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How flexible do you need to be?

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 oakapple 10 Mar 2006
How flexible are the majority of top climbers. In yoga terms would they be classed as intermediate or advanced?
 scooott 10 Mar 2006
In reply to oakapple:
Don't think it really matters. I know of some really good climbers, one of which is way below average in terms of flexibility, yet can climb real good.

It's more about strength, in my opinion. Though flexibility plays a part.

Answer to your question: I don't know.
In reply to scooott:

disagree - often, good flexibility does mean you don't have to use strength sometimes though. i'll be the first to admit that there are times that raw power is the only thing needed though. at that point i go home.

 sutty 10 Mar 2006
In reply to oakapple:

Probaly intermediate, if they flexed as much as some of the positions in yoga they would not have the muscle needed to climb hard strenuous routes.
Flexibility is important as I have found. Handy to be able to do the splits on wide bridges and step very high and step up.
 scooott 10 Mar 2006
In reply to hindu:
Sometimes? I would say hardly ever. Top climbers = people climbing 9a (or v16) on typically hideously overhanging or stamina orientated routes.

Strength is required from the first move to the last to actually stay on the rock.

Gritstone may be different, however...
OP oakapple 10 Mar 2006
Is it true that the taller you are the more flexible you have to be? and is slate the rock type which requires the greatest flexiblity?
 scooott 10 Mar 2006
In reply to oakapple:
I don't think it is possible to generalize like that. But it would make sense to say that being smaller requires more flexibility to reach footholds that are further away with legs and arms.

Depends which way you look at it, there is no definitive answer.
OP oakapple 10 Mar 2006
Taller people get bunched more easily and it is therefore harder to keep their bodies close to the rock without having flexible hips.
 scooott 10 Mar 2006
In reply to oakapple:
Don't think that would make much of a different unless you're sixteen foot tall.
 ebygomm 10 Mar 2006
In reply to oakapple: Getting yourself into different positions is not just about flexibility, also can be to do with range of movement on a joint, e.g. I can't stand with my legs straight and touch my toes which is related to flexibility but i can lock my legs behind my head which is to do with range of movement in the hip joint.
 sutty 10 Mar 2006
In reply to ebygomm:

I checked you profile when you said that as I was sure you were female. correct, I think.
OP oakapple 10 Mar 2006
So would you say that range of joint movement is the more important than muscle flexibilty. Usually the stronger a muscle the more limited the range of movement i.e touching hands over you shoulder most people can only touch one way because their dominant arm's shoulder is stronger and consequently tighter than the other.
Serpico 10 Mar 2006
In reply to oakapple:
From this study:

http://bjsm.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/38/3/355

"Flexibility, as assessed by the sit and reach test, has been reported to be not significantly different between elite climbers, recreational climbers, and non-climber. Range of motion, measured at the hip and shoulder, does not appear to relate to climbing ability."

From personal experience I'd say that having good hip turnout is usefull for getting weight over your feet.
 scooott 10 Mar 2006
In reply to Serpico:
> (In reply to oakapple)
> From this study:
>
> http://bjsm.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/38/3/355
>
> "Flexibility, as assessed by the sit and reach test, has been reported to be not significantly different between elite climbers, recreational climbers, and non-climber. Range of motion, measured at the hip and shoulder, does not appear to relate to climbing ability."
>

I'm correct again. Thanks.

 ebygomm 10 Mar 2006
In reply to sutty:
> (In reply to ebygomm)
>
> I checked you profile when you said that as I was sure you were female. correct, I think.

'tis not just a girl thing, more genetic.

My dad who is 60 next birthday can still put his foot behind his head, my mum can't sit cross legged.
can't log is cause of cooki 10 Mar 2006
In reply to ebygomm:

you're all freaks!

but seriously, women have a different shaped pelvis which gives them a much greater range of motion in the hip than men.

also (normally, but not always!) they have less tight hamstrings.
 ebygomm 10 Mar 2006
In reply to can't log is cause of cooki:
>In reply to ebygomm: you're all freaks!

> i.e touching hands over you shoulder most people can only touch one way because their dominant arm's shoulder is stronger and consequently tighter than the other.



i can't touch either way, not even close, not even if someone else gets my hands and tries to make them touch. Mind you can't even put my arms straight out in front with my palms facing upwards so i guess I am a freak!
 sutty 10 Mar 2006
In reply to ebygomm:

>Mind you can't even put my arms straight out in front with my palms facing upwards so i guess I am a freak!

you would make a useless beggar then.
 ebygomm 10 Mar 2006
In reply to sutty: crossed that off the career plan then!
 Andy S 10 Mar 2006
In reply to oakapple: Remember there's flexibility and there's 'active flexibility'. For example, how far can you lift your foot up by pushing it up with something, and how far can you lift your foot up under your own power? That's the kind of flexibility that really matters.
 ebygomm 10 Mar 2006
In reply to Andy S:
> (how far can you lift your foot up under your own power?

I frequently use my hands to place a foot on a hold I couldn't otherwise reach (much to the amusement of my climbing partners). That's lifting my foot under my own power but i don't think that's quite what you mean!
 Andy S 10 Mar 2006
In reply to ebygomm: indeed

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