Advanced Rock-Climbing Moves to Try

Advanced Rock-Climbing Moves to Try

If you are a climbing wall instructor or physical educator with climbing as part of your program, you know firsthand that some people are natural climbers. They instinctively put their bodies in the optimal positions to get across or up the climbing wall, while others need direct instruction. In order to help climbers progress, it’s good to know what to look for so that you can help your climbers improve over time. In the early stages, climbers should work to master the following basic climbing technique.

Children climbing on a Traverse Wall by Everlast Climbing

Basic Climbing Technique:

Body position

  • Climb with legs first/lead with legs
  • Hips close to wall
  • Climb facing the wall or sideways
  • Knees slightly bent
  • Maintain 3 points of contact

Arms & Hands

  • Maintain balance
  • Lightly grip hand holds

Legs & Feet

  • Hold the weight
  • Use inside or outside edge of foot

Over time, climbers will become more comfortable on the wall. They will start to anticipate their next move and will develop more fluid and controlled movements. Their upper bodies will also be more relaxed. At this point, they’re ready to employ more advanced climbing moves with their arms, hands, legs and feet. Some climbers will start doing these naturally, while others need to have them directly taught. Here are some advanced climbing moves to try!

Advanced Climbing Moves:

Cross Over: Bring one arm across the other when reaching for or grasping a new hand hold.

 boy rock climbing with his arms crossing

Undercling: Grip a hold on its underside, with the palm of the hand facing up.

 girl climbing using an undercling to grasp a hand hold from the underside

Match: Put both hands (or feet) on the same hold, usually so that you can switch which hand (or foot) is on the hold in order to reach another more easily.

boy rock climbing with hands on the same hand hold

Smear: Use the friction of the shoe sole to “stick” the foot to the climbing wall surface instead of using a foot hold.

 foot smearing on a climbing wall



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