Improving your Footwork when Practicing to Climb

Typically, as climbers try to progress, the skill they will address is footwork. This is because the emphasis is nearly always put on upper body strength. However, did you know that learning to optimally place and weight your feet will minimise strain on your forearms and allow your body to reach the next set of handhold efficiently? Also, because your legs’ muscles are bigger, they tend to have more stamina than your arms, you will be able to climb a lot easier.

 When you to Use this Technique

You can apply this technique on top rope or bouldering close to the ground. This way, you can concentrate on the movement rather than worrying about falling. Practice this 2-3 times every week so it will be easy for you to incorporate the exercise into a 20- or 30-minute warm-up. Keep an eye on your body feels while doing the drills and practice frequently. Any new skills will only become part of your on-the-rock repertoire if they are familiar and natural. To speed this up, try the drills on terrain that increases in difficulty.

Things to Keep in Mind

When performing the drills, make sure you do the following:

  • Wear the right gear. When redefining what you can stand on and move off of, make sure you wear tight-fitting, high-performance shoes. It is time to ditch you mileage gym shoes as they tend to be loose and sloppy to help you get your desired result.

  • Work to make small, frequent foot placements. The majority of routes at a climbing gym montreal encourage big movements between footholds. Although high-stepping is likely to help you send the blue route, it may have less value on real rock. Focus on making small, frequent foot placements when practicing. This will help you keep your body close to the wall and your weight on your feet.
  • Pay attention to your feet and body.  When you start to climb, you may get fixated on hand sequences and just place your feet on the largest holds you can find. Bouldering gyms provide a great place to experiment with how to use various foothold locations that impact body position that in turn, affect  how you use handholds.
  • Concentrate on weighting your foothold correctly. After having your foot in position, focus on wrapping your toes over the hold while weight your foot correctly to maximize friction between the hold and rubber. For this, you will need a huge amount of body awareness and core strength.

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