The following tips are provided for your improved climbing experience, but remember to get better at rock climbing, you have to spend a lot of time on the rock.
1 Warm Up and Stretch.
Before starting to climb take time to loosen your muscles and joints. Warming up correctly and stretching before climbing is vital for improving flexibility and blood circulation which will increase your climbing experience. Just by doing this simple step before climbing could increase the difficulty at which you climb. While climbing you will be using many different muscle groups and will place your limbs in extreme positions not experienced in normal daily life (unless you are a rigger or a full-time climbing instructor). Warming up and stretching will help your muscles, ligament and joints move easier and last that bit longer.
2 Preview and examine the Route.
Learning to read a route is a skill which requires training just as much as the physical and technical side of climbing. Before you start a climb a route take time to examine and visualize as much as possible from the ground (certain sections maybe out of sight). Find the crux and work out the best approach to be in the best possible position to attempt it. Anticipate balance, reach and the move you will make and make a mental note of your hand a feet positions. Using this skill before climbing a new route or a route you have previously climbed will help develop and improve your climbing. After completing a route look at it again and re-evaluate the climb. The more practice and experience of previewing and analyzing routes the easier it will become and your climbing technique will improve physically and mentally.
3 Strength of Grip.
The secret to a good grip is to relax, over gripping will tire out forearm muscles rapidly. Climber rarely give this a second thought, yet it is often the first muscle group to lose its strength. Beginners will unconsciously grip that bit harder, especially just before a difficult section of the climb and at the crux. Increased tension will decrease your fluidity and climbing techniques. Mentally check your grip in tough situations as many times just a slight pressure on the rock face is required to keep your balance. So remain conscious of your grip and the strength you are exerting to hold yourself in place at all times. Strengthen your fingers and thumbs with heavy duty spring hand grippers, while wrist curls with a light weight is good for the wrists and forearms.
4 Improve Your Balance.
If you naturally have a good sense of balance then your climbing technique is automatically of to a good start. How you control your balance whilst climbing is very important as the centre of balance is always centered around your body mass (roughly your stomach). When making a climbing move the centre of gravity will shift, by being conscious of this you can anticipate how the move will have an affect on your positioning and holds after the move is made. A simple exercise to improve your balance is to traverse along an inclined slab (between a 50% and 65% incline) using your arms for balance but not gripping the wall.
5 Always Keep Your Body Close to the Wall.
There is no set distance to keep your body from the wall as every climber has a different style and the different moves and hand holds possible in climbing, but the straighter your body the more your knees well be pointing to the wall and the further the centre of gravity will be away from the wall. Experiment with different stances, heights and distances to find what suits your climbing style and feels comfortable to you.
6 Develop a Smooth Climbing Movement.
How you move while climbing shows how good or bad your climbing technique is. Concentrate on not making any unnecessary moves while climbing because excess movement creates additional opportunities to fall. Hold your body still and relaxed, think about the next move or moves, visualize it and then action it.
7 Find Rest Spots.
Spotting and taking advantage of rest spots is very important while learning to climb. Many climbers (especially male ones) think they can muscle up a rock face. Learning to rest your muscles will allow you to climb for longer and not to peel off from climbs later which you are normally well within your climbing level. Rest spots can be anything from a ledge to stand on to a thigh/knee jam. You can also use smaller rest points to shift and alter your position before tackling the next move. As a rule of thumb when starting, try to rest every three meters or so.
8 Develop the Right Climbing Muscles.
Depending on what sort of climbing you are doing (bouldering, face, sport or indoor) will depend on which muscles will require developing. Bouldering requires more strength, face requires more endurance and sport and indoor climbing require a combination of the two.
9 Watch and Learn.
One of the best ways to learn is by watching others climb. Make mental notes on how different climbers use different climbing techniques and try them out yourself, remembering the good rock climbing practices while you do. At first new techniques may feel awkward but you will soon develop your muscle memory and improve your rock climbing experience, techniques and improve your level of climbing.