62

It's a matter of practice, but also a matter of feel: When stepping with the front of your foot you have a smaller contact area, so the pressure is higher than using the whole foot. This increases sensitivity to the rock underneath (extremely important with smaller holds), strengthens the muscles you will need for them, and also sort of gives you more ...


36

Apart from the reasons already stated, namely getting used to doing it that way as it will help you on smaller footholds, there's also maneuverability: If you step with the entire foot, it is really hard to turn your foot if you e.g. need to reposition yourself to reach the next hold. You often see beginners especially in gyms doing the "frog move", where ...


32

I am not sure about the being able to feel more, but the most important reason I don't use socks is to avoid the rock boot sliding on my foot. If you are on a marginal grip using just the edge of your sole, you don't want the boot to move at all. This is also one of the reasons that rock boots for more experienced climbers are much more rigid than those ...


20

Basically, "spotting" someone means making sure that they safely land on the pad with their feet first to prevent injuries in case of a fall. This means several distinct tasks: Moving a falling climber to the pad: try to guide them towards the pad, ideally by pushing at the hips or shoulders. Don't try to catch them (which includes not standing directly ...


18

I've been bouldering outdoors for a couple years now and let me ask you this question in return: Why wear socks in your climbing shoes? What is the possible benefit to wearing socks? Try it. Your shoes will still stink, I guarantee. Your feet run the risk of slipping around in your climbing shoes. And if you buy tight, aggressive shoes, the fit will go all ...


18

Good footwork is the foundation to good climbing. Most climbers think their footwork is better than it actually is, and could be better climbers simply by improving their footwork. Here are some drills and tips to improve it: Quiet feet: By far the best drill you can do is called quiet feet. It involves climbing while focusing your attention on your feet....


17

The best ways I found to improve foot work are the following: Climb routes which are less than vertical (slabs are great) I know this sounds obvious, but seriously, just climb slabs and low angle for a few weeks (or months). Focus on your feet, don't use your hands if possible. Practice stepping up only, don't pull on holds Play a game with your partner ...


17

Yes, shoe size plays a role which is quite important. But for beginners I would suggest to think more about foot technique than caring about the best possible gear. For climbing shoe sizes I give the following simple hints: choose the shoes as small as possible choose shoes which aren't causing ache of the foot/toes/nail/heel climbing rubber shoes will ...


17

The job of a spotter is to prevent the climber from landing on their head and (if possible) ensure they land on their feet and on the crashpad. This may involve moving the crashpad (which should coincide with the climber having a secure hold or position. The job of a spotter is not to "catch" the climber! That's something they're simply not going to be able ...


16

I climb barefoot and in vibram five-fingers (KSO's), climbed in them for the first time in 2008 and loved them, where they excel is in roofs and overhanging problems because you can hook holds a lot easier with your toes, but for tougher wall climbing with small features (5.11+) I still use climbing shoes. There are some gyms that allow climbing barefoot, ...


16

Before the climb As @ShemSeger suggests, most of the work is to be done before the climb itself. You need to stay warm belaying your partner and waiting to climb yourself - if your hands and feet are cold beforehand, it will be hard to warm them up when they are in contact with cold stone. What you can do is: Keep your core warm by wearing warm clothes - ...


16

Answer: What should I do before climbing to increase the amount of time I can climb before my forearms start hurting? There are plenty of opinions on what to do before climbing, stretching is old school, warming up is new school, easier climbing with a slow progression towards your "problem" for the day is cool too. Nothing but climbing, and often, is ...


15

I am not a very good climber as such, and I am 5'7" only. I think I am dwarf enough to put in my experiences here: As you rightly said, being short can be very frustrating when you don't get to access a specific hold. There are a few techniques that might help a short climber do amazingly well. Realize that you may not be able to do exactly the same ...


15

This is not a complete list per se. If bouldering outdoors, particularly with an overhang, wear a helmet. This isn't to protect you from a fall, it's to protect your head for if rocks get knocked down onto you. When spotting, maintain an athletic stance. If you just stand normally, you won't be able to absorb impact from a fall as well. "Spoons, not ...


15

Avoiding Pump: Warm up, warm up, warm up. To avoid serious arm pump you need to do at least 15 minutes of EASY climbing. That's 15 minutes of you doing what you feel is exceptionally easy, even if that means doing traverses back and forth across the wall, or climbing up and down a step ladder. You want to activate your muscles and get the blood flowing so ...


14

Before embarking on specifics, a word of advice: learn to love plateaus. When beginning climbing, we make drastic improvements seemingly every time we go out. As we improve, gains become more and more difficult. There will still be jumps in ability, but they will become more and more sporadic. Learn to love climbing for the movement and adventure, for the ...


13

Because you want to increase your chances of contracting nail fungus or athlete's foot from your rental shoes :) In other words, it's probably better to keep the socks on if you're renting shoes.


13

Whilst walking about, clench your fist, then stretch your hand open again. repeat this 30 times (or whatever you want) and relax. Bit by bit, maybe one or two a day, increase the reps. Vary for speed and power. You can do this whilst walking around.


13

The best single tip I got when I started bouldering (especially overhangs) is If you are reaching for the next hold with your right hand, keep most of the weight on your right foot. If you are reaching with your left hand, keep most of the weight on your left foot. This is to prevent barn-dooring. In fact, taking the other foot off a hold will often counter-...


13

Have you ever done any weight training? This kind of "delayed onset muscle soreness" is very common for people beginning a weight training program. This wikipedia page attempts to explain the mechanism. For weight training, the general advice is to not stop lifting, but to reduce the weight and intensity. If you google "delay onset muscle soreness" you'...


13

Climbing next to a road is, in general, not a pleasant experience. Any roadside rock face is artificially shaped by the excavation that created it. The rock can be more likely to crumble under you as you climb than naturally exposed rock, and it is likely to be dirty from dust kicked up by passing traffic. You may think that dirt is a silly complaint, but it ...


12

As a girl 167cm tall (5'7") I'm on a shorter side of climbers spectra. I believe that while sometimes not being able to reach a hold can mean a no-go on a route, there is plenty of situations where being short gives you the edge: Shorter body means shorter levers. This comes handy in steep overhangs and in any other situation that requires a lot of body ...


12

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 ...


11

With due respect to Ben Crowell, who is I believe a far more experienced outdoorsman than I am, I beg to differ with his answer. (Edit: his answer prior to revision.) Having worked at a very small climbing wall I have seen tough ropes completely worn out by top-rope climbing alone, therefore at least in the extreme "Ropes don't become weak from top-roping ...


11

Here are some features to keep in mind when buying climbing shoes once you're past the beginner phase: Downturned: Most beginner shoes are pretty flat, which are fine for mainly vertical walls. However, as you climb harder stuff on overhanging walls, it's helpful to have downturned shoes for maintaining a hook-like foot shape. This allows you to hook your ...


11

I believe it is mostly a matter of taste. Many people claim that going barefoot inside the climbing shoes allows you to feel a bit more of the surface than with socks. Granted, you can't feel much through the thick rubber of the shoes to begin with, but I can see how that would be true. Others counter claim that socks make your shoes less stinky after a ...


11

Fall More. If you're not falling a lot, then you're not pushing yourself enough, ergo you won't see much improvement. Grasping a basic understanding of proper climbing technique is what enables most new climbers to quickly advance in their climbing abilities, but once you have that understanding of climbing principles, then your limitations are mostly ...


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