You asked, we answered: More energy saving climbing technique tips
Climbers regularly ask us for advice on how to climb better and harder. Of course, there are a jillion ways to answer that question--endurance training, training board exercises, etc. For the sake of this article, we're focusing on small shifts in your climbing technique that will help you save big energy while climbing.
The idea is that the more energy you save, the more you'll have to sail to the top of a route you used to get super pumped on.
Here are three ways to save energy so that you can climb more efficiently.
1. Plan your rests
Sequencing is a critical skill for climbers, but one that often gets overlooked when climbers look for ways to climb harder.
Finding potential rests on a route is an important part of sequencing. Is there a good hold before a crux section? Are there decent feet on a low-angle wall? Knee bar?? These are all places you can take advantage of during your climb.
And planning these rests on the ground before you start the climb (versus while you’re struggling on the route) is a great way to actually utilize them and save some energy.
2. Adjust your body position
Your center of gravity is the point where your upper and lower body weight is balanced and there’s little risk of you tipping over. For example, your midsection is considered your center of gravity when standing upright. It's the point at which your upper and lower body weight is balanced.
When you’re on a route, where is your center of gravity? You may need to maneuver to get more weight over your feet, which could mean pulling your hips towards the wall, bending your legs, or even twisting sideways.
Second, get in line with your handholds. Every climbing hold has a direction where it's easiest to pull. If you can get your body in line with that direction you can use the hold better with less effort. (Learn how grabbing climbing holds correctly can save you energy).
Breathing in oxygen gives us energy while climbing, so don't stop that intake while exerting yourself. Breathing also has an effect on climbers mentally. When we get fatigued or scared, our body responds by tightening up (t-rex arms and overgripping) and our breath becomes fast and shallow. If you consciously take deep, full breaths your body will relax and your focus will return.
For more tips on climbing more efficiently, head to your gym's website. From the menu, click on the climbing tab and select classes to find our Intro to Technique classes.