Climbing Goals – Over 2.5 Goals and The Proper Gripping Techniques
Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced climber, there are many ways to improve your scores on the super-tough OCR (off-the-course) bouldering problems. The most important thing is that you should have a solid set of good footholds, at least a few easy footholds for every difficult problem.
The first step in improving your score on a particular type of climbing problem is to learn the basics of the climb. The idea is to develop some coordination and rhythm while you’re up there, so that when you’re climbing the big holds you’ll be able to shift smoothly from one foothold to another.
Some people will think of this as having some coordination and rhythm while climbing without the aid of a training program, but the problem with that is that it may come back to haunt you. While all boulderers need to have a solid hand-eye coordination, when it comes to the problem of whether or not to be running from an awkward hold, if you are experiencing a sudden fear of falling, you need to keep working on those footholds until you feel comfortable enough to climb.
For me, I found that by concentrating on other aspects of my climbing besides gripping holds, I was able to overcome the fear of falling much quicker than I ever had before. It seems to me that a climber is much better off learning to deal with a fall on a difficult problem, rather than trying to find footholds or un-grab holds that are not there.
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When you are finally sitting up on a problem, you may find that you can’t move out of one way of gripping the hold, so make sure you know the right way to grab the hold. Often times the right way is to reach out with both hands, grasp the hold with both thumbs, but don’t just put pressure on the hold with one hand. Be sure to turn your wrist and pull the hood away from you by rotating your wrist and then pulling. Once you’ve pulled the hood away from you, you need to know how to use your shoulders. Keep your elbows in close to your body and push your knees out. If you try to do the move by putting pressure on the hold, you might find that you’re getting up there too fast and hurt yourself or you’re over-excited and too loose.
If you fail to move quickly enough to get up onto the problem, try standing up and sliding a little further up and down. This is a very basic move, but if you watch TV or work out at the gym, you probably already do it and will be able to take advantage of it with your next move.
Using a dead hold is a bit more involved, but it can give you confidence in using this technique with all types of holds. Using a chalk line to drag your foot along the wall can also give you a great workout, though it doesn’t help you much when you need to be moving up and down off the wall.
If you’re serious about increasing your scores on the sport, there are a number of resources available, such as websites and online help books, and I highly recommend using a hangboard or fingerboard workout that includes both fundamental and advanced holds used in advanced problems. Once you get a hang board or fingerboard, you can try several exercises, but try and stick with the basics first.
If you find that you’re constantly struggling to get up off the ground on difficult holds, it’s time to find a way to improve your balance and coordination. There are many training programs available online, or in books that focus on these two important areas.
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The key thing is to remember that being patient is key. If you spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not you’ll be able to fix something, you’ll end up not practicing the things that you need to practice the most.
So don’t make climbing your priority, but instead make it your life’s goal. If you start working on your climbing in the right way, you’ll be surprised at what you’re capable of doing and be able to handle easily!