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Thursday, 14 July 2011

Footwork - The Very Basics

I dazzle you with that footwork.
Bobby Darin

Think about where you want to put your foot
Put your foot there
Don't move you foot again until you need to


OK, so it's a bit more complicated than that...

Think about where you want to put your foot:

Which foothold do you want to use? Which part of the foothold? Which part of your boot do you want to use? Will a toe be most effective? Or an outside edge? Or a heel? What will be the orientation of you foot? In which direction will you be applying force? Etc...

Put your foot there:

Exactly there where you have been planning, not near there or around there, or there but at a different angle. Put the bit of your boot that you want on the hold on the hold, and put it on the bit of the hold you want it on. Be precise.

Don't move your foot again until you need to:

A sure sign of sloppy footwork is constant little adjustments, if you're foot is in the right place and at the right orientation it shouldn't need to be moved.

Obviously these are ideals to aim for, even climbers with very good footwork will spend a lot of time not using their feet in this perfect manner, after all smears can creep, sequences can be misread, other things can happen. But if you can aspire towards following those three simple guidelines then you'll provide yourself with a sound base on which to build good footwork.

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