For the uninitiated it can look like climbing is all about upper body strength and pulling yourself up a wall by brute strength alone.
This video by Adidas-sponsored climber Shauna Coxsey tells it a bit differently. Using your legs is critical when it comes to climbing efficiently. Coxsey is clearly good at it, and that’s one of the reasons that she is successful in competitions. Without having the upper body of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime.
Four key elements to successfully using your lower body when climbing are;
- Quiet Feet: Exact placement of your feet on holds reduces wasting energy. Getting your feet onto holds silently demonstrates that you’re not flailing around and wasting effort.
- Smearing: Using the wall without needed a hold. Friction from your shoe shoould provide enough grip for you to move to the next hodl without rely on your arm strength.
- Heel Hooks: These enable you to pull-up with your legs instead of having to always push up.
- Toe Hooks: Good for keeping balance on less steep sections and taking weight without expending much energy.