Posted by Matthew Woodfield on Friday, March 16, 2012
Under: Top Tips
The next T in our climbing development series is Technique.
Technique fouses on your movement skills, the basic act of climbing.
As with Training, Technique is a subject that has beeen well covered by books, articles and magazines over the decades.
It can be broken down into three areas, hands, feet and movement.
The way we use our hands when climbing vary on what holds are available. The classic jugs and crimps are often prefered over slopers, undercuts or dare I say it...jamming.
Each technique requires practice to be efficient, and to be able to 'read' the rock and see what too doo next.
The key to climbing well is in the feet, and there are many ways to use them. The most common part of the foot to use is the inside edge, by the base of your big toe. The outside edge is on the opposite site and can really help keep you body tucked in on steep routes. Toes are good for sticking in pockets, and heels are great great for hooking on steep ground. The one not to underestimate is the sole of you foot, placed flat on the rock it can be used to smear, with some surprising results.
Hands and feet are need to stay on the wall, but without movement you'll be going nowhere fast. Good, efficient movement when climbing is the combination of Agility, Balance and Co-ordination (ABC). It can be viewed as dancing up the wall when done correctly, or fighting of badly. Some of the more common moves include the rockover (standing up on a high step), mantel shelf (like getting out of a swimming pool by pushing down), bridging (feet apart to remove weight from hands) and laybacking (using both feet and hands on the same feature ie arete or crack).
So if training makes you strong, then technique will help use your strength in the best way. Next time we'll look at the often overlooked Tactics.
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