Sometimes, life gets too boring that we just want to try to do new things. It could be as simple as learning how to cook or play an instrument. It could be traveling to another place, either in another country or just somewhere near. It could also be some exciting sports or even more challenging ones.
One of the activities you could try is rock climbing. You could either do it indoors with artificially made climbing walls. If you want more challenge, there are also a lot of spots outdoors that you could try. No matter where you want to first try, you will surely be guided as a beginner. There are techniques that you could try, and here are some:
The problem for beginners is that they tend to focus upwards and what to grab. One of the important aspects of rock climbing is what you will step on. There are techniques for footwork that you could work on:
- Smearing – If you’re facing an ambiguous surface with not much to stand on, you want to expose as much of your foot’s surface area to the rock as possible. Think of it as making the sole of your foot one with the rock. You want your feet to stick like a suction cup (not really, but you get the idea).
- Edging – Sometimes there is an edge to stand on, but it’s very small. In this case, you want to basically wedge the edge of your shoe sole into the edge, as square as possible. This will allow you to maximize your grip to the edge, allowing you to propel forward and upward.
- Hooking – In some instances you can use one of your feet as an additional hand, rather than using it as a base like you normally would with your feet. Make sure you are in a good position to do so, as you are temporarily sacrificing one of your two most stable limbs.
2. Use Your Legs
Since your legs are much stronger, make use of them instead of relying too much on your arms which easily tires.
Gripping the rocks is very essential for this activity. It is not about just for balancing but also for pulling yourself up. Some rocks you will climb on are of different shapes and sizes and tend to get tricky. You should know what to do if you get there. Here are the techniques for your gripping that will help you:
- Crimp – Use your thumb to give your index finger a bit of extra support when it needs it.
- Open Grip – When you have large holds at your disposal, open your hands and wrap your fingers around it as much as possible.
- Pinch – Use your thumb and fingers to pinch the hold like a lobster.
- Pockets – When you have a smaller hold you may need to use less fingers but you still want to make as much contact with the surface as possible.
4. Body Movement
The way you will move your body is also essential. You should not be stiff but also not frantic. Eventually, you will develop your own style and dynamic that you are most comfortable with. In the meantime, you can also learn some of the techniques you can begin with and can use or practice on:
- Sidepull – Sometimes you simply can’t get a good grip to make upward progress. Consider instead making movements to the side.
- Gaston – Another option instead of making upward progress is to make outward progress, potentially making other opportunities for you to grab next.
- Palming and Stemming – When palming, you’re relying on your palm rather than your fingers. It’s usually combined in conjunction with stemming, or basically spreading as discussed earlier.
- Underclings – This happens when you simultaneously push up with your feet and cling with your fingers.
- Dynamic Moves – also called as “dynos.” It is a way of utilizing your body’s momentum to make a movement to a grip that is a bit out of reach.
- Core Strength – Not only is it good for a six pack, core strength helps ensure you are strong from the center.
In climbing, be sure you would have resting points to catch a break. It is also important to relax and do not let fear overcome you. Sometimes, it is what will trouble you and might cause you to fall.