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"Work On Technique"


Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 50
Pavel Burov wrote:

Exactly. Moreover with a developed enough technique more repetitions translate to technique degradation.

Think I should provide an explanation to be less cryptic. When one nails down (BTW, is it a legitimate using of "to nail down"?) a technique skill (e.g., a climbing move) the skill is developed although far from polished. To polish it it is *necessary* to take more or less prolongated hiatus from exercising this particular skill. The thing is when a new skill just got developed it comes in "dirty" form with some "noise". E.g., talking about climbing moves they will be developed with an extra muscular tension in areas that do not participate in moves execution. Just an example — try to execute some good enough newly developed hard move keeping a cheerful smile on your face. Most likely you will immediately realize how much face muscular tension you apply to execute the move that does not require any single mimic muscle.

When one takes a hiatus from exercising a newly developed skill they continue to execute it again and again in theirs imagination. Believe me or not for our neural system there is not that much difference in between imaginary and actual movement execution — we fire the same neural signals using the same neural cells. Obvious enough when executing imaginary moves we execute 'em perfectly. Without any extra muscular tension. Thus we adapt our neural system to like perfect movements patterns.

Visualization is really powerful tool. That powerful so we can easily self-program to either success or total failure depending on how we apply it (e.g., visualizing success one most likely programs themselves to total failure, the same time visualizing process of obstacles crossing via hard focused smart work one most likely programs themselves to reach theirs goals with a great success).

Last but not the least. Talking about sticking to a couple drills I was talking about self discipline and about refraining from looser's "try" attitude. Do not try. Do practice, and do exercise, and do learn, and do climb.

Franck Vee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 40
Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 581

Pavel, yes, "when one nails down" is common usage.

Your English is better than mine, sir. An admittedly low bar to jump....

Best, Helen

Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 50

BTW, there is a nice exercise anybody could apply on daily basis in virtually any environment. It is commonly said "to stand on your toes". Another common saying is "committed foot never slips". Although there are not that much climbers really understanding those concepts. First, most of us have week feet. We protect our feet by wearing comfortable shoes equipped with supportive midsoles. Second, most of us climbers have no idea how should it feel "to stand on toes" and "to commit a foot". The following pretty simple exercise is to strengthen feet and to give an idea how it feels to commit to footholds.

Here it goes. Made an arc of your feet (no need to take off your comfortable shoes) leaving only two point of contact with a floor (or shoe's soles) per foot - a heel and a toe, and unweight your heels, putting as much pressure as possible on your toes (make a bit of creative use of your arms as necessary). In a mere two or three months your feet will become way stronger and you will be able to actually stand on your toes. And - more important! - you will develop that feel of literally standing on your toes. Voila! Now you are really able to stand on your toes and able to realize how much your feet are committed.

You can apply this exercise virtually anywhere dozens times each day.

In another words. Contract your feet muscles (almost) the same way you contract your forearms muscles. Yep, those muscles are week and undeveloped. So develop 'em like you develop your forearms (e.g., via fingerboard hangs). Think of your footwork as "grabbing footholds and pressing 'em" not as "standing on footholds". It will rocket up your climbing.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 195

Yeah, that’s something I’ve been working on personally.  It’s always cool climbing with really strong boulderers, because they get really specific with beta.  I was struggling with a particular problem and a partner suggested that I try actively engaging the foothold, which made a huge difference.  I find it especially hard when making big moves like deadpoints or when on a roof, but the increased stability makes all the difference.

Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 50
Pavel Burov wrote:



Paul Deger · · Colorado · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 35

Not a “drill,” but rather a general approach that has made a significant impact. I used to make it all about the feet, but now make it all about “where does my body want to go if I make a particular move?” I find often that the move that allows the most centered balance and least effort is the best move - vs a move that requires more muscle effort. Climbing has also become more fun, like a moving meditation, deeply tuned into body.

Franck Vee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 40
Paul Deger wrote:

Not a “drill,” but rather a general approach that has made a significant impact. I used to make it all about the feet, but now make it all about “where does my body want to go if I make a particular move?” I find often that the move that allows the most centered balance and least effort is the best move - vs a move that requires more muscle effort. Climbing has also become more fun, like a moving meditation, deeply tuned into body.

I agree with that. Downclimbing brings a lot of that into play as well - since a lot of the time, the "end" of your downclimbing move will also be a position of lower energy. And to be more effective downclimbing, you need to be able to predict what that position would be before your commit...

Drew Rosenfield · · Ventura, CA · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0

Maybe not a technique drill but I thought this was valuable nonetheless.  Vid from Louis Parkinson's Instagram.   https://www.instagram.com/p/BeTgvcdhSeQ/?taken-by=captaincutloose

Basically you pause right before grabbing your next hold and count your fingers. He explains it better in the caption.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 476
kenr wrote:

I've been out skiing 4 of the last 5 days, expect to be doing lots more of it for weeks to come.

My advice remains: Use indoor climbing to work mainly on technique aspects which are well-oriented to indoor climbing, like back-stepping and flagging, etc. Don't waste much time indoors working on footwork drills with the false hope that they will give you a jump-start on outdoor climbing in the spring.

Ken

Indoor footholds are used a bit (or a lot) differently than on rock. However placing your feet precisely during your warm up still carries over to rock. Aim to just cover a small particular spec of chalk for example. I've done that for about 4-10 minutes a session while traversing, got on granite for the first day of the year saturday. Footwork was just a precise as mid season within about half an hour. YMMV. 

Franck Vee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 40
Nick Drake wrote:

Indoor footholds are used a bit (or a lot) differently than on rock. However placing your feet precisely during your warm up still carries over to rock. Aim to just cover a small particular spec of chalk for example. I've done that for about 4-10 minutes a session while traversing, got on granite for the first day of the year saturday. Footwork was just a precise as mid season within about half an hour. YMMV. 

Yeah I wouldn't agree with the initial statement at all, actually.

This is somewhat like saying that there's no point in working on technique if it's on different rock types. Granite climbs very differently from pockety sandstone. While it's true that in the short run, your gains will not directly translate, it does make you a more versatile climber. In the long run there's a lot of value to that. 

Given the OP is relatively new to climbing, I think that counts double. Given that I wouldn't believe, unless he has really good genetics/base fitness, that he would be able to train so hard (without risking injuries/burning out) and so much as to make it critical on what he uses his climbing time. Specially in the off-season.

Everyone should warm-up anyways - so there's like 20-30 minutes right there where you basically shouldn't be climbing hard at all anyways. Why not to put to good use, on top of avoiding injuries?

Greg Koeppen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 0
Rees LaBree · · Centennial, CO · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 185

get super pumped then get on your hardest technical lead

J Squared · · santa barbara, CA · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 0

technique during your warmups is the most important part.

work every move from the top down, instead of the bottom up.   at each hold, hang on the hold and see where your feet need to be to end up at a gravity neutral position.  then work the previous move spending as little energy as possible to end up in that next gravity neutral position.

when your technique is on point.. you should basically be able to fall asleep up v0-v1..  energy expenditure-wise.. as your technique improves... your warmup should transform from "energy spending" to "energy invigorating"

Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 50
J Squared wrote: technique during your warmups is the most important part.
Basically working on technique is a process of central nervous system adaptation. If your body is not warmed up and is not able to execute moves properly all you can do to your technique is to worsen it. Working on technique been not warmed up is a big no-no.


Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 50
Rees LaBree wrote: get super pumped then get on your hardest technical lead

Arguably the easiest way to get injured.


Also worths mentioning that been pumped one is not able to execute hard coordination intensive moves properly. Working on technique been fatigued is a big no-no.
Franck Vee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 40
Pavel Burov wrote:

Arguably the easiest way to get injured.


Also worths mentioning that been pumped one is not able to execute hard coordination intensive moves properly. Working on technique been fatigued is a big no-no.

Yeah but Colorado!

Jon Nelson · · Redmond, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 4,805
Daniel T wrote:

What kind of drills do you guys use to get better at your technique?  I often hear people on various podcasts saying they work on their technique 1-2x times per week but I haven't heard them say anything about the drill they do.  I know I need to lose weight but I would like to get better at my climbing and push my grades this season.  I don't really care about looking dumb in the gym I haven't been able to get outdoors in a few months and I'm feeling really really heavy and out of practice.


This isn't exactly a drill, but more of a technique "warm-up" that another fellow told me about.

For the first few routes I do on a given day at the gym, I do the following for each move. 1) Look up to the next handholds. 2) Look down at my feet as I move them to the next footholds. 3) Move my hands up to the next holds while watching my feet. That is, in reaching for the holds, I am blindly feeling for them with my hands while focusing on keeping my feet steady. Then repeat for the next moves.

I don't have the patience for any other "drills" and prefer to just climb and have fun. The above can be done at nearly the same rate as regular climbing, so it hardly slows me down. On the other hand, it does get my mind thinking more about foot placements.
Rees LaBree · · Centennial, CO · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 185
Pavel Burov wrote:

Arguably the easiest way to get injured.


Also worths mentioning that been pumped one is not able to execute hard coordination intensive moves properly. Working on technique been fatigued is a big no-no.

Alright Mr. Big No-No, my technique struggle is usually at the upper end of sustained climbs, not sure what's wrong with replicating it in a gym setting. If you follow basic injury prevention with proper warm up, stretching and taping injury really shouldn't be a problem.

reboot · · . · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 125
Rees LaBree wrote:

my technique struggle is usually at the upper end of sustained climbs...

Maybe if you had good technique down low, you wouldn't be so pumped up high?

All bantering aside, there's plenty utility in training while pumped, but it's mostly mental and adaptation, not movement techniques. IME, movement techniques are best practiced in the 40-80% fresh zone...
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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