4 September 2006

Technique drills - breaking down moves

This post looks at how moves fit together on steep rock. Hopefully by breaking moves down into their components I can illuminate the crucial stages of each type of move. Because overhanging rock makes the holds feel poor, we often have to make dynamic moves or twist our trunk to get more reach without having to pull up higher on the holds. Below I've broken down the movements of Catch 22 Sit Start V10 in Glen Nevis, which gives a good example of moving on a flat steep wall.
1. The first move is an RH (right hand) reach. The most important thing to notice is that my trunk is facing left, not straight onto the rock. In fact my hips are almost facing the camera. Why? Well, twisting left means my right shoulder is twisted in towards the rock, closer to the hold I'm reaching for. It also means my centre of gravity is pulled closer to the rock = more weight on my feet. My left leg is pushing - creating the body twist and pushing up into range of the next hold. My right leg is pulling my right hip into the rock and is bent, ready to generate the upward momentum to the next hold.
2. Here I am moving my feet around to get in position to reach with my left hand. It's at this point in moves where many climbers go wrong. It feels natural to pull up and then move your feet. But the best way is often to keep your arms straight, move your feet FIRST until you can see that they are in a good position for the move, then pull up. Pulling up on the holds is likely to increase the force you need to generate at your fingers. If your feet are already in position, you can use them to generate the force. Note also it's OK to make several small foot moves. Big reaches with your feet often increase the force at the fingers where several smaller footsteps avoid this.
3. Here I'm in position to move. If you've never seen one of these moves before it's called an 'Egyptian' or 'drop knee'. The second name is more descriptive - basically you are just dropping a knee to help pull inwards and/or diagonally with on foot. I've dropped my left knee which pulls my left hip towards the rock (giving me reach on my left side) and generates more inward force to replace that provided by my left hand as I take it off and reach for the next hold. Note my left toe is really pointed into the foothold and I'm really pulling hard with it. On steep rock this type of move is essential to know if you want to progress.
4. I've completed the Egyptian move and now need to bring my right foot up. Can you see how my centre of gravity (near hips) is now further in (to the left as we look from this angle) than my hands which are both high, and hence further out? This is creating a tendency for my lower body to swing out (i.e. cut loose). I'm pulling in with my feet and keeping tension through my whole body to avoid my feet slipping. But as I move my right foot I need to be really aggressive with my left toe to prevent it slipping off. Mentally I'm also using this moment to gather composure and focus for the crux dyno which is coming next.
5. Ready to move again. Note legs bent ready to thrust upward, arms almost straight (I think I'd started to move as the photo was taken), focusing in on the next hold.
6. Go! Most of the upward thrust has come from my right leg. My left leg is controlling the rotation of my body and also momentarily pulling my lower body inwards to limit the swing. My left hand is doing almost no pulling upward, only pulling inward. I'm still focused on catching the finishing hold accurately and I'm ready to pull like hell on it as soon as I get my hand on it.

Summary: Lots of twisting going on - this helps give you reach without having to pull up and also brings your centre of gravity closer to the rock which means more weight on your feet. I'm only executing each hand movement after I've moved my feet and body into a good position to support me. Most of the stages of preparing to make a hand movement happen with my arms straight or nearly straight.

1 comment:

Buy Cialis said...

This is perfect! what a technique this man has, the most interesting part he's not using supports or a kind of rope in order don't falling down.