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The Importance Of Footwork In Rock Climbing

Oct 31, 2007
You need to adopt proper climbing techniques to climb well. Footwork is one of the most important techniques involved in rock climbing. If you know this technique well, you have practically won half the battle. So, focus on small improvements associated with your footwork. These small improvements make a large difference in facing the technical difficulties while rock climbing.

Basic Exercises to improve your Footwork: Since climbing is a complex process, you need to be aware of your footwork and ensure that you do adjust your footwork as per the route. Various aspects are involved while you are climbing like your energy level, your ability to climb on a specific type of rock, and your mood. So to reduce the effect of other factors it is recommended to learn few exercises to maintain a direct relationship between your footwork and climbing. These exercises can be easily explored from various books or you can also learn them from the fellow climbers.

You can refer to books written on different techniques associated with rock climbing. You can begin with a basic exercise. All you need to do is face a wall and stand feet, shoulder width apart. Now place your palms on the wall and pick up either foot as if to place them on an imaginary, higher foot hold. Pick up your foot with confidence, and ensure that you shift your hips so that your weight is on the foot before relieving the foot you intend to move. This is a very simple exercise.

Climbing movement: Any climbing movement involves three points of contact with the climbing surface. Usually while climbing you make use of two feet and one hand or it is the reverse two hands and one foot. You need to concentrate on your footwork. Your legs should carry maximum weight and allow you to move freely. Along with your footwork, concentrate on the movements of your hands and arms as they control the direction of movement. Toeing is a part of footwork, where you need to use the toe of your shoe to push and pull on footholds. This movement is mandatory for good footwork. You can use the outside edge of a shoe when you need to balance on a small foothold.

Select a climbing surface that suits your ability. While you are climbing be careful about your foot movements. When you move your foot from one foothold to another ensure that you place your foot in a stationary position. Jockey around and balance yourself by putting most of the weight on the stationary foot. Don't be in a hurry and see to it that you don't put much weight on your hands. If you want to climb with ease you need to follow a simple step. First shift you hips and then lift your foot, this way you don't need to move your weight around once the foot is "flagging". Avoid making noise, by wearing soft shoes. Good footwork is all about proper balance, applying more weight on the feet and minimizing the force on the hands.
About the Author
Rock Climbing Wall inventor and holder of several patents Extreme Engineering has an amazing catalog of ready and custom made Climbing Walls. Click here to view our catalog http://www.extremeengineering.com/contact_request.html .
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