Indoor coaching at West 1.

West 1 is an ideal venue for indoor sessions with a wide variety of top-roping, lead climbing and bouldering to work with. The wall often has a quiet and spacious feel – making communication and concentration that bit easier – and there are some excellent ‘RockFit’ training facilities to help focus on specific moves and techniques.

I met Dagmar there for a two hour session focussing on footwork, straight arms and dynamic movement. The ‘RockFit’ section quickly helped Dagmar to some great improvement in the timing and coordination needed for big, dynamic and springy moves on a steep overhang.

The top-roping and leading wall at West 1.

The top-roping and leading wall at West 1.

Posted: August 11th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Indoor Climbing | No Comments »

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 »

Introduction to indoor climbing course.

After such a good weekend in North Wales, Jodie brought some friends along for an indoor climbing course. We ran it over two 3 hour sessions that took place at The Reach in South Woolwich. The Reach is a brilliant new wall with lots of roped climbs and plenty of height to get that way off the ground feeling.

“Just thought I’d let you know that Jae, Tran and I had our first unsupervised climbing session at the Reach last night and, as usual, we were the last to leave! We had a lot of fun trying out the techniques you taught us and we all got to the top of a vertical wall this time, hurrah!” – Jodie

Top-roping at The Reach.

Top-roping at The Reach.

Posted: June 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Indoor Climbing | No Comments »
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