Fun fact: some of the largest muscles in your entire body surround the hip, which means your hips can produce quite a bit of power and force! You use your hips a lot to go up and down steps, to walk, to run, and to jump. In climbing, hip strength and stability help you step up onto really high footholds. Your hips also allow you to generate power for a jump motion, say for a dynamic move. They’re also incredibly important for helping to keep your trunk or pelvis closer to the wall when you're climbing on steep terrain on overhanging routes.
One of the things we hear from those in our Introduction to Technique classes is how much people dread small footholds. You know the ones--the little, teensy, weensy specks on the wall that you tap, tap, tap with your foot in an effort to will your toes to trust them. We've all been there and that's why we're going to look at how you (yes you!) can learn how to trust your feet on even the most microscopic footholds.
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When I think back on one of the proudest moments of my climbing career, I almost immediately remember one of my worst experiences climbing. Both occurred at Indian Creek, Utah.
Above photo: Approaching the crux on Cannibals, 5.12d at Donner Summit. This isn’t going to be another train harder, work out more, get stronger fingers-type article—because, while these articles are important and valuable, they’ve already been written. Instead, this is what I do mentally when I want to climb harder. Let’s face it, we all want to get better. It’s why we love climbing. There’s always a challenge, whether you’re looking to climb your first 5.10 or 5.13. In my 14+ years of climbing, these are my time-tested tips on how to push your climbing level to the next grade.
If you've ever felt like a fear of falling is holding you back from climbing through hard cruxes of routes or problems, you're not alone! Fear of falling is something that all climbers, even those with years of experience, manage regularly. It can be one of the most scary parts of climbing. However, falling is a part of climbing and learning how to take practice falls is a skill that should be practiced.
The best climbers I know aren't just climbers on the wall. They are climbers as a lifestyle. I'm not talking about the dirtbag climber lifestyle, and I don't mean these people train all the time. I mean that they practice the principles of effective climbing in their daily lives, and view their daily lives as practice for climbing.
When one thinks of areas of your body to strengthen and stabilize, many focus on shoulders, hips, etc, but strong ankles are an incredibly important foundation for many of the movements we make with our bodies. Lack of strength or stability in the ankles can lead to instability or overcompensation in the knees or hips, which can lead to bad running technique and climbing technique. Think about it, weak ankles make standing on small holds difficult, which makes controlling your body position harder to control. So let’s strengthen those ankles! We’ve got three warmups and three exercises that help improve ankle strength and ensure that your ankles are strong and stable for activity and use down the road.
The key to a good life is to have balance and what better way to test your skills than walking along a suspended length of flat webbing tensioned between two anchors, also known as slacklining? If you’ve never heard of slacklining or would just like a few extra tips, we’re here to help!
Foam rolling is a type of myofascial release. Fascia are the connective tissue surrounding your muscles and over time, fascia can become unhealthy due to overuse or injury. The goal of foam rolling is to try to release tension in your muscles and fascia. Foam rolling stretches and loosens the muscles and connective tissue in the area being rolled, releasing tightness and tension that has built up from use or stress.
I could open this blog with a faux-inspirational intro about building a better tomorrow for yourself. Or about how no one is holding you back from being the best person you can be, except the doubts in your own mind. But I know you, mysterious reader. You’re too busy designing your plan of attack to smash your climbing and fitness goals into smithereens—you’ve got no time to tolerate platitudes and pontificating. So, without further ado, check this beta for maximizing your workouts in order to crush your climbing goals.