/ Weight/hip shifting? (Youtube video)
I've ordered a rock climbing basics book, but until that arrives I'm stuck with youtube videos. A couple of things I've picked up is that you should climb with your feet and hang on straight arms, both of which make sense and I've already been using them at the wall. Then I saw this video:
At 1:14 the guys second rule is about shifting your weight about. I already knew that you should move your mass over your higher foot to free up the other, but this dude is talking about rotating your hips and feet to be side on to the wall, and I don't get it.
Not being at the wall at the moment, I can't see how this makes it easier, in fact if it was on any sort of overhang I can only imagine it making it harder, as you would have to pull yourself up and in towards the wall. So far, about the only times I have tried being side to the wall and then reached for a hold I have barn doored. Really I've just been climbing almost entirely face into the wall. Am I missing a trick here? Is rotating your hips into the wall something you should do on the majority of holds? What about overhangs?
Thanks for any advice, and if you know of any good instructional videos online, I'd be grateful to see them.
I was at the climbing wall today and "instructing" my friend. I had him focus on keeping his heels in, which naturally roates the hips and moves you closer to the wall.
I guess next time you ty it you'll feel what the video is saying.
As I say, I try and encourage my friend to keep his heels in to teh wall where possible. I did a couple of moves today where I was totally off balance, and before I could reach for the next hold I did exactly what was described in teh video. Suddenly your hands aren't pulling you on to the wall and you can push up and reach for teh next hold.
Give it a go next time, see what you think.
In principle, yes rotate hips to the wall. May be it's just me but I'd prefer to see his feet positioned differently. The way I climb if the holds allow would be...
If you right hand is on a high hold I'd want to step my left foot outside edge to a foot hold on a line directly below my right hand, twisting my body to put the left hip against the wall, right leg then flagging, press out the left leg (keeping right arm straight) to reach a high left hand hold... Then repeat the same thing with the right foot etc.
On a vertical or less-than-vertical wall, swinging to the side like he does will put your center of gravity almost right above your feet, giving you an almost no-hands rest.
However, there are reasons to twist, even on overhangs, namely increasing reach and changing direction of pull.
If you need to reach with your right hand, it helps to twist the right hip close to the wall.
And if a hold is a mean pinch when you're hanging straight out from it, moving your body close to the wall to either side of it can get you a better direction to pull on that hold, which might be helpful.
But in general, what he says in the video applies to vertical walls.
That's a joke right? Watch the Climbing Masterclass video's by Neil Gresham. It's very well explained in that, including an demo climb on a steep overhang at The Edge (45% I think the wall is set at) where the climber's hips are always twisted. Each move is described in detail.
It's a handy 'trick', one that some people use a lot more than others. There are times it's near essential, times where it's an unnecessary flourish.
Best bet is to go play with the new ideas at the wall/crag. Figure out what works for you, what doesn't and importantly, what seems to work for others that you're not yet trying or are currently struggling with. Try the same easy ish problem as many different ways as you can think of, watch and ask others for ideas. Why does or doesn't something work? Can your new insight improve the sequence/move further?
Learning to read the holds, figure out the moves as you approach them takes quite a bit of work, there's usually a lot of options and subtlety possible. For every 'rule' there are plenty of exceptions, some will suit you* better than others, there is no 'right' or 'wrong' way :)
*'you' of course will gradually change as your experience and physique develop
Enjoy the process, make sure it's still all about having fun but a little time spent analysing what's actually happening as you climb is very valuable even if you initially get the analysis wrong or are a bit stumped. I often get stumped trying to figure out how some subtle shifts make an impossible move easy (and sometimes visa versa!) but the reflection process is still an important part of learning for me.
You should see if your bouldering/climbing centre has a movement and technique class.
I attended one at our local bouldering wall, for about £20 it took us through all different climbing techniques and how to flag efficiently etc.
I had been climbing for a number of years by this point but was finding the overhaning bouldering problems a real issue as I didn't have the strength to haul myself up. This really taught me how i can twist in to a better position to reach the next hold without trying to do a pullup each time!!
Best £20 i have spent climbing and really improved my technique and grade.
Rotating and using the outside edge of your shoes are pretty standard and fairly well explained in the vid.
However, it tends to be more useful on roped climbs where you can switch between outside edges up entire routes. On boulder problems, especially harder ones, you'll find that you get less opportunity to outside edge (but you should still do it if you can) as it would make many problems too easy.
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