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  • Writer's pictureSportrock

Intermediate Climbing Footwork in 60 Seconds

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

Now that you’ve mastered the basics of climbing footwork, it’s all about remembering to implement them. Careful and precise footwork comes from first thoughtfully mapping out your route and then understanding what each foot is doing for you.

So before you climb, identify which footwork techniques you’ll need to use and why. Not all heel-hooks, for instance, are used for the same things. In the video, I use 2 different heel-hooks during my climb and they both help me accomplish different things.

The first heel-hook simply keeps me on the wall by creating an opposition.

The second heel-hook, however, pulls me up and over to the last hold.

The same goes for foot-swaps. A lot of times, climbers fumble around with foot-swaps on the wall. It’s not that they don’t know how to do them properly, but rather they don’t think about when to use them. In the video, I swap my feet at two crucial moments.

The first foot-swap happens on a smear, so I have to remember to press my heel down into the wall or I will slip.

The second foot-swap happens out of a heel, so as I release the opposition created by the heel-hook, I have to keep tight to the wall to avoid falling.

Keeping these differences in mind before and during the climb can be the key beta you need to send your project. And it all starts with that Beta Dance!

Want more personalized instruction? Sportrock offers a variety of climbing classes and private instruction.


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