Climbing Techniques - Footwork Basics

Climbing Techniques - Footwork Basics

Let’s consider this scenario: you have tried climbing once or twice, and your first inclination was to tightly grip each hand hold while pulling yourself up with your arms. You sent your first route or boulder problem and it felt great!  You quickly realized that you found your next hobby.

However, your forearms are pumped and your hands ache. As you transition to the next slightly more difficult route, you started feeling a change. On easier routes you were able to climb with just your hands and upper body strength, but as you progressed you realized that something was missing. You were so close to making that move, but your footwork prevented you from doing so.

As a new climber you are constantly told to focus on using your footwork. Why? Because of the following reasons:

    • More control - using your feet allows you to balance your body weight efficiently for a strong hold, and maximum strength
    • Efficiency - good footwork allows you to move deliberately and use less energy while making your next move. This is important for long routes where your endurance is key
    • Better use of lower body strength - a combination of good technique and good footwork allows you to move your body more freely on the wall while using your feet to step-through, smear, and drop knee. Your legs are stronger than your arms, and being able to use your lower more than your upper body is very important

The midsole, the toe, the inside and outside edge of your climbing shoe is the area you want to focus your weight on. Watch Tim Rose, the Youth Program Director demonstrate these footwork basics in the video.

 


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