taking shorter rest times while repeating routes. Boulderers train for more strength by hang-boarding and trying the more complex boulder problems. The boulderers also practice certain moves such as heel hooks, dynos, toe hooks, and sit starts. Rock climbers also need these skills, but not as much as the boulderers do.