Effective and Efficient Movement – Pt 2

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In the previous installment, I discussed three of six important elements to effective and efficient climbing. Here’s what I said last time, it’s worth repeating here:

Effective and efficient, that’s your goal. Effectiveness yields results without regard for the effort necessary; it’s simply defined as success. Efficiency is not concerned with success but rather the ease with which each particular movement can be performed. Both are necessary. Effectiveness without efficiency means wasted effort as you muscle your way through sequences; you can never climb to your potential without being efficient. Efficiency without effectiveness yields failure; for example, the easiest way to complete a sequence might put you in a poor position for the next set of moves.

4. Dynamic movement

Dynamic movement is often the easiest way to reach your next hold.

Number four on my list is moving using momentum. New climbers can erroneously come to see slow, static movement as desirable. It looks graceful and controlled, but it’s not always the easiest way to get from hold A to hold B. Sometimes properly applied momentum can carry you over a difficult move with much less effort than locking off one hold while you slowly reach for the next.

Learn to use momentum by first moving both hands simultaneously from one hold to another on a vertical wall. Use large holds and feel how moving your hips can affect the feel and effectiveness of the momentum. As you get better extend the throw then try moving a single hand instead of both better known in climbing circles as a deadpoint.

5. Specialized technique

At some point you’ll need to incorporate specific types of movement skills into your repertoire. Let’s discuss what’s probably the most utilized of these special techniques: the heel hook.

On steep walls a well placed heel can act like a third hand; it can pull you into the wall or simply hold the lower part of your body steady as you move your hands. Begin learning to use your heels

Your heel can act like a third hand to pull or hold position.

by hanging from your hands on large holds on a steep wall, Now swing a foot up to waist level or higher and place the heel on a hold off to the side. Play with the stability this offers – move from side to side. Now try pulling with the heel. Does the heel hook provide you any help in reaching higher?

6. Wall time and practice

The simplest of all recommendations is that you put in the time climbing. You simply cannot progress without adequate practice. Climbing is very much about feel – the feel you have when your balance is less stable, the feel you get from throwing your hips into a dynamic move or placing your heel. Spend the time climbing and developing a feel for your body in space, and the movement will begin to flow like honey.

Good climbing!

One Response to “Effective and Efficient Movement – Pt 2”

  1. LugiaNo Gravatar says:

    Heel hooks rock, favorite move ever.

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