Rock Climbing For Beginners Part 2 – Footwork And Foot Placement

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November 1, 2019 / Comments Off on Rock Climbing For Beginners Part 2 – Footwork And Foot Placement


Footwork is one of the most important subjects in any sport as well as rock climbing for beginners.  I could still remember taking boxing lessons and could barely land a punch in a sparring session.  My instructor noticed something wrong with my footwork.  How would I know landing a punch with my hands would have to do something with my feet.  I thought it was crazy at the time but it totally made sense later on.  I guess my point is, though rock climbing and boxing are vastly different fields, the same concept of proper footwork to gain physical advantage still applies.

Rock Climbing For Beginners Part 2 – Footwork And Foot Placement

Rock climbing for beginners can be daunting. There are skills, techniques, and even mindsets that you need to learn if you're serious about improving as a rock climber. One of those important skills is footwork. You can't take this for granted since poor footwork will hinder you from executing more technical moves.  You can't just rely on your climbing grip every time you make a mistake with your footwork.  It's easier to carry your body weight with your legs than with your arms.  Failure with your foot placement can be frustrating so let's take a look at a few tips and drills to improve in this area as a rock climber.

1. Foot Switching Exercise

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To do this exercise, place your feet toe on top of the other toe.  Bend your knees then hop and slide your lower foot out while transitioning the upper foot onto the hold.  This helps strengthen your toes especially when stepping on small footholds.

2. Pivoting

In a pivoting, wiggle your heel while pressing through your quads to gain more pressure.  Another pivoting exercise is to shift your hips left and right while maintaining constant pressure through your feet.

3. Transitioning Pressure

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The pressure shifts from one foot to the other as you take your non-dominant foot off the wall.  Shift your hips downward as you make the motion.  This will help you change where your weight is and commit to the move.

4. Quiet Feet

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Start climbing freely but concentrate on quietly placing your feet on each hold.  This is for you to be more aware of your foot placement and achieve a solid footwork.

5. Drill Repetition

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Just like what everybody says, “Practice makes perfect.”  Repetition will turn this skill from a liability into a strength.  Perform these exercises over and over again to improve and develop your footwork in rock climbing. This is the goal right here. Climbing without a harness will put your footwork to the test, but only do this when you're really confident about your footwork.

Watch this video and know the importance of rock climbing footwork by rockclimbfu.

To be good in rock climbing you have to be strong and skilled.  Your body also needs to be flexible as you move from one hold to another using your hands or your feet.  Most of the time the secret is mastering the fundamentals and I can assure you that everything will come naturally.  Great athletes start from mastering the basics not just in rock climbing but in all forms of sports.

Click here for tips on what to look for when buying a rock climbing harness.