Adventure Projects is hiring a web engineer to join us in Boulder, CO
Mountain Project Logo

Bouncing on holds


Original Post
Nate Tastic · · Sutter Creek · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 10

Is there a term that describes bouncing on holds? When one makes an adjustment, by bouncing their body slightly, to get better grip or position on a hold? 


Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,435
Nate Tastic wrote:

Is there a term that describes bouncing on holds? When one makes an adjustment, by bouncing their body slightly, to get better grip or position on a hold? 


I usually say something like "I'm readjusting". But maybe we should make up a better term like "wiggle worm".

Greg Koeppen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 0

Gumby hop

ViperScale . · · McMurdo Station, AQ · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 240

Probably not, I have never seen anyone "bouncing on holds". I have seen plenty of people adjust on holds but never by bouncing on it it.

Nate Tastic · · Sutter Creek · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 10

Yeah, bouncing wasn't the best description. And that's just it, I don't know how to describe it.

For example (start at 30:20)



Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 735

I like the "gumby hop". :)

When I was first cautioned against needless bouncing, the person who told me called it "pumping the hold", not sure why. I think bouncing is a better description than that. I use the term "unnecessary adjustment" when I tell people to avoid it. Coupled with a hands-on demonstration it gets the message across. 

Nate Tastic · · Sutter Creek · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 10
Lena chita wrote:

I like the "gumby hop". :)

When I was first cautioned against needless bouncing, the person who told me called it "pumping the hold", not sure why. I think bouncing is a better description than that. I use the term "unnecessary adjustment" when I tell people to avoid it. Coupled with a hands-on demonstration it gets the message across. 

Why should it be avoided? 

I mean, it seemed like it was using up energy and could possibly do more "harm" (pull you off the hold) than good but, maybe it meant getting a better grip? I like watching climbers who are smooth and agile, ones who are able to make moves with precision etc. and seeing this made me wonder if there was a purpose or technique I wasn't aware of. I realize context is important and maybe gumby hopping is dependent on the route and the holds etc. but, either way, it got me thinking about it and wondering what it was called.

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 743
Nate Tastic wrote:

Why should it be avoided? 

I mean, it seemed like it was using up energy and could possibly do more "harm" (pull you off the hold) than good but, maybe it meant getting a better grip? I like watching climbers who are smooth and agile, ones who are able to make moves with precision etc. and seeing this made me wonder if there was a purpose or technique I wasn't aware of. I realize context is important and maybe gumby hopping is dependent on the route and the holds etc. but, either way, it got me thinking about it and wondering what it was called.

Ah. In the clip, on some hand holds, he shifts a finger farther. But, pulling up slightly every time? I have to wonder if it isn't a habit.

I try to make the hand and foot holds correct the first time. Kinda 101. But, I also rock back and forth before a semi dyno move, or a biggish (for me) stretch. I think it somehow acts as "practice" before I actually let go and shoot for it.

The problem, again maybe just me, is it is also a way to dither before moving. 

Best, Helen

David Kerkeslager · · New Paltz, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 124

I'm guessing that you're talking about when you aren't confident in a handhold, and you bounce a little weight off it briefly to try to move your hand on the hold to get a better grip?

I think there's two situations where people do this:

  1. If you've already got a good enough grip on the hold to do what you need to do to move forward, then bouncing is a bad idea--it wastes energy and can cause you to lose your grip rather than improve it.
  2. If you missed the hold slightly and can't grip the hold well enough to move forward, then bouncing is the right move. Obviously it would have been better to hit the hold perfectly in the first place, but the mistake is missing the hold, not bouncing--bouncing is how you fix the mistake. As holds become small and hard to hit accurately, you'll see even very strong climbers miss the hold slightly and have to bounce to fix it (see the video below where Adam Ondra does it at 10:40 and Chris Sharma does it at 15:55, both while sending La Dura Dura).

Which situation you're in is a difficult question to answer in the moment, though--lack of confidence can make you think you're in the second situation when you're actually in the first.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1P97VVt6_k

ViperScale . · · McMurdo Station, AQ · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 240

He is just adjusting his grip. Since he is kinda throwing to the hold he isn't hitting it exactly where he wants to be to make the next move. However he can't let go without falling so he is just pulling up on the other hand like when he first threw to the hold so he can let go without falling and adjust the way he is gripping it to make the next throw easier.

Gerrit Verbeek · · Anchorage, AK · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

Kitty wiggles? Gotta set your paws before you pounce!


https://tenor.com/view/cat-wiggle-pounce-cats-wave-gif-5631434

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 735
Nate Tastic wrote:

Why should it be avoided? 

I mean, it seemed like it was using up energy and could possibly do more "harm" (pull you off the hold) than good but, maybe it meant getting a better grip? I like watching climbers who are smooth and agile, ones who are able to make moves with precision etc. and seeing this made me wonder if there was a purpose or technique I wasn't aware of. I realize context is important and maybe gumby hopping is dependent on the route and the holds etc. but, either way, it got me thinking about it and wondering what it was called.

I don't think it should be avoided always as a blanket rule. That's why I specified UNNECESSARY bouncing. If you watch new climbers, usually guys who have an excess of strength, but not much of a technique, they throw wildly for every hold (they are all jugs, because we are talking about easy routes that new climbers would be likely to climb, so you can definitely throw for them) and then adjust the hand grip half a dozen times, because they didn't grab the hold the right way. If someone is doing this bouncing on every hold, and I have definitely seen this, then it is a giant waste of energy. Your forearms are working every time you make that bounce move, so if you bounce a few times on every hold, you are essentially climbing a much longer route, and getting pumped for no good reason.

There is a specific exercise that teaches people not to bounce unnecessarily. It is called "glue hands"-- you look at the hold before you make a move, decide how you are going to hold it, and once you place your hand, that's it, no adjustment, even if it wasn't the best way to hold it, you just make do and make the next move from that position.

But if you are generally precise in your hand positioning, when there is no need to bounce, and on some specific moves you make a blind deadpoint and then readjust your hand position, nothing's wrong with that. There are also situations where you reach for a marginal small hold and then kinda "massage" that hold to get the best skin contact, maybe close the crimp that you initially got as an open grip, or something... but it is very different than bouncing, it is a much more precise adjustment.

Greg Koeppen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 0

Gymby Hop, because every gumby you see in the gym is readjusting on every hold they touch especially the obvious feet.  Their hand just hops around on a hold trying to make that jug feel bigger.


Another exercise in addition to glue hands are perfect repeats.  This is where you would climb the same boulder at least 5 times attempting to refine the beta down to the best possible sequence. This should be a boulder that took you more a fair number of goes to complete.  It will really help with precision and route reading. Kris Hampton on the Power Company podcast mentions it quite a bit.

(also this is a terrible description of the exercise)

· · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 0

I think we all do a little bouncing when we are desperate, hands sweat or our fingers get weaker.  It is worse to bounce on footholds it does absolutely nothing. It should be the opposite 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply to "Bouncing on holds"
in the General Climbing

Log In to Reply