Why make climbing harder than it has to be?
You might be feeling like you’re not strong enough or lacking stability in your climbs. Everyone hits plateaus in climbing and its difficult to figure out what you can do to move past it.
But here is the thing: correct footwork placement will be far more beneficial to your climbing than you can possibly imagine.
Correct footwork placement is key in the foundation for any good climber and this is because each strong foot placement makes the next move easier.
This is why footwork is so crucial.
The 5 Key footplacements Technqiues For All Climbers
So let’s get to the nitty-gritty of the techniques.
The Basic Frontstep
The frontstep is a stable and easy footwork.
You simply point your foot parallel to the wall and place it down with the big toe directly on the hold, resulting in a stable stance.
With this stable position, you can rest or push upwards to the next hold.
The further you step away with the technique the harder it will be to get any leverage when pushing upwards.
You can also use this technique with others below for better results.
The instep makes use of the inner side of your shoe.
If this technique is used with both feet it can result in a “frog-leg” like movement.
To put this placement into practice you just lean away from the wall to identify your hold and put down your foot down big toe first and slowly apply pressure. Then pull into the wall while shifting you outer hip towards the wall and put your weight on the newly found hold transferring weight off your arms.
This technique is useful when using high stepping which I will discuss in later posts.
Okay, so this one might not be a foot placement.
But its super vital nonetheless.
The drop knee is sometimes called the backstep and is one of the best weapons in your war for efficient climbing.
There are tons of reasons you want to add the drop knee to your kit of techniques, It gives you balance, stability along with extra reach not to mention it helps you keep tension on the wall.
To put this technique into practice all you need to do is lower your knee towards the ground while simultaneously raising your hip against the wall.
This is great for walls with steep angles due to its efficiently its saves tons of energy.
Smearing makes use of the underside of your shoe, Its all about trying to generate as much friction as possible to try and create any extra thrust to propel your body up the wall. you’re going to require a lot of trust in your shoes, as one small slip can sometimes lead to time spent away from the wall.
To use this great placement you just need to stick your foot on any bit of the wall and start putting pressure until it sticks.
Since this technique requires you to put a lot of faith in your shoes you need to make sure you have the right pair for the job.
Shoes with flat soles are the best for smearing due to the more rubber on the wall, this leads to a better grip and more sticking power!
The Mighty Heel Hook
The heel hook is one of the most advantageous techniques when trying to send a steep climb, It allows you to use your powerful legs in a pulling motion instead of pushing.
This helps you keep tension and relieve pressure from other areas which in turn makes your climbs easier.
Heel hooks have multiple knock-on effects when used correctly.
Your hooks will take the weight off your arms allowing you actually grip those impossible holds.
Not to mention pulling you in the direction you want to be heading in: UP!
So you wondering how you put this move into practice and its simple.
You just put your heel around a hold or feature and use those legs to pull you up the wall!
The best shoes for hooking are ones with a large amount of rubber on the heel for friction, or preferably a dedicated heel cup.
This one might take a lot of practice to get perfect but its fun to do and will help push you onto the next grade.