Tips to Improve Climbing Footwork

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.




Member Clinics September 2010

FREE Members Only Clinics! Check out the upcoming schedule for September 2010!



FREE Member Clinic Location, Date and Time Description
Tuesday, September 7, 2010, 7pm-8pm

Core Strength for Climbers

It’s true that the arm bone is connected to the shoulder bone, but how is the shoulder bone connected to the hip bone?  Through the core!  We’ll discuss how core strength requirements for rock climbers differ from those of other athletes, and learn exercises that will improve your ability to move through steep rock.
Monday, September 20, 2010, 6:30pm-8:30pm

Following Sport Routes and Retrieving Your Gear

A tutorial in preparation for climbing outside this fall.  Learn to recognize common outdoor anchor setups and the best methods for safely removing your gear and getting yourself back to the ground in one piece.  We’ll also demonstrate some of the dangerous mistakes that you should avoid at all costs!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 7pm-9pm

Strength Training for Climbers

Students will learn different training exercises to incorporate into their individual training regiment. Demonstrations will include one arm wall lunges, bouldering circuits, hyper gravity training and many others. These exercises will help to increase strength, power & endurance.
Every Wednesday in September at 7pm & 8pm

Yoga for Climbers*

In partnership with Charm City Yoga! Two 45 minute sessions will be offered each scheduled evening starting at 7:00pm and 8:00pm.  Space is limited so be sure to call the gym ahead of time or arrive early to reserve your spot. BYOM: Bring-Your-Own-Mat. 


FREE Member Clinic Location, Date and Time Description
Wednesday, September 8, 2010, 8pm-9pm

Climbing a Fixed Line

It’s a crisp fall day, the rock is really biting. Your partner just pulled the roof on Son of Easy O and now it’s your turn. Before you hit the roof, you blow the cruxy slab section and can’t get back on the wall. You don’t want to be lowered but you can’t remember how to climb a fixed line. Now’s your chance to learn how!
Wednesday, September 22, 2010, 8pm-9pm

Overhang Climbing Techniques

Have you ever said to yourself “I wish I was strong enough to climb that overhanging wall in Timonium?” Well guess what, you are strong enough. After taking the Earth Treks free members clinic on Overhanging Technique and Tom-foolery, you be pulling overhangs like a cheap dentist pulls teeth.
Every Tuesday in September at 7pm & 8pm

Yoga for Climbers*

In partnership with Charm City Yoga! Two 45 minute sessions will be offered each scheduled evening starting at 7:00pm and 8:00pm.  Space is limited so be sure to call the gym ahead of time or arrive early to reserve your spot. BYOM: Bring-Your-Own-Mat.


FREE Member Clinic Location, Date and Time Description
Tuesday, September 7, 2010, 8pm-9pm

Slack Lining

Slacklining is a balance sport that uses webbing stretched tight between two anchor points. Great summer activity to do on off days or on a climbing trip. Slacklining improves balance while increasing leg and core strength.
Monday, September 20, 2010, 8pm-9pm

System Board Training

Have you had trouble sticking one of the many crux moves in the bouldering cave or feel too pumped to hold on to a crimp three-quarters of the way up the wall? System Board to the rescue! Learn how to safely and effectively train on a System Board and start stepping up your game.
Every Wednesday in September at 7pm and 8pm

Yoga for Climbers*

In partnership with Thrive Yoga! Two 45 minute sessions will be offered each scheduled evening starting at 7:00pm and 8:00pm.  Space is limited so be sure to call the gym ahead of time or arrive early to reserve your spot. BYOM: Bring-Your-Own-Mat. 

Clinics are FREE to annual members. Clinics marked with an asterisk ( * ) have a limited number of spaces available and pre-registration is recommended (required for some clinics). Call the gym to pre-register.

Earth Treks Members: Get 20% Off Your Tickets to the Nor’easter Festival!

ubc_noreaster_poster.jpgThe UBC Pro Tour opened with a bang this spring at the Earth Treks Roc Comp where 1,000 screaming fans watched Alex Puccio and Chris Sharma dominate the field. Last month, the tour continued at the Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City, UT where  Alex Puccio claimed her second win on the tour and Daniel Woods took home 1st for the Men’s Pro division. On September 24th & 25th, the UBC Pro Tour concludes at the Nor’easter Festival in Lincoln, NH with two days of climbing, music & cyclocross action!

As a thank you to Earth Treks for being a host venue on the UBC tour, Earth Treks members are eligible for 20% off weekend passes to the Nor’easter! This includes full event access including the Nor’easter Main Stage which features two days of music and will be headlined by The Gaslight Anthem. All you have to do is go to and enter the code: “getawesome” at check-out for 20% off your weekend pass to the Nor’easter. Full line up, event schedule and more information is available at , and if you want to compete in the UBC Pro Tour finale, registration is live at .



10 Reasons to Try Rock Climbing

10 Reasons to Try Rock Climbing

What is rock climbing?

Rock climbing refers to the act of climbing up any steep terrain such as a mountain, hill, or even an artificial wall. Whether as a sport or as a form of recreation, rock climbing has become extremely popular & comes in many types, each having its own nuanced style and methods.

How does it help your body mind?

Despite being a risky sport which demands physical strength and endurance, it poses a different kind of challenge, excitement, and adrenaline rush. As you climb to new heights (quite literally), the mesmerizing scenery and wilderness will help relax your mind & reduce the stress of an increasingly desk/sofa bound age.

10 reasons why you should try rock climbing:

  1. Rock climbing can help you burn anywhere from 500 to 900 calories per hour & It’s a full-body workout.
  2. There is something incredibly satisfying every time you climb & make your way to the top. It is sure to release those endorphins
  3. It’s incredibly social & Rock climbers generally work in partnerships – with one person belaying or controlling the rope.
  4. Other climbers will often offer advice or encouragement & Friendships are forged which can last a lifetime – It’s an amazing exercise in trust.
  5. You can pretty much rock climb all year round. There are indoor climbing centres available everywhere.
  6. It is also an inexpensive way into the world of adventure sports. Hiring equipment is cheap & before you know it, you are hooked, and most walls offer an entry package for your first starter kit – rock shoes, harness, and belay device.
  7. Rock Climbing can help develop a lot of important skills such as leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, exercise, courage, and conviction.
  8. It is never boring. There are so many routes on the walls, with a constant variety of challenges that every visit is unique.
  9. It is perfect for the explorer in you. Being a rock climber will take you to new places that are worth exploring. It will feed your craving for adventure.
  10. With enough time and practice, anyone can excel at it. You don’t necessarily need to be young, old, tall or short to be a great rock climber.

Climbing gyms help you in rock climbing

Rock Climbing is a fairly dangerous sport. Even if you think you have ensured your safety, it is still wise to learn the essentials from qualified and experienced climbers. A climbing gym will help you sort out the basics so you can move on to more challenging climbs.

Find the correct climbing gym

Your training schedule is up to you. You can progress as hard and fast as you want. Joining a gym, however, will ensure that you regularly take time out for the activity and stay in the shape you need to be for being a top notch rock climber.

How to Improve at Indoor Rock Climbing

How to Improve at Indoor Rock Climbing


What is indoor rock climbing? 


Indoor climbing is a fun and safe sport for all ages that provides a controlled, supervised environment where beginners & professional rock climbers can exercise. There are over 3,000 climbing facilities worldwide & several climbing gyms offer classes to get you started. There is usually trained staff available that can teach the necessary safety techniques, and climbing gear is available for rent or purchase.


How is indoor climbing different from outdoor climbing? 


Indoor climbing is quite different from outdoor climbing. There aren’t always bolts available as belay points like there are indoors & hence, less safe cams or nuts, or even manual assistance is required. The bolts may be insecure & the stand isn’t as stable & you need to belay dynamically. Also, in outdoor climbing, the bigger falls because of fewer pre-established belay points.


Ways to improve on indoor climbing 


Try to down climb as much of the route as possible in the climbing gym rather than simply lowering off as usual. This demands intense concentration on footwork & knowing that you have to down climb the route, will make you more observant and focused on the way up. When the rock gets steep and the moves hard, there’s no more important strategy than to increase the pace of your ascent. Climbing quickly is primarily a function of skill, not strength or power (we’re not talking about lunging wildly up a route); in fact, the less strength and endurance you possess, the more important this skill becomes.

In the context of a two-hour gym session, squeezing in a greater volume of climbing with only brief rests, is better than doing just a few “performance” climbs with extensive rest. Longer rests and performance climbing may make you look better, but the greater volume of practice will make you climb better! Research has shown that beyond the initial successful trials of a skill, practice should be performed with variable conditions and levels of fatigue.


Try indoor climbing gyms 


A good climb is basically therapy disguised as a sport. It forces the climber to realize their true abilities versus their perceived abilities, increasing confidence. Your arms will become stronger the more you climb & you will develop nice toned shoulders, as this muscle group is used to keep you stable on the wall. Because it’s a low-impact cardio exercise, your breathing and heart rate will improve as well. It’s not hard to find a good indoor climbing facility or an indoor climbing gym in Virginia or DC. It’s a great place to start for a lifetime of health benefits!