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sidereus7


Sep 13, 2011, 12:53 PM
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Techniques for Short People
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First off, I just want to say that I completely understand that every body type has its advantages and disadvantages, and I truly enjoy watching the creative and awesome ways that varied people climb.

That being said, I am 5' 2", 98 lbs, and super flexible. I am just starting to transition TR from 5.9 to 5.10a's and I'm having some trouble with my height. Sometimes on routes, there is nothing but blank wall and I am 6" or more out of reach of the next hold.

Can anyone share some helpful techniques for us shorties to reach holds that seem just out of reach?

Thanks! =)


gblauer
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Sep 13, 2011, 1:08 PM
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try harder

Seriously, start working on technique rather than the grades. The more you learn to move your body (at the lower grades) the easier it will be for you to figure out how to make a longer move. For example: what about a drop knee?

Bottom line: As a beginner, I would not chase the grades. I would dial it back, get a copy of the self coached climber and start drillin'


jomagam


Sep 13, 2011, 1:17 PM
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This is not really answering your question, but some problems are just not for everyone, especially in the gym where you're less likely to be able to use intermediate holds. I've seen a 5'0" climber who boulders 8 V grades harder than I have more trouble with a boulder problem than me, who's 6'0".


sidereus7


Sep 13, 2011, 1:20 PM
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In reply to:
try harder

I appreciate the response, and I definitely take your message to heart. I've been working very slowly through the grades, trying not to rush at all as my male friends power past me.

However, I sincerely mean that I am standing on the topmost hold with both feet on their tippy toes, and my arms are fully extended upward and the tips of my fingers are still about 6 inches out of reach. (I have a particular route in mind here.)

I was just curious if there's some ninja way to get up there. Once again, I appreciate the sentiment, but I do have a particular issue in mind here.


jomagam


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And to state the obvious: dynamic movement will help you reach farther.


damienclimber


Sep 13, 2011, 1:47 PM
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sidereus7 wrote:
First off, I just want to say that I completely understand that every body type has its advantages and disadvantages, and I truly enjoy watching the creative and awesome ways that varied people climb.

That being said, I am 5' 2", 98 lbs, and super flexible. I am just starting to transition TR from 5.9 to 5.10a's and I'm having some trouble with my height. Sometimes on routes, there is nothing but blank wall and I am 6" or more out of reach of the next hold.

Can anyone share some helpful techniques for us shorties to reach holds that seem just out of reach?

Thanks! =)


climb more


Rudmin


Sep 13, 2011, 2:00 PM
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learn how to dyno


Kartessa


Sep 13, 2011, 2:23 PM
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sidereus7 wrote:
In reply to:
try harder

I appreciate the response, and I definitely take your message to heart. I've been working very slowly through the grades, trying not to rush at all as my male friends power past me.

However, I sincerely mean that I am standing on the topmost hold with both feet on their tippy toes, and my arms are fully extended upward and the tips of my fingers are still about 6 inches out of reach. (I have a particular route in mind here.)

I was just curious if there's some ninja way to get up there. Once again, I appreciate the sentiment, but I do have a particular issue in mind here.

I think you're gonna get told to quit making excuses. Find an intermediate hold, smear, get your feet higher, figure it out.

I'm 5'2" and every time I pull the short card, I get schooled by someone shorter than me and often send the next go...

... so I'm calling "bullshit" on the "top short" excuse


sidereus7


Sep 13, 2011, 2:36 PM
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Kartessa wrote:
Find an intermediate hold, smear, get your feet higher, figure it out.

This is what I'm asking. What techniques have other short people found helpful to get them to holds just out of reach.

I stated at the beginning that I'm not making an excuse; I'm just looking for a list of good techniques to go to when things are out of reach. I should've just asked, in general, what techniques are helpful for getting those holds.

It was an honest question.


granite_grrl


Sep 13, 2011, 2:37 PM
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Kartessa wrote:
sidereus7 wrote:
In reply to:
try harder

I appreciate the response, and I definitely take your message to heart. I've been working very slowly through the grades, trying not to rush at all as my male friends power past me.

However, I sincerely mean that I am standing on the topmost hold with both feet on their tippy toes, and my arms are fully extended upward and the tips of my fingers are still about 6 inches out of reach. (I have a particular route in mind here.)

I was just curious if there's some ninja way to get up there. Once again, I appreciate the sentiment, but I do have a particular issue in mind here.

I think you're gonna get told to quit making excuses. Find an intermediate hold, smear, get your feet higher, figure it out.

I'm 5'2" and every time I pull the short card, I get schooled by someone shorter than me and often send the next go...

... so I'm calling "bullshit" on the "top short" excuse
Smile

There are ways to maximize your height. Core strength and lockoff will help with this, but it's all meaningless without the technique to go with it.

Short people also have to make use of a lot of intermediates too. To the OP, with your weight you should be able to pull on holds that I can only dream of. Maybe you have problems with this right now, but your grip strength will continue to improve as will your strength and technique if you continue to work at improving.


ceebo


Sep 13, 2011, 2:45 PM
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Grow?. Sorry.. somebody had to do it ;p.

Na really, best tip i can give you is to.. well.. grow. Laugh


Idako


Sep 13, 2011, 3:43 PM
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sidereus7


Sep 13, 2011, 3:46 PM
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lmao

best advice so far.


mr.tastycakes


Sep 13, 2011, 4:14 PM
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sidereus7 wrote:

Can anyone share some helpful techniques for us shorties to reach holds that seem just out of reach?

Thanks! =)

High steps and rock-overs, turning and drop knees, moving dynamically (using momentum), doing "dynos"/throws, hand-foot matches, high heelhooks...the list goes on and on. Make sure you get the most out of the reach you have by getting on your tippy toes and elongating your body as much as possible. Enjoy being 98 lbs. Lots of elite climbers are very short and thin, so don't sweat it...there is a way.


johnwesely


Sep 13, 2011, 4:24 PM
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sidereus7 wrote:
First off, I just want to say that I completely understand that every body type has its advantages and disadvantages, and I truly enjoy watching the creative and awesome ways that varied people climb.

That being said, I am 5' 2", 98 lbs, and super flexible. I am just starting to transition TR from 5.9 to 5.10a's and I'm having some trouble with my height. Sometimes on routes, there is nothing but blank wall and I am 6" or more out of reach of the next hold.

Can anyone share some helpful techniques for us shorties to reach holds that seem just out of reach?

Thanks! =)

Here is what you do. Climb steep, thuggy routes and never get pumped. Climb techy face climbs and have no problem cranking off dime edges. Climb finger cracks and get tight hand jams instead. Climb slab just for kicks.


Junicus


Sep 13, 2011, 4:36 PM
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I'm also 5'2". I love being a short climber. You get to be more creative and technical.

Find some short climbing buddies that are better than you. You'll pick up the techniques that are most likely to work for you, faster.

I also climb with tall people. But their style is so different their beta is often useless to me.

(This post was edited by Junicus on Sep 13, 2011, 4:38 PM)


redlude97


Sep 13, 2011, 4:49 PM
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One technique to get an extra inch or two of reach is to learn the "look-away" reach. This is when you look in the opposite direction of the hold you are trying to reach for instead of looking directly at the hold. Most beginners haven't learned that move.


vencido


Sep 13, 2011, 5:34 PM
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As long as the distance between holds is less than the distance of your arms stretched out fully (in your case about 5 feet), there will be a way to make the move.

It might not be easy, but just know that it is always possible.


rhei


Sep 13, 2011, 6:25 PM
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The OP didn’t specify whether the particular problem with the out-of-reach hold was indoors or out. On natural rock, being short isn’t any excuse at all. In most all cases there will be more to work with than found on gym walls.

The situation can be quite different in a gym. Gym routes can be designed and set to force climbers to practice specific techniques and body positions. A good training route might include wide spacing of holds if foot and hand holds are thoughtfully positioned to let the climber set up for a dyno. Unfortunately, my experience is that too many route setters lack the skill or the experience to create such routes. Instead, they simply throw in reachy moves in an attempt to make mediocre routes more difficult. If you’re dealing with such a route, skip it. Don’t waste your time; instead, ask yourself just what you learn from such a route (probably nothing.)

Shorter climbers do just fine when they learn to incorporate flexibility and power into their technique. Try working those elements into the time you spend in a gym. Following on what Mr. T suggested, practice dynamic movement by transferring momentum upward from the feet (it doesn’t have to be a full dyno or throw). Learning efficient weight transfer as you rock onto a high step is another critical skill. Discover how to drive through with the knee as you shift over your foot. Another skill to try is rolling your hips as you extend your reach on the opposite side. This is like the above-described “look-away” move, but the movement is initiated primarily in the hips, not in head and shoulders. You might also look for some good bouldering moves where you can practice lock-offs and shooting your body upward in full extension. All these techniques will stand you in good stead at the crags and in the process of learning them you’ll do just fine on indoor routes. (At least on the ones worth doing.)

(This post was edited by rhei on Sep 14, 2011, 10:21 AM)


sidereus7


Sep 13, 2011, 6:42 PM
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Thank you for your reply. The route I'm climbing is inside a gym, and I'm hoping to get outside to climb soon. I've only been climbing for about a month and a half, but I love it.

It sounds like in general, good technique all around is what will compensate for lack of natural reach. But I will also try to push myself toward dynos and lock-offs. Thanks again. =)


sidereus7


Sep 13, 2011, 6:43 PM
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Junicus wrote:
I'm also 5'2". I love being a short climber. You get to be more creative and technical.

Find some short climbing buddies that are better than you. You'll pick up the techniques that are most likely to work for you, faster.

I also climb with tall people. But their style is so different their beta is often useless to me.

I know exactly what you mean. I go climbing with mostly guys that are around 6' 0" and 175lbs. Our styles of climbing are completely different and currently, so are our abilities.

I have to find myself some short friends in Seattle!


sidereus7


Sep 13, 2011, 6:48 PM
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mr.tastycakes wrote:
sidereus7 wrote:

Can anyone share some helpful techniques for us shorties to reach holds that seem just out of reach?

Thanks! =)

High steps and rock-overs, turning and drop knees, moving dynamically (using momentum), doing "dynos"/throws, hand-foot matches, high heelhooks...the list goes on and on. Make sure you get the most out of the reach you have by getting on your tippy toes and elongating your body as much as possible. Enjoy being 98 lbs. Lots of elite climbers are very short and thin, so don't sweat it...there is a way.

Thanks for the encouragement! I've definitely noticed that I don't tire as quickly with climbing as my other friends and tend not to get pumped easily.

I'll keep your advice in mind when I climb tonight. I really have to start using those heel hooks.


Colinhoglund


Sep 13, 2011, 6:50 PM
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Kartessa wrote:
sidereus7 wrote:
In reply to:
try harder

I appreciate the response, and I definitely take your message to heart. I've been working very slowly through the grades, trying not to rush at all as my male friends power past me.

However, I sincerely mean that I am standing on the topmost hold with both feet on their tippy toes, and my arms are fully extended upward and the tips of my fingers are still about 6 inches out of reach. (I have a particular route in mind here.)

I was just curious if there's some ninja way to get up there. Once again, I appreciate the sentiment, but I do have a particular issue in mind here.

I think you're gonna get told to quit making excuses. Find an intermediate hold, smear, get your feet higher, figure it out.

I'm 5'2" and every time I pull the short card, I get schooled by someone shorter than me and often send the next go...

... so I'm calling "bullshit" on the "top short" excuse

^^^^^
What she said. My girlfriend and I are opposites, I'm lanky and she's well, petit . . . She gets around most things with smearing and flexibility that I muscle through. And my friend Mary, I don't think shes even 5'0, she can heal hook and stem like mad and out sends me on techy face climbing. Sorry, I too call BS!!!!!!!!! (in the most encouraging way possible)


JohnCook


Sep 13, 2011, 7:42 PM
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I am 6ft tall with a +4.5inch ape index. I regularly climb with much shorter people. The thing which has most improved my technique is being disallowed from using my reach on routes (Climbing short, not lifting my hands any higher than the top of my head, fun but humbling) My climbing partners have then seen my use my feet, usually getting them very high, whilst leaving my hands low, frequently below shoulder high. They then adapt the technique, and use their feet, getting them 'relatively' very high, which allows them the 'reach' across the long move. They can frequently static moves which were designed to be dynamic.
Think about your feet and body and hand position, combine the three parts to enable long moves. Don't give up, you can and will do it if you apply some thought to the moves.


mrnomas


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rhei wrote:
Unfortunately, my experience is that, too many route setters lack the skill or the experience to create such routes. Instead, they simply throw in reachy moves in an attempt to make mediocre routes more difficult.

This.

I frequent two gyms. One has crap route setters that do the above. Every route is easy bottom, easy top, ridiculous crux (for the grade). The other has well thought out routes. While that doesn't mean the crux routes are undoable at any height (I'm not as short as you but I'm shorter than everyone I climb with), it is frustrating when you are learning. At the second gym, I always feel like a route where I can pull off the ground is doable, even if I can't do it yet. Keep practicing. You've gotten some good advice in this thread.

Also, go outside. It will open your eyes to what climbing really is when you can grab/step/smear anywhere.


surfstar


Sep 13, 2011, 10:47 PM
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Get outside where the holds are not bolted on by a routesetter.


MS1


Sep 14, 2011, 5:53 AM
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sidereus7 wrote:
First off, I just want to say that I completely understand that every body type has its advantages and disadvantages, and I truly enjoy watching the creative and awesome ways that varied people climb.

That being said, I am 5' 2", 98 lbs, and super flexible. I am just starting to transition TR from 5.9 to 5.10a's and I'm having some trouble with my height. Sometimes on routes, there is nothing but blank wall and I am 6" or more out of reach of the next hold.

Can anyone share some helpful techniques for us shorties to reach holds that seem just out of reach?

Thanks! =)

Here's a video of some very talented shorter ladies climbing, which might help you visualize some of the movement skills involved.


ceebo


Sep 14, 2011, 6:24 AM
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Idako wrote:
[image]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d0/A_Torture_Rack.jpg[/image]

Brilliant Sly


lena_chita
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Sep 14, 2011, 7:09 AM
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sidereus7 wrote:
Kartessa wrote:
Find an intermediate hold, smear, get your feet higher, figure it out.

This is what I'm asking. What techniques have other short people found helpful to get them to holds just out of reach.


There is no such thing as "short person technique" to get to the holds that are out of reach. There is just technique, period. EVERY single thing you could think of, that fits into your definition of technique, could be used. It would depend entirely on the details of the specific route/move.

It would be very helpful if you could find a partner who is about the same built as you, but more experienced. Watching them climb and getting their advice would be great. Experienced partners in general would be great, because many experienced climbers would be able to suggest alternatives to you, even if it isn't what they have to do on this route. But short of that, just don't get the shores over your eyes, keep trying the moves and adjusting what you do. Very subtle changes, such as changing your grip from pulling down on a hold to side-pulling, shifting your weight to one side, turning one side in, etc. etc. could often be the answer.

I am 5ft tall, and every one of my regular partners has heard me whine about reachy moves, and reachy clips (I find that reachy clips are more often an issue than reachy moves). I'm good at whining-- it's a great technique to get someone else to hang the draws. :)

But the truth is that only a small minority of the routes are such that the alternative sequence I have to come up is significantly harder than the given grade of the route. On most routes, there are multiple ways of making the moves, and one way is no harder than the other.

I am not sure if you are talking about gym routes, or outside. The gym problems/routes that are set with tracking feet make it much harder to get around the reach issue. Harder, not impossible.

I know that you will look back later at the routes you thought were reachy, and will often discover that they weren't after all. I was just thinking about it this past weekend. We were climbing some routes that I had flashed a couple of years ago, when they were near my limit. At the time I did it, the draws were hanging, and I would have sworn, with complete honesty and conviction, that on each one of these routes there was one draw that I would not have been able to hang myself. Well, jump forward a couple of years, and I am doing the same routes as warm-ups, hanging my own draws, and surprize-surprize, I can reach each bolt. Still, it just shifted my whining to harder routes now. I'll wait a couple more years and then see how I could have done it differently...


Partner cracklover


Sep 14, 2011, 9:45 AM
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To all those calling BS - if she is in the gym, and under 5'4", it is actually quite possible that there are routes that are poorly set for her height, and are significantly harder than the grade. Not all of them, of course, but she said there is one route.

To the OP - assume, for the moment, that folks here are right, and better technique will get you through. Try everything you can think of, and watch stronger/better short climbers try the same route. But don't overly obsess. I was a route-setter for years. Sometimes route setters just set shitty routes. It happens.

I'm gonna go ahead and jump on the overwhelming bandwagon of advice and repeat this one more time: Get outside.

GO


jnovakov


Sep 20, 2011, 9:08 AM
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I'm also 5'2... I am a relatively static climber and climb pretty hard.. Reason= flexibility and body tension. I climb with very high feet and have to often mantle up to next moves... So I guess work on flexibility. I rarely climb things and find it completely out of reach.. ESP. Outside since there's usually feet everywhere.


zealotnoob


Sep 20, 2011, 11:16 AM
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From what I've seen, many short people drive flashy cars or wear loud clothing. Some speak loudly and adopt a more forceful personality.

Seriously though, I think there are many advantages to being on the short side. You're more mobile in tight spaces and have better leverage in high steps and mantles.

Being short certainly didn't slow Lynn Hill down any.


shockabuku


Sep 20, 2011, 11:20 AM
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sidereus7 wrote:
In reply to:
try harder

I appreciate the response, and I definitely take your message to heart. I've been working very slowly through the grades, trying not to rush at all as my male friends power past me.

However, I sincerely mean that I am standing on the topmost hold with both feet on their tippy toes, and my arms are fully extended upward and the tips of my fingers are still about 6 inches out of reach. (I have a particular route in mind here.)

I was just curious if there's some ninja way to get up there. Once again, I appreciate the sentiment, but I do have a particular issue in mind here.

My daughter, who is not quite 5', was climbing with a woman who was proofing problems for a pro comp who was about her height. The advice she gave my daughter was to be prepared to dyno for everything.


sidereus7


Sep 20, 2011, 11:43 AM
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Re: [zealotnoob] Techniques for Short People [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Being short certainly didn't slow Lynn Hill down any.

Thank you for mentioning her, because she seems absolutely incredible. I just watched a few of her climbing videos, and it's great to watch her technique. It's also very inspiring to see someone climb extremely difficult routes at 5' 1".

( For anyone who is interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euD7-WF8xtY&feature=related )


jomagam


Sep 20, 2011, 2:20 PM
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sidereus7 wrote:
It's also very inspiring to see someone climb extremely difficult routes at 5' 1".

Revere her all you want, but being 5' 1" and say 100 lb is not a disadvantage especially outside.


jae8908


Sep 20, 2011, 2:41 PM
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Re: [sidereus7] Techniques for Short People [In reply to]
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Try climbing through the part that you are having trouble with backwards(from top to bottom). It will help you learn how you need to position your body.

Personally I don't do or recommend this but I know some people who will add in an intermediate jib just to work through a certain part then after they get used to going through it removing the intermediate.


Marylandclimber


Sep 20, 2011, 5:05 PM
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Just do a dyno. If you don't what that is, then look it up.


jindap


Nov 4, 2011, 8:16 AM
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sidereus7 wrote:
That being said, I am 5' 2", 98 lbs, and super flexible. I am just starting to transition TR from 5.9 to 5.10a's and I'm having some trouble with my height. Sometimes on routes, there is nothing but blank wall and I am 6" or more out of reach of the next hold.

Can anyone share some helpful techniques for us shorties to reach holds that seem just out of reach?

I myself am not that tall. at 5'7" i find myself struggling to reach holds that someone just a couple inches taller can grab with such ease. However i climb with friends who are shorter than me who can climb harder problems without struggling to reach because they are technically sound with their technique. granted sometimes, you just have to go dynamically instead of statically but if you focus on body mechanics and fundamentals like lock-offs, twist-locks and the like you'll find that holds seem much closer.


ceebo


Nov 4, 2011, 8:55 AM
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Re: [zealotnoob] Techniques for Short People [In reply to]
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zealotnoob wrote:
From what I've seen, many short people drive flashy cars or wear loud clothing. Some speak loudly and adopt a more forceful personality.

Seriously though, I think there are many advantages to being on the short side. You're more mobile in tight spaces and have better leverage in high steps and mantles.

Being short certainly didn't slow Lynn Hill down any.

How do you know, their is no way to compare her at another height. As an estimation tough, would 5 inches more reach have made her climb a few letters better?. I tend not to give credit to BS claims that being small forces better technique.. as though reach never becomes a problem even for a 6ft climber.

Besides, the strength to weight bonus of being smaller would make up some. Sounds more like a pluss on routes that are not so reachy for all concerned. Unless ofc you are 3ft.


tH1e-swiN1e


Nov 11, 2011, 2:26 PM
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find higher feet!!!


redlude97


Nov 11, 2011, 2:50 PM
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jae8908 wrote:
Try climbing through the part that you are having trouble with backwards(from top to bottom). It will help you learn how you need to position your body.

Personally I don't do or recommend this but I know some people who will add in an intermediate jib just to work through a certain part then after they get used to going through it removing the intermediate.
Downclimbing is certainly a useful tool in itself, but IMO it translates poorly to learning the technique needed for a particular move..


blueshrimp


Sep 4, 2013, 7:13 AM
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What helped me was realizing that I didn't have to "reach" for holds above me.

If you learn to use the holds that are below your shoulders, you can usually move your feet up a bit higher.

Don't "starfish". Move your feet up twice for every time you move your hands. If that means that your hands end up at waist level while your feet start going up to waist level, so be it.

Only "reach" for the far away hold when you've got your feet as high/close to your current hands as possible.

To get your feet as close to your current hands as possible, you can high step or if there are no footholds, smear onto the wall (you need good hands for that). With a smear on the wall and good low handholds you can then easily reach for a handhold that was previously out of reach with your feet on lower footholds.

Dynos are scary on lead. Plus, you need to shoot for a good handhold. Can be risky. So instead...practice smearing with low hands. Go to a ledge on a street somewhere and see how far up you can bring your feet by smearing (I bet you can get it at least a few cms just below your hands). Then see if you can then let go of one hand and with the other reach as high as you can while you use the friction from your smear feet to keep you at that height.

Anyway, that's what helped me.

Also, in the gym, oftentimes for reachy holds I simply only "touch" them as opposed to actually use them as jugs. Remember your hands are mostly for balance, not for pulling. If your hands are just for balance, even reaching a hold with a finger or two will be enough. You don't need the whole hand on the hold, just a finger or two. So if that means you touch the reachy hold only from below with the tip of your finger, learn to use that / let that be enough for you to make your move as opposed to hoping you were taller and could use the full hold as a jug or in a more comfortable position.

The last tip: you don't always have to climb with your body vertical. In other words, you don't always have to have your feet below your hips/below your head. Consider swinging your body such that you move your feet up so that you sort of lie sideways on the wall, as if you were lying on a couch. In other words, your body ending up parallel to the ground, not perpendicular. It looks weird and it doesn't always work, but sometimes it helps you gain some height. Basically, put your feet as high as they will go before you move your hands, even if it means they end up above your head/you end up twisting your body sideways. Seriously.

Anyway, that's what helped me and sorry for replying to an old thread, it seemed interesting. I'm 5'1".


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