Onsight Rock Gym

5335 Western Avenue

Knoxville, TN 37921

(865) 888-9123

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5335 Western Avenue
Knoxville, TN, 37921


Onsight Rock Gym is a brand new, world-class indoor rock climbing gym in Knoxville. Featuring over 12,000 sq feet of climbing surface and walls that soar over 50 feet tall, we are Knoxville's largest and tallest rock climbing gym. Onsight offers top rope/lead climbing and bouldering for all ages and abilities as well as a wide array of programming for adults and youth. Onsight even has a separate climbing room for private parties and events. We are proud to be a part of Knoxville's community! 


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Training Tips w/ Daniel

Mackenzie Wilder

Lock off strength.

Southern sandstone can require a climber to make long reaches, when dynoing or deadpointing is not an option it is time to lock off! Locking off is where the climber pulls down the hold as far as one can and holds it, in a locked off manner flexing one's bicep, pulling the elbow to one's side (this is what is meant by lock off) while the other hand reaches up in a controlled manner and grabs the next hold. Lock it off! A simple pullup bar in a gym, gymnastics rings or the oak tree in your back yard can supply means for practicing a locking off.

  • First exercise: lock off a pull up bar by placing your chin above the bar and hold for time or count of breaths.
  • Second exercise: try the above mentioned lock off and "wind shield wiper" by moving your chin from above one hand to the next. this engages the arm with your chin above it with more weight on that arm and a more intense workout for that arm.
  • Third exercise: with the gymnastics rings do a pull up and hold then extend one arm straight away from the body and locked off with the other arm. alternate and repeat these are called archers as it almost looks like an archer pulling back a bowstring.
  • Fourth exercise: one arm lock off! Yep just like it sounds if you have mastered the above mentioned exercises its time to go for the one arm lock off! do a pull up (with both hands) lock off and then carefully let go with one arm and you're doing a one arm lock off!

Note: all of these exercises can be done pronated (palms away from you) or supinated (palms toward you) and a balanced climber will do both exercises, however pronated is often most relevant for climbing, however if your project involves a crux under cling you will be glad you did it supinated!

Remember to warm up and stretch before doing any of these exercises and listen to your body.

If you’re not having fun you’re doing it wrong!!

Training Tips with Daniel

Mackenzie Wilder

Body tension: Body tension is created in the core but is not limited to the glamour muscles (the rectus abdominus "six pack") people always hear about but also internal and external obliques, transverse abdominus and the trifecta of spinal erectors on your back. When we climb our fingers and toes make contact with the wall but these "core" muscles engage to unify the mechanism that is your body. Mastering the Mechanism: One great exercise for creating body tension at home or in the gym is planking. Planking on hands will tax the shoulders a bit more than if planking on your forearms. Alignment is key. Get your palms under your shoulders and weight your entire hand, spread your fingers wide like rays of sunlight and place some of your weight in the fingers rather than just your heels of your hands. Be mindful of the angle of your back and don’t let your hips fall down. If planking on your forearms, line up your elbows under your shoulders and remember to engage your hands. Some other plank variations: make your feet as wide as your hands (or elbows, whichever plank you prefer) and alternate raising one leg off the floor and then the other raising the raised leg no higher than your booty. Once you have gotten better at that variation, practice raising your leg and the opposite arm at the same time for a more tricky variation that requires more focus and concentration. Other ways to make planks more fun: use the gymnastic rings for your arms and place your feet on a large exercise ball for a very unstable plank that will require you to really engage your core. Side planks: can be done on your forearm or your hand and on one leg or both. I like to engage my obliques more fully by pushing my hips toward the sky.
Super mans are great for your spinal erector group. Lie on your belly, keep your arms extended in front of you lift them while lifting your chest off the floor. While simultaneously extending your legs and lifting them off the ground as high as you can. You should feel the burn in your mid to lower back on the strips of muscle on either side of your vertebrae, these are your spinal erectors. When doing this exercise you should look like superman flying through the air, with your weight on your belly. (side note, I recommend emptying your bladder before performing this exercise as your body weight on your belly can place pressure on your bladder!) When doing these exercises that tax the core, sometimes I find myself holding my breath, this does not help, instead of measuring the duration of your exercises with a stop watch, try measuring the duration of your planks by the number of quality breaths you take, this will encourage better breathing and better gains from your exercises. In addition I find good breathing while doing these exercises translates to better breathing while climbing, don’t forget to breathe! Always warm up and listen to your body when doing these exercises. And remember if you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Climbing With A Partner

Yolanda Chen


Ahh February… a time of intense cold and fiery passion. It always feels like spring is almost here, like it’s ready to pop up from behind a bush with an axe screaming “Heeeeeere’s allergies!”. Unfortunately, it isn’t and it’s frightfully cold. At least you have Valentine’s Day to look forward to- spending the nice romantic day with you significant other, snuggling, eating gratuitous amounts of chocolate. Hopefully during your Valentine’s Day celebrations you can make time for some climbing. I love it when couple go climbing together, because climbing by nature is a partner-based activity. You’re trusting your partner with your life and taking their advice on those tricky moves. You’re communicating your needs effectively, whether it be “extra slack!” or “take!” or “oh god I’m falling oh god!” (that’s me in case you hadn’t guessed). When one partner successfully climbs a route, there’s a feeling of shared success. To me, it’s so pure and it really makes me happy to see it when I’m out climbing.

I see so many couples come into the gym and work on new routes or problems, and frankly, it inspires me. That’s why this blog post is dedicated to all you adorable couples out there that climb together so much that you already know what the other one is thinking before they even have to say it. The thing is, climbing with a new partner is a journey into the unknown. Are they going to high clip every draw? Do they go slow and steady or do they fly up the wall? Do they like to push themselves on new challenging routes or do they enjoy staying in their skill range and cruising through? How confident in their abilities are they, and how realistic is that confidence? Being that I work in a climbing gym, I’ve climbed with a lot of new partners. I only have a couple static partners that I climb with frequently. Hopping on a challenging new lead climb (whether I’m belaying or climbing) can be daunting simply because I don’t know the person and their climbing quirks. I’ve come up with a loose checklist that hopefully can help new partners become more comfortable with each other!

Communication is King

Communication is important in any relationship, and a climber-belayer relationship is no different. Before I climb for the first time with someone, I always ask that they be overly vocal about their climbing situation. If they think they might fall, or are getting pumped, or are high clipping, I want to get all the information. After a few rounds of climbing and belaying its easy to get a feel for the partner and you might not need as much stringent communication as before.

Courtesy Slack

Courtesy Slack is a magical and wonderful thing. When your climber finishes their climb and finally touches down on the ground, be sure to give them extra slack so they don’t feel like a giant is grabbing their groin and heaving upward. Male, female, young, old, toprope, lead, mage, or warrior- everyone loves not having groin discomfort.


F is for friends who do stuff together U is for U and Me N is for “N”ewhere, “N”etime at all (down here in the deep blue sea) The single most important thing I can say when climbing with a new partner is this- HAVE FUN. That’s why you climb, right? When climbing with a new partner, don’t worry about being better than anyone, or take yourself too seriously. Just have fun! Inspire your partner, cheer them on. Celebrate their triumphs and let them know they still did a good job when they try their hardest but don’t quite succeed.

So there it is, my secret master list of what I have found to be successful behaviors when climbing with a new partner. Remember, you do this sport for fun. It’s a great workout both physically and mentally, and is a great way to bond with other people. If you are in the gym and see someone climbing alone, go ahead and offer them a catch. By engaging someone who may be too nervous to approach you, you can stoke someone’s interest in the sport, and could make a great new friend in the process. And when you start climbing together, remember this list. Happy climbing!