What should climbers avoid?
6 mistakes you make climbing
© Photo by Christoph Deinet on Unsplash
No master fell from heaven & Adam Ondra also worked incredibly hard until he was able to flash 9a +. Here are a few tips on what mistakes to avoid along the way.
Climbing is fun, but it can also be incredibly frustrating and if you want to get better, you just have to stick with it and work on yourself. You can't do this sport for a few hours every now and then, because to become a good climber you need motivation, passion and a lot of dedication. In addition, you have to avoid a few mistakes that make life difficult and slow you down.
Warm muscles and an activated mind are essential to stay injury-free on the rock or in the hall and to be able to push your limits. Your body and your psyche are much more efficient when they are at "operating temperature", so don't forget to warm up properly. The aim is to prepare the joints, the muscles to adjust to the loads and to be alert, quick to react, to be decisive, quick to understand and to have strong nerves on a psychological level.
Intense strain is poison for cold and unprepared muscles and it can lead to the phenomenon of "cold pumping". The muscles of the forearms in particular then cramp and often take several hours to recover. If you want to eliminate this and many other performance-impairing factors, treat yourself to an extensive warm-up phase that brings your whole body to operating temperature and prepares you for a successful climbing session.
2. You are not visualizing your route!
You often see climbing professionals staring into the wall and climbing the route in your head - you should learn that too and then do it! The magic word is "ideomotor" training, which triggers the so-called "carpenter effect". This phenomenon says that observation and imagined movements lead to the fact that these are carried out in the form of micromotor movements and that links arise in the head without actually executing the movement - these links can then be used later in the wall.
Many top athletes can therefore not only rely on their physical fitness, but also on their mental strength and a sophisticated visualization of movement sequences and are thus able to solve extremely complex movements. Climbing legend Wolfgang Güllich once said "the head is the strongest muscle in climbing" and you should keep this in mind.
3. You put weight on your arms instead of using your legs!
When you think about it, it's very clear that you should use the stronger legs that will carry you through life rather than exhausting your arms on the first few hits. Nevertheless, in the heat of the moment, you often forget this simple technical tip and attack the handles with full aggressiveness.
It's very simple: find solid kicks, place your feet precisely and use the strength of your legs to keep moving towards the top. “Climbing on the long arm” means to have stretched your arms as often as possible and thus save strength - beginners often make the mistake of holding the grips with strongly bent arms and so get close to exhaustion so quickly. In the best case scenario, the hands are only there to ensure balance and stability. Also, you should only hold the handles as tightly as necessary - that comes with experience, so spend as much time on the rock as possible.
Hanging on the wall for a long time drains your power reserves, but that doesn't mean subordinating speed to technology and form. Place value on clean movements and the development of good climbing technique, because the more complex the problems and routes, the more you can rely on your technique.
Beginners in particular should always see the optimal path as their goal and not just keep an eye on the top. It's not about ticking off the boulders somehow and creating one route after the other, but about learning the basics of solid climbing technique and being able to use them in challenging situations. In addition, you reduce your risk of injury through increased control.
5. You are not observing enough!
As already noted in point 2, it is important to be able to imagine moves and it is always helpful to see better climbing partners doing their solutions.
A typical scene from the climbing hall: A fully trained, highly motivated mid-twenties hopelessly struggles to conquer a boulder and only shortly afterwards does a woman with a graceful physique seemingly effortlessly climb the crux. Climbers are often more dependent on pushing their technical capabilities and using them effectively, since in direct comparison to men they have significantly less maximum strength (except for Shauna Coxsey, of course) for strenuous sections of the route. Nevertheless, they manage to be successful with a clear focus on the technique and the preparation of a route (keyword "ideomotor training"). Find some good and experienced climbing partners, observe the people around you and always be attentive when You watch others climb. Recognizing subtleties and applying them yourself are a big factor in climbing.
6. You vary and try too little!
Making the same moves over and over again, rewinding the same sequences of movements and devoting yourself to the same routes will eventually lead you to a plateau that you will never leave.
Be creative, playful and full of curiosity, then you will quickly make progress and overcome performance barriers. For example, try to set yourself tasks such as omitting one arm, only climbing on the long arm or only climbing boulders with a certain topic: long or very short moves, small ledges, blind, always with a screwdriver - be creative! If you are having too little fun and being too dogged, you are more likely to step backwards. Try to be light, but still be focused and purposeful. One does not exclude the other, you just have to repeat this principle to yourself over and over again.
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