Climbers who are great don’t push themselves up a wall; rather they “technique” their way to the top using moves suited for their challenge. Improve your technique and movement if you don’t want to fall while rock climbing. Rock climbing whenever you can is the best way to do this.
Learning movement principles and balance is crucial to stop yourself from falling while rock climbing. Once you have mastered the moves, you can focus on nailing their subtleties. To know about the difference between mountaineering and rock climbing, check this article!
Rock Climbing Techniques
Technique is one of the most important aspects of any performance. Practicing technique allows you to effortlessly climb routes that used to be difficult. The following are some key concepts covered in this section:
- How to use your feet
- How to maintain balance
- How to be more efficient
Video: Rock Climbing Techniques
Techniques for Rock Climbing: Using Your Feet
Climbing begins with the feet. Several beginners wind up tiring out while pulling themselves up the wall. You don’t climb a ladder by pulling yourself up, rather you step up and use your hands and arms for balance. Climbing is the same.
Edging and smearing are basic techniques for using your feet:
- The term edging means you step on rubber in the edge of your shoe. On smaller holds, you can either use the inside edge, where your big toe offers stability, or use the outside edge. Depending on how you need to move to get on or off the hold, you will make your choice.
- Smearing occurs when you do not have a foothold and use your shoe to provide friction. Smearing is useful when climbing slabs, especially on low-angle rock without many defined footholds.
Consider finding small depressions and protrusions on your skin that will give extra friction when you smear. For a slightly better purchase angle, you can flatten the angle.
When climbing, consider the following footwork tactics:
- Make sure your feet are directly below you. You can keep your balance by looking for footholds that are in good positions.
- More attention should be paid to foot placements than to handholds.
- Keep your foot still once you have set it. When you make your next move, you’ll have a better chance of staying on hold.
- You should keep your heel low so you have plenty of contact with the wall. When you make your next move, you are more likely to lever your foot off the wall with a high heel because less rubber is on the rock, reducing friction.
Techniques for Rock Climbing: Maintaining Balance
Climbing is pretty intuitive when you have a line of jugs leading straight up the wall. However, you have to maintain balance when you’re moving and pulling in different directions to make sure that you don’t fall.
It’s impossible to pull straight down when you have to hold a hold to the side. Therefore, you need to counteract the side pull so that you don’t lose balance and slam the barn door against the wall.
Tactics to balance:
- Create counterpressure by pressing your foot in the opposite direction of the pull.
- Pull with the other hand or hook your foot in the opposite direction.
- Your body weight will act as a counterbalance when you lean over.
Rock Climbing Techniques: How to Climb Efficiently
You can climb more efficiently without falling and give your muscles a break by using the following tips:
- A straight arm is a happy arm. The main weight is taken by your skeleton, not your muscles, when you straighten your arm. If you bend your elbow slightly, your muscles work to keep it there.
- Put your attention on your hips. In the beginning, beginners tend to square their hips to the wall, which looks very stable but also causes their muscles to be strained.
- Keeping one hip pushed up against the wall is best. As a result, your weight is kept over your feet and your arms are straight.
- Your shoulder is closer to the wall when your hip is close to it. Because you are weighted down over your feet, you are less likely to peel off. Furthermore, a close shoulder enables an easier grasp on handholds because the pull angle changes.
- Climbers with good eyesight climb well. Keep your eye on the wall to find a resting place. Focus on more than just the chalk marks.
- Take advantage of a good rest when you find it. Keeping your pulse slow and shaking your arms will prevent them from getting pumped later.
Rock Climbing Moves
It helps you solve problems and deal with more challenging routes if you have a good assortment of climbing moves. These moves are all based on the principles discussed in the technique section above.
Video: Rock Climbing Moves
Back steps are the opposite of normal steps. To step on a hold, you turn your hip to the side and step with the outside edge of your shoe (little-toe side) rather than your big toe squared up to the wall.
Your hips are closer to the wall when you back step, making it easier to straighten your arms and take a rest. The extension is also useful for reaching elusive holds. Using back steps while climbing steep or overhanging routes can save a lot of energy.
Drop knees are more extreme back steps. When you have the foothold next to your hips, it works best. Place your toe on it; then, with your knee rolled in, place your outside shoe on it so that your knee is actually pointing downward.
A drop knee also gets your hips close to the wall, just like a back step. The ledge is great for a rest, but it’s especially useful when you need extra reach on a steep or overhanging wall.
Stemming involves pushing against two opposing surfaces. A chimney, corner, or a wall with a large and protruding feature may be a good place.
Stemming can be done with hands or feet, but maintaining balance requires counter pressure. You use your leg muscles to stem, so stepping is incredibly efficient, and it gives you a good rest.
Flagging involves shifting your weight with an arm or leg. Staying attached to the rock is the goal.
It is advantageous to flag whenever you are holding holds that are all on the same side of your body. Due to the fact that that also puts all your weight on one side, you simply swing your leg to the other side to stay balanced.
Laybacking involves pushing your feet against the surface of an island and pulling yourself off the edge of a flake. A layback is very efficient when your footholds are good because your arms are straight and your feet do all the work and if you need to smear for lack of footholds, keep your heels low to maximize the amount of rubber against the rock.
You can use a lay-back when you can’t jam, or when there is an opposing wall, such as in a dihedral crack.
Mantles are when you pull your feet up to meet your hands and push down on the hold. A classic example of mantling is to pull yourself onto a ledge at the top of a climb.
Mantling involves pushing down on a hold to elevate your weight above it, then moving your foot up to take the place of your hand.
In addition to mantles that are necessary at the top, they can also be helpful mid-climb when you need your feet to get high due to a large handhold.
A hold that’s underclung is one that uses the underside. It may seem counter-intuitive at first to pull up on an undercling rather than pull down.
It is important to find good, high footholds so that you can maintain body tension while pulling on the hold by pushing with your feet. You can keep your arms straighter when your feet are high, which puts the hold at waist level.
An undercling puts you in a good position to reach up for extra elevation when done correctly.
The term side pull refers to any hold that is oriented for a sideway pull. A well-executed side pull requires balancing out that sideways pull by shifting your body weight or applying a counterforce.
Underclings and side pulls can feel awkward, since you have to adjust your pull direction based on the orientation of the hold. As soon as that feeling clicks, suddenly you can use holds all around you, not just those above.
A gaston is the opposite of a side pull. In a side pull, you pull towards yourself as the hold is held. The gaston is also oriented for a sideways force, but instead of pulling in, it pushes out.
In this position, you would point your fingers inwards with your elbow bent and pointing out to the side.
You may feel that your galstons are unstable because all the force is coming from your shoulder. You can really open up the wall with this move in your repertoire.
A palming is a hand version of smearing: you push the rock with an open hand.
While you reposition your feet, you can maintain balance by palming. If there are no good handholds available, it comes in handy. As well as stemming, palming can also be helpful because it allows to counter pressure on a blank face. The fingers-down palming technique is especially useful when climbing slabs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Do rock climbers ever fall?
Yes, there had been many scenarios where the rock climbers fell down and they got injurious health which even turned in to death at times. So read this article before going for an article.
What do rock climbers do if they fall?
If rock climbers fall they do the following which is shown in this video!
What is the main force that keeps a climber from falling?
Gravity is the only force present in the earth which helps the rock climbers from falling.
What is Z clipping?
Clipping your rope to your next bolt from below your last bolt or gear is called Z-clipping. In routes with closely spaced bolts, or when the climber grabs blindly below their waist for the rope to make the next clip, this is most common.
How high can you rock climb?
It is recommended to climb in the range of 43-49 metres.