The Most Down Played Technical Skill in Climbing

The Most Down Played Technical Skill in Climbing

You can improve with a few exercises a week, endorsed by everyone from Alex Honnold to Dave MacLeod to Hooper’s Beta.

From beginners to pros the one tip that can have a massive impact on your climbing ability makes your footwork better.

The Secret: Enhance your footwork through hip mobility

Mobility is crucial for keeping your hips close to the wall and moving your feet efficiently.

While finger strength develops over time, hip mobility needs regular maintenance to prevent stiffness.

High stepping reduces the workload on your arms, saving them for the moves that require upper body strength.

Here are three steps to improve mobility:

Part 1 - Stretching

What this looks like in the gym is getting your feet higher while keeping hips close to the wall.

A few helpful stretches include child's pose or frogger stretch. It can help to have a daily reminder to stretch so it becomes a hardwired habit.

Part 2 - Active Range of Motion

Once you have the freedom of movement, you want to learn to use your muscles to move your limbs.

When working on high steps, try to engage the muscles to get there. Additionally, if you use your arms to lift your leg, you can try to hold the leg up and slowly lower it.

This teaches your body to hold the muscles through the full range of angles.

Part 3 - Strength Training

Once you have the flexbility and some active motion, take the skills to the wall.

An easy exercise is to pick a vertical wall and skip footholds! This forces you to step further and find the body positions that work for you.

Find the Balance

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.
"Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony."  — Thomas Merton

Remember, climbing requires a balance of footwork and arm strength.

Free the hips and see what happens. But also pair this with other exercises and climbing, from finger strength to pull-up exercises.

For more tips on programming your workouts, check out 5 Things to Include in Your Weekly Climbing Routine.

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