/ How to improve rock climbing technique?

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Alex Newton - on 03 May 2013
I climb about 3 times a week, normally inside but as its getting warmer Im making the transition to outside
I weigh 68kg (10 3/4 stone roughly) and am near 6ft tall.

I have plateaued at about 5a grade, and Im pretty sure this is down to my technique not being brilliant.

Any advice on where to look or how to improve my technique would be greatly appreciated.

Al Evans on 03 May 2013
In reply to Alex Newton: Just go rock climbing a lot on real rock, regard indoors as strength training.
Jon Stewart - on 03 May 2013
In reply to Alex Newton:

Go bouldering.
RockSteady on 03 May 2013
In reply to Alex Newton:

Improving technique is a lot about practising technique. How often do you actually think about how you are climbing, rather than just trying to get to the top?
You acquire more techniques by climbing more, but you learn and perfect techniques by practising them repeatedly. Practice good technique every time you climb as part of your warm up on climbs that are easy for you.

How to learn good technique? I can recommend a few resources that will help you, that I wish I'd come across when I first started climbing.

(1) The Self-coached Climber - for me this is still the gold standard on how to learn good climbing techniques;
(2) Neil Gresham's Masterclass DVD Vol 1: illustrates the use of many of the techniques described in the SCC;
(3) 9 out of 10 climbers make the same mistakes by Dave McLeod: words of wisdom from a master climber that overlay the above more specific tools.
ripper - on 03 May 2013
In reply to Alex Newton: Might be worth trying one of the BMC Movement Masterclass sessions - they're aimed at people climbing in the the 5-6b range and, as they sound, are all about technique and movement. details will be on thebmc.co.uk somewhere.
Kemics - on 03 May 2013
In reply to Alex Newton:

Neil Gresham had a dvd called 'master class' which will give you some really good pointers. Yes a large volume of climbing will help wire things in. But there's a massive advantage to arming yourself with the right knowledge before hand of what you're supposed to be doing. .. climb on the shoulders of giants ;)
Dino Dave - on 03 May 2013
In reply to Alex Newton: At my wall anyway, the routes graded up to 5a are all a bit ladder like. You can always have your hand on jugs above your head and your just working your feet and hands up. The routes above 5a tend to require you to get your feet a little higher onto holds that might throw your balance a bit whilst holding holds that might not be that high/positive.

My tip would just be to try getting your foot on a hold that's as high as you can (within reason - maybe around knee height, wherever the higher foot hold is for you to move up on. If their's a choice, just pick the most comfortable high one if that makes sense). Position your knee directly above that foot so your lower leg is facing straight up the wall, and then using your hands on whatever holds you can find to balance yourself as you stand up on that foot. Once your stood up on that foot, get your hands on whatever holds you can find, then move your other foot up to a high hold and then repeat. Keeping your weight on your feet is important for progression, my opinion anyway. The routes graded above 5a require more balance based moves so expect to feel off balance at first, practice and experience will sort that out. Anyway, give that a try and see how you get on!
dunnyg - on 03 May 2013
In reply to Alex Newton: Watch how better climbers climb, and copy them. Look round the net for climbing technique videos. Think when you climb. If you climb something, try climbing it again in more control or a different way
barbeg on 03 May 2013
In reply to RockSteady:

Dave McLeod's book...potentially one of the best books ever on improving your climbing...unfortunately one of the worst books in history for absolutely abysmal editing...
James90 - on 03 May 2013
In reply to Alex Newton:

When you say that your stuck at 5a are you talking indoor or outdoor tech grades?
Because responces will be very different for the two.
Kafoozalem - on 03 May 2013
Thrudge on 03 May 2013
In reply to Alex Newton:
If you see a woman who is obviously climbing well, pay close attention. Women tend to move better than men, relying on technique rather than power. (I know, huge oversimplification).

I'm now going to cheat outrageously by citing Lynn Hill as an example. How's this for beautiful movement:

Steve27 - on 04 May 2013
obi-wan nick b - on 05 May 2013
In reply to ripper: plus 1

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