A Woman's Guide to Outdoor Sports

Always wanted to learn to surf, rock climb and more? Here's how to get started, plus sculpt crazy-sexy muscles while doing it!

Rock Climb

Make like Spider-Man and you'll get sleek, toned legs to show for all your wall walking! Climbing is the ultimate lower-body workout, and it zaps 707 calories per hour. (You could torch a pound in one afternoon!) To show you the ropes, self asked Sarah Hueniken, a certified rock and alpine climbing guide in Canmore, Alberta, for newbie advice.

Know, then go!

You won't fall
All climbers begin on top rope routes, which means a thick rope connects you, via a secure anchor at the top of the wall, to a person holding your rope below. So even if you do accidentally slip, you'll still hang there—safely!—in the air.

You don't need to know about knots At first, a more experienced climber or instructor will make sure your harness is snug and man the ropes, so you can be certain nothing crucial will come loose. The only thing you're responsible for tying: your shoes.

Upper-body strength isn't a must
Can't do a pull-up? No problem. Climbing, especially on beginner routes, is mostly about using your gams. Your legs are much stronger than your arms, so they won't tire as easily as you power up your climb.

You can always hang out-literally
If you get stuck, stumped or spent, you can let go, sit back in your harness, shake out your arms and legs, and hang until you're ready to go again. There's no rush to the top. Take your time and enjoy the view.

How to not look stupid
Don't wear too-short shorts to rock climb; your harness may start to look and feel more like a thong. Ouch! A better bet: workout pants or capris you would wear to yoga. You want them to be fitted, stretchy, super comfy and definitely wedgie-proof.

To find a certified instructor, visit the American Mountain Guides Association at AMGA.com.

Hooked? Get your own gear!

Heads-up Hard hats protect your noggin from falling rocks. This one, the Elia ($66; Petzl.com), adjusts to fit snugly.

Sole support

The flexible, grippy rubber on the Quantum ($140; FiveTen.com) helps you stick to walls.

At the ready

She's got a harness, belay device and chalk bag—and so should you! Try the Mammut Ophira Crag Bag Kit ($80; EMS.com).

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