Tips to Improve Climbing Footwork
Efficient footwork is one of the key skills to be developed in order to get better at climbing. Fitness is crucial for a climber to avoid injuries. In the course of gaining impressive upper body strength, one often forgets to focus on another part of the body that is equally important while climbing – feet. Good grasp and control over footwork is the secret to successful climbing.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind to improve your climbing footwork:
Wear Shoes that Fit Well
Make sure you have the right pair of shoes that are specially meant for climbing. A good pair of climbing shoes will be well fitting, soft and sensitive enough to give you a feel of the surface with which your feet are in contact while rock climbing. At the same time, your shoes should not be so tight as to hurt you while climbing. Any other shoes, like gym or running shoes, will only make your footwork sloppy.
Place your Foot Properly and Push
While your arms and upper body strength is expended in pulling your body while climbing, your footwork will involve pushing yourself up. Experts advise climbing techniques that involve pushing more than pulling as the latter can exhaust your energy sooner.
Focus on Feet, Not Hands
The strongest muscles in the human body are in the legs and that is why climbing is often easier while focusing on one’s feet. Good footwork will help you gain a good body position while climbing. When perched at a point, try to focus on your footwork and look for the next climbing holds to move upwards.
Take Small Steps
Take smaller steps while rock climbing as they are less energy-consuming. Large steps can be intimidating (especially for novice climbers) and can often lead to loss of confidence and concentration while climbing. When a climber takes higher steps, he will not only exhaust his legs but also his arms and the upper body. This will result in tiring all the parts of the body. Small steps will take up less energy and will help maintain confidence.
Learn How to Switch Feet on Footholds
To have a better climbing experience, learn to switch between feet on footholds simultaneously with handwork. This will help you in improving your flexibility while climbing.
Follow these tips along with recommended safety and precautionary measures to enjoy the adrenaline rush while climbing new routes. Remember to practice your footwork techniques to improve them.