For Rock climb Training in Bangalore contact @9845103369 Himagiri adventures
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
How to youse footholds in rock climbing
One of the biggest obstacles for
beginning climbers to overcome is to learn to use their feet and legs for
pushing their bodies up a rock face, rather than pulling with their hands,
arms, and shoulders. How many times has a beginner heard the mantra "Use your
feet!" from their mentor, but usually that novice climber doesn't know
what that means. Climbing footwork is
subtle, it's not something easily mastered, but with practice in an indoor gym and outside at your local cliff you
can begin to master footwork and push your climbing to a higher level.
Rock Climbing Walls
Mountain Climbing Gear
with Your Legs to Climb Higher
climbers think about pulling themselves up with their arms when they
are confronted with a difficult section. Just the other day I took a couple
newbies climbing at Red Rock Canyon. As we hiked up the trail to the cliffs,
the woman asked me, "Do I have to have a lot of upper body strength to do
well climbing?" The answer was an emphatic "No!" But on the first
route of the day, both climbers grabbed with their hands to pull upward,
dragging their feet along behind as an afterthought.
Your Feet Not Your Hands
The first thing you need to do is
slow down. Take your time climbing. Most beginners get so hand-focused that the
feet are forgotten. Experienced climbers always look down and find footholds
before moving up on their arms. The more of your body's weight that you put on
your legs, the less you have to strain your arms as you climb. Slow down, look around,
Feet before Your Hands
The next time you're climbing, try
to pay attention to your feet. If you have a handhold
that is just out of reach, instead of trying to stand on your toes, try moving
your feet up. Beginning climbers often get stretched out on the rock, almost
lying against the face while trying to grab a high hold. Look for small
footholds like edges and smears that are
only 12 or so inches above your foot. Usually taking that short step will allow
you to reach high to latch the jug.
from a Compact Position
Moving your feet before reaching
with your hands also keeps your body in a compact position rather than being
stretched out. In this compact posture you are able to keep your body weight
centered over your feet and move from a power position.
Your Foot Movements
Now, practice these foot movements at your local cliff or gym. Grab
two handholds with your two hands and
place your feet on edges. Next make two short steps, one with each foot, then
reach to a higher handhold. Once you've mastered those short steps, practice
making two foot movements with each foot before reaching a handhold. You will
notice that stepping on higher footholds, even small holds, allows you to reach
to Use Different Kinds of Footholds
Okay, you're paying attention to
your feet and you're reaching higher to better handholds. Next you need to work
on how you use different footholds. One
of the challenges of footwork as a beginning climber is learning how to stand
on footholds, especially small ones; how to trust your feet on them; and how to
move off the foothold without your foot slipping. Most beginners ignore small
but good footholds, instead favoring big footholds, even if they are too high
or off to the side of the line of ascent.
Come in Lots of Shapes and Sizes
Footholds come in all kinds of
shapes and sizes and you use them in different ways. You smear your foot on
smooth holds, letting the sticky rubber on the bottom of your rock shoes grip the rock surface. Other footholds
are small edges that require decisions like "Should I use the outside
edge, inside edge, or toe of my shoe to stand on that hold?"
The first thing is to find a foothold. As a beginner you need to learn to
recognize a good foothold. Not all good footholds have to be big, they just
have to work. Remember too that you are taking small steps, not big ones, so a
small step is often an intermediate move between better footholds, it only
needs to support you momentarily as you move up. Small steps take less power
and energy than big high steps.
how to Use a Foothold
Next, look at the foothold and
decide how you might use it. Find its largest surface where you can get a
maximum amount of shoe rubber. Look for bumps that could offer foot purchase.
Smears often have ripples or irregularities in the rock surface that can grip.
Also look for black rubber on the foothold from the rock
shoes of previous climbers. Now place your foot on the best part of
the hold and stand up.
3 Basic Foot Positions
Learn the three basic foot positions
on footholds: smearing, edging, and
toeing. Smearing is simply that-smearing
or fractioning the smooth sole of your rock shoe on a smooth foothold. Friction
between shoe and rock keeps you in place. When you edge, the edge or lip of
your rock shoe grips the hold. You will use either the inside edge or the
outside edge of your shoe on the hold. Most of the time you will use the inside
edge. Toeing is when you use the toe of your shoe to stand on a hold or if you
stick the toe into a pocket.
Footwork in a Gym
Learn how to recognize and use
footholds and then practice using the three foot positions. Practice using
small footholds and figure out what works. If you're in a climbing gym, use bighandholds
and do bouldering traverses close to the
ground. Put your feet on small holds, smear them on the gym wall, and use
irregular parts of larger climbing holds for your feet. Experiment to see what
holds work best and how much body weight your feet will support on tiny holds.
Work at becoming comfortable on small footholds. Later you can take your new
foothold awareness skills outside. You'll be surprised at how well you climb
with better footwork.