Give Rock Climbing a Try


Footwork can be tricky for the beginner, so here are a few pointers and tips on how to make the most from your sessions on the rock.

First of all, your biggest muscles in your foot are the ones comprising your big toe. That is why your foot is so cramped in those tight little shoes. The shoe puts your big toe up front, making it the weight bearer for your body. All of your weight is centered on that little one square inch (more or less) of space. This is the typical climbing area, for all sorts.

However, not all footwork is done with the inside edge or point. The next time you are straddling two holds and you feel like your body is being contorted into a shape designed to split you in half, turn your back foot around, so that the OUTSIDE edge of your shoe is now on the hold. This will cause your knee to dip down, giving you more breathing space.

If you are traversing a short distance, left to right, you would turn your left foot in, edge with the outside, and bend at the knee.

This is also helpful if you’re stemming and can’t quite do the splits enough to grab both walls with your feet. Practice first in a safe environment like the wall or a relatively easy bouldering problem.

Don’t forget to stretch before AND after each climb!!

See ya on the crags…

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