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Being in control of your body and making controlled movements is a skill I can't seem to get down. Are there any good ways to practice this or any workouts that can contribute to helping me build up my ability to be more static while climbing?

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    Can you teach me to be more dynamic? I hate dyno's... :O) – user2766 Sep 25 '15 at 7:48
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I'm a very static climber, but back in the day I was one of those climbing cave rats who campused and dyno'd his way through as much of a problem as he could. The key to becoming a more static climber, is to learn more technique and balance. I learned how to be a static climber from bouldering.

You can learn a lot from reading a book, or watching some videos, but the best way to learn is to have a skilled climber teach you footwork and different handholds, and then practice a lot at your local climbing gym.

I learned all my technique from hanging out at the wall and projecting bouldering problems with climbers who were way out of my league. The thing I love most about the climbing community is everyone is always very encouraging and keen to share their knowledge and offer advice. Bouldering is a great way to learn technique and develop strength because you're doing short strenuous climbs that usually revolve around doing one or two very specific moves, as a beginner you almost learn a new move every time you climb a new problem, especially if you're with a group of people all trying to project the same problem, because unlike sport climbing where you're usually by yourself up on the wall, bouldering is a very social sport, with a group of people all hanging out on the ground while one person tries the problem out at a time.

A few exercises you can do on your own to learn more balance and climb more static, is first of all, learn how to crimp, and climb more routes that use lots a tiny crimps and slopey sloper holds. Crimps and slopers are terrible to hang onto, as you can easily pop or slide off just by changing your body position, they also require a lot of finger and core strength, which makes them perfect for learning how to static climb, because you're forced to learn balance in order to make any use out of them. Teeny tiny crimps are one of my favorites because you can't just grab at them like a big jug, you have to get your fingertips on them, settle into a good crimp and then lock off your thumb before shifting your weight. Slopers are another favourite for a couple of reasons, first of all they're next to impossible to injure yourself on-they're very tendon friendly (unlike crimps)-secondly, they give you great abs. Slopers are the holds you notice a lot of people screaming in the gym to hang onto them, that's because you have to tense up your core a lot in order to keep them.

I used to practice crimps and balance by traversing my local wall (which was textured) without using any holds. It took me a very long time before I had fianlly figured out the beta to get all the way across, and there'd be some parts where I'd be flexing every part of my body just so I could cross my left hand one hand width over my right.

Footwork is hugely important when static climbing, one drill you can try to teach yourself better footwork is to consciously move your feet two or three times every time you move a hand once. Footwork is key for good balance. Another way to learn footwork is to climb one-handed. with only one hand on the wall, you naturally are forced to rely a lot more on your feet.

Lastly, another fun drill to try in order to make you climb more statically is to climb blindfolded. You aren't going to be dynoing to anything you can't see, and being blind naturally makes you very cautious, so you slow down and spend more time feeling your balance trying to find holds in places that make sense for how your body is balanced vs. trying to jump up and grab that big tempting jug you can see higher on the wall.

Static climbing is "smarter" climbing, the more you think your way through a climb, the more static you're going to be.

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  • +1, very good answer. Controlled breathing is also important. I found Yoga helped with strength, balance and control and breathing. – user5330 Sep 24 '15 at 22:45
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    @mattnz Does screaming count as controlled breathing? – ShemSeger Sep 24 '15 at 22:47
  • Only if it is voluntary and helps you complete the climb. – user5330 Sep 25 '15 at 0:19
  • +1 for climbing blindfolded. This is more fun with a few friends shouting where the next hold is. Be careful when jumping off the top hold of a problem, I found it really hard to judge the falling distance in that case ;-) – anderas Sep 25 '15 at 8:27
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This is more likely than not, related to two things:

  • Your balance
  • Your core strength

Those two things are related. I can't find the reference but Sonnie Trotter once said:

Climbing is three things: Strong fingers, strong mind, strong core.

I would recommend improving your core strength as this will certainly improve your balance. This will also help to keep your weight closer into the wall (over your feet) and prevent "sagging". Core strength will help with this also.

You asked for exercises as well. Personal opinion: almost any video in this YouTube search will help you out. For me, just raising my legs above my head on a chin-up bar has helped me a lot. Also, simply trying to climb easy climbs without my hands has helped.

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