No matter what you do, from driving a car to running to biking, there is technique involved. Climbing is no different and today’s blog post is dedicated to some rock climbing techniques that will make you a more successful climber.
Use Your Strength- Climb with Your Feet
Unequivocally the most important technique/tip for rock climbing is to climb with your feet. Often times, men especially, try to climb with their hands. They have big arms and chests, so why not use them? The best way to respond to this question is with another question. Which do you think is stronger, your hands or your feet? I know very few people that can do a handstand and not one person that could do it for an entire day. Using your feet to climb is utilizing larger muscle structures, is more efficient and will help you break through to that next, harder grade.
See Where You’re Going- Climb with Your Eyes
Another important climbing technique that coincides with our first point is climbing with your eyes. This sounds like an obvious statement, but when you are 40feet up a route for the first time in your life, people tend to forget to do some of the basics- like breathing, looking around and yes, using their feet. Climbing with your eyes lets you visualize the route, make precise movements, climb more efficiently and it also helps you relax. Most importantly when you climb with your eyes you look down at your feet, and can make smaller, less dynamic movements.
Channel Your Inner Yogi- Flow Your Transitions
A fellow guide at White Pine Touring describes climbing as: “A mix between yoga and dance. Dance moves require footwork, which you already have dialed because you are climbing with your feet. However once you’re climbing with your feet you need to shift your body weight from foothold to foothold and side to side, similar to how yoga transitions you from pose to pose. Yoga is all about balance, flexibility and center of mass. Climbing is very similar. Say for instance you place your right foot on a hold about where your right knee just was. What’s next? We transition our weight from our left foot and put our center of mass over our right foot so that we can stand up on that leg. We move from pose to pose all while following our dance routine.
These are the basics rock climbing techniques for the beginner climber. If you would like to learn more or focus on specific skills for face climbing, crack climbing or alpine climbing, book your White Pine Touring Guide Rock Climbing Tour today!
By Weston Deutschlander White Pine Touring Guide & JANS Athlete Team Member