Most of you have heard about the word backstep. But have you ever wondered what exactly is rock backstep? It is a climbing technique in rock climbing. If you don’t know about it then no worries! As today in this article we are going to tell you everything about backstep.
Combined with flagging, back stepping is a valuable technique, especially in overhanging, reachy situations. Stepping on a hold with your hips facing into the rock is known as backstep. As an alternative, you can rotate your leg so that the inside of your hip faces the rock (not backstepping).
Back stepping increases your torso’s length and allows you to stretch further in the direction in which you back stepped. Adding another foot will increase your reach even further. Say you are working a boulder problem with a hold to the right up and beyond your reach. When you rotate your body and step back, your abdomen will open up and your reach will extend to the left. You position your left foot as a flag to balance yourself for the big movement, making the move even smoother.
What is Backstepping climbing:
Using this technique, a climber has to climb a wall upside-down, placing their big toes directly on the ridges. In backstepping climbing, the pinky toe of the shoe is placed on the ridges at the back of the shoe to help move up the wall sideways. As a result of the back step technique, the body’s weight is more evenly distributed, making pulling the body up easier. By doing so, climbers are able to approach the wall much closer than they would otherwise. As a result, they are able to maneuver the body more easily and gain a better foothold.
Beginner’s guide to backstepping climbing:
Climbing a wall this way is just second nature to anyone who is new to climbing. Although it is less efficient and uses less force, it does have limitations, such as excessive force and less thrust. In order for novices to improve efficiency, they are encouraged to incorporate several techniques into their climb. Using only one technique will only take you so far. Staying near the wall (keeping one’s center of gravity near the wall is essential when backstepping). As a climber, one can keep a reduced amount of weight on the hands and a greater amount on the feet. New climbers can increase their efficiency quickly if they begin incorporating the Back Step shortly after they begin.
The importance of backstepping climbing:
Combining these techniques with others allows one to switch weight from one form to another. Transitioning from one arm to another is much easier. Practicing this technique requires a lot of core strength and practice. However, you can achieve satisfying results once you master it. Back stepping climbing is best for overhanging walls since it saves energy by dispersing the body’s weight across a wide range of muscles; it helps straighten out the arms and reach further.
The benefits of wall climbing include improved agility, core strength, and increased physical strength. You can increase your wall climbing game by utilizing back stepping climbing techniques.
How To Practise Backstep?
Now, as you know about the importance, so now it’s time to learn how to practise backstep.
To back step all you need to do is, keep the outside edge of your right foot at the hold either below or the back of your body and turn your right hip towards the wall. After that push your right foot and reach towards up with the help of your right arm.
If you are backstepping again from the same position then you will do the samething with the help of your left foot.
In backstep, good footing is very important because the right back stepping foot is right under you, so you can get so much push from that foot that you can reach up higher with little push.
On the other hand the other foot is stepping with big toe, with the internal side of the shoe but it does not have to be stepping on the holds. That foot can be extended to the other side of the reaching arm for the balance, by touching the wall.
Make a note to yourself that you should not go a very steep overhang to start practising backstep. Instead as a beginner start from a wall that is just a bit past vertical and then try steeper surfaces as you begin to feel more comfortable with the movements.
Always try backstep on routes that you are comfortable with then analyze your loopholes and try to find ways to improve it. Then opt for more challenging routes to back step. A good place to practise back steps are side pulls.
Backstep when you go for pinch hold because it is helpful as you are grabbing the pinch with your thumb and fingers on the each side of your hold. You obviously want to reduce the weight while being pulled by your hand holdng the pinch. When you are at a front body position, your arms has to hold more weight. As a result you will get exhausted faster or even lose the grip. But let us tell you a trick, that if you bring your hip closer to the wall in backstepping position then it is much easier to hold the pinch as your feet is support more weight. For this reason it can also be applied for crimping.
While bouldering and sport climbing indoors it is easy to practise backstepping. If you want to do great in this technique then we will recommend you to stick to the bouldering area. There are numerous easier problems that have holds places in a way that is convenient to do backstepping on them. To know more about back step read this article on How do Rock Climbers Not Fall? Full Breakdown!
Tips On Backstepping As Beginners
Now as you know how to practise backstep, it’s the high time let you know about some tips of backstep. The tips for backstep climbing are as follows:
- It is more useful to backstep in overhangs rather than backstepping on slabs and vertical walls becaue you will see that if you backstep on a slap or a vertical wall then your hips and thighs which are closer to the wall will be pushed away from the wall which in turn will make it more challenging for you to place your weight on foot.
- You should always keep your arms straight while the movement as this can help you for most of your body weight to be supported by your lats and prolong your forearm endurance during the backstep climb.
- You have to press down with the foot with which you are backstepping, so that you don’t have to pull much with your hands. If your backstepping foot too far then you will not be able to push much on that foot.
- Your core muscles, torso and lats has to be very strong, so that it can support the back stepping technique effectively.
- Your shoes should fit properly because if they are too big or if it has dead space then stepping with the outside edge will not at all be stable.
Mistakes On Backstepping
Now as we all know about the tips, so it’s the perfect time to talk about the mistakes on backstepping. So that you don’t do these mistakes. The common mistakes on Backstep climbing are as follows:
- Not paying attention- You have to give proper attention to your footings on the rock because if you place outside edge of your shoe properly then you will be having more stability and control. It will also be easy to push on that foot and reach for the next hold. Even proper footing also keeps your mind at ease and gives you confidence.
- Troubles faced while backstepping while lead climbing– This happens that while backstep the rope ends up being behind your leg and you fall while you are above your protection. Then the rope might get caught in between your legs and end up flipping you upside down. So you should always be careful with your ropes.
- Not planning your backstepping routes at all– As we all know backstepping is very helpful at times but if you get in a situation when you don’t know what to do next and what to do with your hand the you will probably fall in a uncomfortable situation and you fight fall. If you don’t know the rout or what to do next then it will be a waste of time and exhaust you out.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Has anyone climbed a V17?
Daniel Woods, 31, has ascended Return of the Sleepwalker, rated as V17, which is likely only the second ascent of this grade in the world. Woods is one of the most well-known names in hard bouldering and is considered one of the strongest climbers in the world.
What is a backstep in climbing?
Backstepping involves placing the outside edge of the right foot on a hold below or behind your body and turning the right hip toward the wall. Using your backstepping foot can give you so much push that you can reach higher with your arm, while using little strength, because it is right under you.
What is a mantle in climbing?
In a mantle, the feet are brought up to meet arms and the hold is pushed down. As an example of mantling, let’s consider the top of a climb where you need to pull yourself up to the ledge and mantle is done by pushing down on a hold until your weight is above it, then moving your foot up to take the place of your hand.
What is a DeadPoint in climbing?
A deadpoint climbing is a climbing technique which allows the climbers to turn into a rock face and extend for new holds even when they are weighed down by gravity. For climbers to be able to perform a deadpoint, they must first be in a position that would allow them to quickly fall if their footing was to be lost.
How do climbers drop knees?
To know how to do drop knee in climbing, you need to check out this video.