Do you know what your heels are doing when climbing and how important it is to the rest of your body? One of the first things I look out for when assessing new clients is what their heels are up to. This is because it has such a knock-on effect to the rest of the body.
If you have low heels on a positive foothold, it will push your body weight and centre of mass away from the wall. This will mean to get closer and to get higher, you will pull. Your core will be disengaged and if you are trying to do a dynamic move with low heels (on a positive foothold), your body will fly away from the wall.
Another important point is that if you have low heels on a positive hold, chances are, you aren't applying the pressure through your big toe onto the hold.
On the contrary, if you have higher heels on a slopey hold, you will be reducing the contact area and are far more likely to slip. You need to push through your heels and apply as much pressure through your shoe as possible.
The two require very different techniques and body positioning. Watch the video to find out more.
Robin O'Leary is a full-time performance coach. He has been working as such for the last 10+years and now works with some of the best-performing athletes in the UK.
Robin is the head coach of the GB Para-Climbing Team and has coached National, European and World Champion climbers. Along with working with top-level athletes around the world, Robin also coaches hundreds of keen enthusiasts. From hands-on technical coaching, to long-term programme work.
Robin is also the co-author of UKClimbing's highly successful Injury Management and Prevention articles.
If you want to get in touch with Robin, please visit his website: