EN­GAGE THE THUMBS

Climbing - - CLIMB A GRADE HARDER -

Thumbs are a ma­jor player in help­ing us stay cen­tered. We do this two ways: by clos­ing a crimp and by squeez­ing.

Imag­ine hit­ting a crimp, con­trol­ling it, then look­ing up to see the next hold look­ing miles away. With an open- handed grip, you can only lock off at your chest. But with the thumb curled over the in­dex fin­ger, you can pull it down to your waist— plus, clos­ing the grip al­lows for more in­ward tug, which equals bet­ter butt man­age­ment. Just do so ju­di­ciously— crimp­ing all the time is hard on your fin­gers; with prac­tice, you can learn when to turn it on and when not to.

You can like­wise squeeze a hold to con­trol the cen­ter— to man­age your hips and butt and keep them from fall­ing out. ( Note: Your thumb won’t work well when you’re pumped, so aim to en­gage it con­sciously.)

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