Being strong helps however with good techniques you can get much more up on the wall. Learning and adopting proper climbing technique is one of the most important aspects to climbing strong.
Good technique will allow you to use your muscles and skeleton efficiently while reducing injury. Techniques involve precise placements of hands and feet on hands and weight shifting to achieve maximum stability and balance. Regulation of breathing takes up important role during the climb to slow down fatigue level.
Although techniques and strength goes hand in hand, good mind control will improve technique, strength and endurance tremendously. Good mind control involves warm up, relaxing, visualizing of route, staying calm and breathing.
Warming up allows your body to feel more confident and in control during the climb
Think nothing other than climbing by closing your eyes, breathing deeply and visualize to climb confidently.
Visualizing the route will reduce any unnecessary moves which can be energy wasting. Knowing where the rest points and gear placements are can be useful to ensure every of your move executed is efficient.
Staying calm will keep troubles away. A pair of fresh arm just before the route will allow the mind to focus on the route and thus reducing the trouble surfacing in you.
Deep, continuous breathing is vital keep oxygenated blood flow into your fatigue muscles and keeps your mind centered on the climb. Mind is a powerful tool that allows your body to travel up the walls that seem difficult.
In most climbing situations three points of contact with the climbing surface have to be maintained. It can be either two feet and one hand, or two hands and one foot.
Remember your footwork. The legs should carry the majority of your weight and move you around. Your hands and arms will act as guides to control the direction of movement. Pushing your center of gravity into position to make your next move is the main job for the legs and feet.
o Toeing is the using the toe of your shoe to push and pull on foot holds which is essential for good footwork.
o Edging is using the outside edge of your shoe to balance on a small foothold.
o Heel-hooking is another technique to position the back of the heel on the hold so as to free the hands. Heel Hooks is often used when climbing through roofs by taking a lot of weight of the arms and reach higher with the hands.
o Jamming is effective for relaxing the gripping muscle in the arm by using different sets of muscles to execute the jam. Jamming the whole arm in cracks will be a good illustration.
o Toe cams in a pocket under a roof are used to take weight off the arms to the legs and can provide stability.
Getting it wrong on the first attempt is normal. Practice makes perfect.
Below are different kinds of whole body moves commonly adopted during rock climbing:
o Layback involves moves where your feet and hands use opposing forces. An example will be climbing a crack at a corner.
o Flagging is about countering the weight using your legs and feet in a layback.
o Stimming is also known as bridging by straddling the gap by placing a foot on each wall. This technique is extremely strenuous on your legs and hips especially there is no foothold to step on and it the friction between the shoes and surface that’s doing the work.
o Mantle is the technique to climb over a ledge or even a hold from below. The trick is not to fall backwards. Mantelling is usually performed on large features but in extreme cases, it can also be used on tiny surfaces.
o Dynos is an explosive move that catapults the climber to another hold above using the stress created by your legs and your body momentum.
o Lock-off is to hold your arm fixed in a static position while supporting your body’s weight. It can be strenuous to lock off in a bent position especially on small foot holds and steep wall.
o Drop knee is to position the knee by bringing the hip closer to the wall for greater reach.
o Smearing is placing the bottom of your foot flat against the surface of the rock when no good foothold is available
Ability to recognize rest spots and using them effectively can contribute to efficient climb. Maximize rest by freeing the one or both of the arms can regain the strength of the arms. Shaking out the arms and flexing your fingers will restore blood to the fatigue areas
Notes: Visualize climbing route and remember the rest spots. As you practice more, the eyes will be trained to look out these rest spots which you might have missed it before!
Creative footwork and handwork can devise rest spots in many different places.Rests can be achieved by stemming, heel hooks toe cams, and jamming.
Straight arms will relax the elbows and shoulders during hanging. The bones and ligaments will do the job of holding the body weight while the legs can push or pull you into position. Strength can be conserved for tougher moves ahead.
Remember not all rest works are for everyone. We should hone and learn resting skills according to the body. The more we climb the better we become.