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5 Fundamentals of Indoor Rock Climbing

Learn the five fundamentals of indoor rock climbing from climbing expert Cliff Simanski in this Howcast video.


Hey, everyone. I'm going to go over five basic fundamentals that you should know for indoor rock climbing.

One of the first fundamentals is just general body awareness and being able to identify your center of gravity. You want to use that to be able to keep your weight in balance, which would be the second fundamental, learning how to balance and shift your weight. And once you've identified that center of gravity, keeping that weight over your feet, so you're going to be pushing with your legs, rather than pulling with your arms, which brings us to the next fundamental, of climbing with straight arms.

Using this position is much more beneficial as far as the efficiency of your movement goes. Right now, with my arms straight, I'm not taking any energy to pull myself in. You can see my left leg is bent here, so as I initiate this movement up, I'll be pushing rather than pulling. That allows for much more efficient motion.

We also have two other basic fundamental techniques, known as edging and flagging. Edging is when you're using your climbing shoes to basically be edging on a hold. So, I can use both the inside edge and the outside edge of my climbing shoes. Both should be applied frequently to change your body position and help you move in balance.

For example, I can use the outside edge of my right foot here to keep my right hip close to the wall, so that as I move up, that center of gravity is going to stay over my let, allowing me to push, rather than pull. I've also grabbed that next hold with a straight arm, rather than with a bent arm, saving me a little bit of energy.

Flagging is a technique that's fundamental, once again, for keeping your balance. Flagging comes in handy when all of the holds are on the same side of your body. Right now, to stay in balance, it'd be a little tricky for me to move without having my body kind of swing around a little bit, which is a big waste of energy. So, with one foot up, with my right hand and my right foot inline, I can flag my left foot to help keep that center of gravity better aligned.

What that would look like while moving, would be either flagging in this direction to keep that center of gravity centered over my foot, or if I switch hands and feet, I can flag in the other direction to highlight the same principle.

All right, so that was five fundamentals for rock climbing indoors.

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