1:1 Climbing Coaching.

Pero met me at The Castle Climbing Centre for two hours of 1:1 coaching yesterday afternoon. I really enjoy 1:1 work, tailoring it to the client by looking for key improvement areas and finding ways to help the client feel and understand the changes that need to be made.

Here’s what Pero had to say a few weeks after our first session a few months ago:

“Things sort of clicked finally this week! Suddenly I seemed to find a lot more footholds and have a lot more finger strength.”

In our first session we had focussed on building an awareness of the body’s centre, keeping the centre supported by the feet, twisting sideways into the wall and building finger strength. I left Pero with a few techniques and training exercises to focus on for an eight-week period before we met again.

In our second session we focussed on traversing, applying the principles of placing the feet under the body’s centre and twisting the body to help with sideways movement. We also worked on climbing steep, overhanging routes, adding the principle of straight, relaxed arms to twisting sideways. This helps to minimise the arms’ effort whilst keeping the hips close to the wall with more weight on the feet, thus using the more powerful legs to generate upwards motion and using the body’s natural sideways tension to lock into stable positions throughout the climb. Twisting the left hip into the wall when reaching up or out with the left hand, vice-versa with the right hip and right hand, is a good rule of thumb to follow.

Leaning off a straight left arm (hidden), twisting the right hip into the rock and reaching up with the right hand.

Leaning off a straight left arm (hidden), twisting the right hip into the rock and reaching up with the right hand. Note the school-boy error of the rope behind the leg - I was confident I wasn't going to fall off but it's a bad habit that can flip you upside down if you do get some air time.

Twisting sideways aside, there are lots of hard moves out there which require a more front-on approach with more power from the shoulder and a bent arm. After years of relying on twisting sideways with straight arms, I’m learning that it’s also really helpful to keep on using and refining a front-on, bent-arm technique. This will develop a well-rounded climbing style that can adapt to the changing demands of the rock and keep your shoulders strong, well-balanced and injury free.

Luca showing good front-on, bent-arm technique with a helpful heel-hook.

Luca showing good front-on, bent-arm technique with a helpful heel-hook.

Posted: July 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Indoor Climbing | No Comments »

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