Alex John­son’s Top 6 Tips for Body-Aware Climb­ing

Climbing - - FACES -

DO: Down­climb. It’s great for tech­nique— move pre­cisely, fo­cus on foot­work— plus mus­cle mem­ory, en­durance, and weight- shift­ing. When down­climb­ing, you’re not go­ing to take a hand off that’s hold­ing your weight; you’re go­ing to shift your weight off it first and then move it.

DO: On­sight. I make my kids try to on­sight ev­ery new climb in the gym. If they fail, they move on. We call it “Flash or Trash.” On­sight­ing is cru­cial to be­ing a com­pet­i­tive climber and to learn­ing in­tu­itive move­ment.

DO: Re­peat sends in the gym, both easy and dif­fi­cult alike, try­ing dif­fer­ent se­quences and re­fin­ing tech­nique to be­come as ef­fi­cient as pos­si­ble.

DON’T: Al­ways keep your hips close to the wall. It leads to re­ly­ing on mus­cle more than mo­men­tum. Start a move by hang­ing out from the wall and then piv­ot­ing on your toes and us­ing mo­men­tum to turn your hips in. Flags and drop­knees are great, too.

DON’T: Heel- hook on the back of your heel. It throws off your bal­ance. In­stead, your foot should be at a 45- de­gree an­gle, with the con­tact point more on the out­side of your heel, foot tilt­ing out.

DON’T: Climb vert or slab in down­turned shoes. On this an­gle, only a small por­tion of down­turned shoes lands on a hold, so you’re hav­ing to edge ( vs. smear) ev­ery­thing. Try flat- lasted in­stead.

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