Breaking Through a Bouldering Plateau: Strategies and Insights

Every climber, whether beginner or advanced, will eventually hit a plateau. It can feel frustrating when you find yourself stuck on the same problems, unable to progress. However, hitting a plateau is a normal part of the climbing journey. Here are some strategies to help you break through and continue improving your bouldering skills.

1. Evaluate Your Technique

Often, a plateau can be a sign that you need to refine your technique. Spend some time analyzing your climbing style:

  • Footwork: Are you placing your feet precisely, or are they slipping? Good footwork can make a significant difference.
  • Body Positioning: Are you using your body efficiently? Sometimes small adjustments in body positioning can unlock a problem.
  • Balance and Movement: Work on maintaining balance and fluidity in your movements. This might involve practicing dynamic moves or static holds.

2. Strength Training

Sometimes, building specific muscle groups can help you power through tougher climbs:

  • Finger Strength: Incorporate hangboard exercises into your routine to improve grip strength.
  • Core Workouts: A strong core is essential for maintaining body tension on the wall.
  • General Fitness: Engage in cross-training activities like yoga, swimming, or running to improve overall fitness and endurance.

3. Change Your Routine

Switching up your routine can provide new challenges and prevent stagnation:

  • Try Different Problems: If you've been working on the same problems, try new ones, even if they seem out of your range. This can expose you to different styles and techniques.
  • Climb with Others: Climbing with friends or joining a group can introduce you to new beta and motivate you to push harder.
  • Use Training Tools: At The Crux, our 4.5x5m Spray Wall is a fantastic training tool. Create and try new climbs on the Stokt app to challenge yourself in new ways.

4. Set Realistic Goals

Setting achievable, short-term goals can keep you motivated:

  • Project a Specific Problem: Choose a problem slightly above your current grade and work on it consistently.
  • Track Your Progress: Keep a climbing journal to document your attempts, successes, and areas for improvement.

5. Rest and Recovery

Your body needs time to recover and grow stronger:

  • Rest Days: Ensure you're taking adequate rest days to allow your muscles to recover.
  • Sleep and Nutrition: Prioritize good sleep and a balanced diet to support your training efforts.

6. Mental Training

Climbing is as much a mental challenge as a physical one:

  • Visualization: Visualize yourself completing the climb successfully. This can build confidence and reduce anxiety.
  • Stay Positive: Focus on your progress and small victories rather than getting discouraged by setbacks.

7. Get Professional Help

If you find yourself stuck despite trying different strategies, consider seeking professional advice:

  • Coaching: A coach can provide personalized feedback and create a tailored training plan for you.
  • Workshops: Attend workshops to learn new techniques and gain insights from experienced climbers.


Remember, hitting a plateau is a natural part of climbing. It's a sign that you're pushing your limits and an opportunity to refine your skills and strategies. By evaluating your technique, incorporating strength training, varying your routine, setting realistic goals, allowing for rest and recovery, focusing on mental training, and seeking professional help, you can break through the plateau and continue to improve.

At The Crux, we understand the challenges of climbing plateaus and are here to support you in your journey. Whether it's utilising our Spray Wall, trying new problems, or climbing with our community, there are always ways to push through and reach new heights. Keep climbing, stay motivated, and enjoy the process!