Rock Climbing Tips — Beginners and experts alike can use these tips to improve their climbing as well as impress the onlookers.
If these tips don’t improve your climbing as much as a least a letter grade, you can send me an angry email.
1. Picture yourself on a ladder when you climb, move from one hold to the next as relaxed as if you were ascending the rungs or steps of a ladder.
2. Avoid over gripping holds with your hands. You will quickly tire your arms out.
3. Use your feet like you would your hands.
4. Trust your feet. You can stand on your legs all day. You don’t hang with your arms all day. Too often people hang on their arms and then fall off, sailing right past a monster ledge they could have had their feet on.
5. Trust your belayer, and focus on climbing. If you are worried your belayer doesn’t have you, find a new belayer you can trust.
6. Concentrate on what is within reach. Sometimes you can use an intermediate hold (a smaller hold between secure holds) to get to a better hold.
7. Climb from the bottom up, not top down. Of course, if you can see the top of the route, look to see if there is a pattern working from the goal down to where you are, but when you start to climb, focus on the climbing at the bottom of the route as you climb up.
8. Climb in an X shape with your hips being the middle of the X. Hang with your arm straight. Your skeleton can take much more of a load than your muscles can. If the heel of your foot is hanging too far down you may notice your leg start to shake like a “sewing machine”. This is very common occurrence, simply apply more weight to your toes so your calf muscle spasm can stop.
9. Fear of heights is normal. Climbing is all about conquering those fears. Time will cure the fear of heights. A good trick is to look down no further than your feet to correctly place them on the best part of the hold.
10. Take your time. Climb like a cat does—quiet, deliberate, and precise. Picture the move, and then execute it. Use all of your limbs, not just two. The lower the angle of the climb, the more time you have, so use it. Make each move as fluid as possible.
• Beginner’s Guide to Rock Climbing
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