Forums: Community: The Ladies' Room:
Do top heavy and top roping mix?
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for The Ladies' Room

Premier Sponsor:

 


redrattie


Nov 10, 2010, 5:59 AM
Post #1 of 16 (2823 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 9, 2010
Posts: 35

Do top heavy and top roping mix?
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I am a very top heavy newbie that has been out top roping, at a local park, twice with an instructor. My arms are exhausted trying to keep my body balanced and close to the rock, and the rope just makes it even harder. My male instructor just doesn't seem to get it. I told him to duct tape two melons to his chest and try climbing up a vertical wall and see if he can do it. He refused. I'm a natural 42H, and even a compression bra doesn't help much. I'm climbing for fun and love the challenge, however not sure if I will ever be able to top rope being top heavy. I love to hike and would like to add climbing to my trips. Should I find another instructor (the guy I hired climbs mostly indoors)? Would another type of climbing be a better match? I welcome any advice you can give!

(This post was edited by redrattie on Nov 10, 2010, 7:16 AM)


clee03m


Nov 10, 2010, 8:03 AM
Post #2 of 16 (2807 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 29, 2004
Posts: 782

Re: [redrattie] Do top heavy and top roping mix? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Hi,
Welcome to rock climbing. First, arm exhaustion may be due to newness and lack to good technique more than being top heavy. Women of all shapes and sizes climb, and I don't think you would be any different. I am much more top heavy being a breastfeeding mom, and I have found that some move are challenging. And verticle terraine is the worst. When you start to have the rock leaning one way or the other, boobs don't seem to get the way as much. Sure you won't be able to do some moves, and your reach may be a bit more limited, but overcoming these challenges are no different than any other. So stick with it. As your technique and strength improves, you will find climbing easier. Don't get into a trap of blaming your top heaviness for your difficulties. We all get tempted to do that. I'm too short, I'm too tall, I'm too fat, etc.

And if you don't like the rope in front of you, you'll just have to start leading!


lena_chita
Moderator

Nov 10, 2010, 8:59 AM
Post #3 of 16 (2799 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 27, 2006
Posts: 5662

Re: [redrattie] Do top heavy and top roping mix? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

Assuming that you want to stick to climbing, and breast reduction is not part of your future, you have to work with the body you've got.

Top-heavy, bottom-heavy, just overall heavy... it doesn't matter. When you are new, your arms will tire out. You don't know how to move efficiently on the rock.

You probably never will be a top-range climber. So what? If you enjoy it -- keep trying.


redrattie


Nov 10, 2010, 9:55 AM
Post #4 of 16 (2788 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 9, 2010
Posts: 35

Re: [clee03m] Do top heavy and top roping mix? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Thanks! Part of the problem is that the rope comes straight up from the harness and buries itself between the girls. Maybe leading is the answer? When I attempt to move from side to side or at an angle, the rope is prevented from moving freely. Moving away from the rock enough to clear my chest puts me too far away to keep my feet in position for moving up. How do women deal with this issue, and could it be due to too much tension in the rope? The route I am learning on goes straight up with tiny foot and handholds, which the instructor uses for all his students despite their abilities. What type of route should I look for as a beginner?

(This post was edited by redrattie on Nov 10, 2010, 9:57 AM)


redrattie


Nov 10, 2010, 10:11 AM
Post #5 of 16 (2782 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 9, 2010
Posts: 35

Re: [lena_chita] Do top heavy and top roping mix? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I agree! I hired the instructor to teach me how to move correctly on the rocks and his only advice is to keep my body pressed against the rocks, which is not working. Not only can I not move, I cannot see the next position for my hands.


spikeddem


Nov 10, 2010, 10:16 AM
Post #6 of 16 (2780 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 27, 2007
Posts: 6319

Re: [redrattie] Do top heavy and top roping mix? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Hi, redrattie. Although this isn't always an issue, it sounds like you're climbing with your hips pretty square to the rock. In many--but certainly not all--cases it can be more efficient to climb with a hip turned into the wall.

This following scenario is simplified, but should offer a good starting point. If you're reaching with your right hand, try having your left hip into the wall (or right hand, right hip). Continuing with the left hand, left hip scenario, your left toes should be pointed to the right of the rock (the larger and lower the foot hold, the more doable this will be).

This rotation of the toes, hips continues up to the shoulders (although the degree of rotation gradually decreases as it finally reaches a minimum as it reaches your shoulders). Therefore, this technique may give you some more room to work with by putting your side into the rock. It's certainly not always applicable, but I figure you may find it useful.

I hope I don't just mess you more! Crazy

Edit: Here's a picture to help. Notice both his feet pointing in the same direction




(This post was edited by spikeddem on Nov 10, 2010, 10:20 AM)


erisspirit


Nov 10, 2010, 10:44 AM
Post #7 of 16 (2770 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 14, 2004
Posts: 3760

Re: [spikeddem] Do top heavy and top roping mix? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

As I got better at climbing, I spent more and more time in positions such as spikeddem mentioned, and less time squared off to the rock. Since you are on top rope, so falling isn't really an issue try different body positions. Different things work for different people.

Like everyone said, as you improve you will start finding things that work for you specifically. Just keep working at it.


Partner happiegrrrl


Nov 10, 2010, 11:20 AM
Post #8 of 16 (2760 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 25, 2004
Posts: 4614

Re: [erisspirit] Do top heavy and top roping mix? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Perhaps, if the rope really is being pulled wedgie-tight, you could ask the belayer to leave a little slack. Not too much, but enough that you don't feel the rope being pulled.

I also agree to just keep climbing. Eventually you will figure out ways to work with what you have, and next thing you know, you'll be posting asking for advise on what to say to all the rubbernecking dudes who can't keep their eyes over your....rack.

As for leading - I think this is the first time i ever heard of a person wanting to lead for this reason! There is a lot more to leading than a beginner might realize; systems need to be learned, and you take full responsibility for whatever happens. You sort of "need" to know a bit about climbing besides "I go upwards" to be a competent leader. Learn a bit about being a good second to another leader, and when the call to lead begins tapping on your shoulder, you'll be better ready to head the call.


plasticookies


Nov 10, 2010, 11:21 AM
Post #9 of 16 (2760 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 14, 2010
Posts: 9

Re: [spikeddem] Do top heavy and top roping mix? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

spikeddem wrote:

When a guy at the bouldering wall showed me this, my life changed Laugh


redrattie


Nov 10, 2010, 7:55 PM
Post #10 of 16 (2722 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 9, 2010
Posts: 35

Re: [spikeddem] Do top heavy and top roping mix? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I really appreciate all of your advice and encouragement! Spikeddem, this is most likely what I am doing wrong, and I'll take your advice next time I go with my "new" instructor. I paid the previous guy a lot of money for a two day course and he didn't even suggest basic stuff like this. So glad I found this forum, lot of really great people here!


clee03m


Nov 11, 2010, 12:31 PM
Post #11 of 16 (2673 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 29, 2004
Posts: 782

Re: [redrattie] Do top heavy and top roping mix? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Just so you know, I found turning the hip into wall challenging when I was front heavy with pregnancy because when making the move, you have to face forward. Not to say that you shouldn't. But this may not be the magic cure for you.

I have had the same problem sometimes having the rope in between the girls, and I am not even that big. I can see how that would be super annoying. I wonder if you were on routes too hard for you. If small footholds are a problem, climb something with bigger foothold until you are better.

Now, this is way out there, but I wonder if a full body harness would solve some of the problems. Your tie in point would ensure you won't get this problem. But you would really stick out, and it would change not being able to have your body very close to the wall. Just a thought


rightarmbad


Nov 11, 2010, 6:50 PM
Post #12 of 16 (2641 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 21, 2005
Posts: 217

Re: [clee03m] Do top heavy and top roping mix? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Really does sound like there is tension on the rope.

Not only will this pull you away from the wall in some circumstances, but it will stop you from feeling your own balance.

Also try standing with your toes pointing in to the wall instead of side on.

Try this; stand against a wall with your feet turned out and right up touching the wall.
You will fall backward.

Now stand on your toes with the toes of your feet pointing directly into the wall.
You should be able to lean in to the wall and stay there without any arms at all.

That's the key, get your weight on your feet.

You simply cannot do this if your belayer has tension on the rope.
Once the tension is gone, you will find climbing a whole different experience.


cantbuymefriends


Nov 12, 2010, 2:07 AM
Post #13 of 16 (2623 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 28, 2003
Posts: 670

Re: [redrattie] Do top heavy and top roping mix? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

redrattie wrote:
I agree! I hired the instructor to teach me how to move correctly on the rocks and his only advice is to keep my body pressed against the rocks, which is not working. Not only can I not move, I cannot see the next position for my hands.
Hi Redrattie. Doesn't sound like much of an instructor to me! Or rather, an instructor with only one single tool in the box to fix all problems.

Everybody's different. And in addition to different body types and strengths/weaknesses, we also have different patterns of movements. If "hugging the rock" makes you unable to move, there's absolutely no point for you to keep doing that!

I agree with the above, Back off with the rope tension (the rope is there for protection, not a climbing aid.) Find good handholds that enables you to lean back a little, bend your knees and hips and climb with your feet!
As long as the climbing's not overhanging, the hands should primarly be for keeping your balance and not so much for pulling up anyway. (Granted I don't climb with melons on my chest either...)
Maybe find a wall that's slightly less-than-vertical to practise on.

Good luck!


blueeyedclimber


Nov 12, 2010, 7:59 AM
Post #14 of 16 (2601 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 19, 2002
Posts: 4602

Re: [redrattie] Do top heavy and top roping mix? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Just a suggestion, but how about finding a woman instructor. All woman I know prefer woman doctors, because they understand their bodies better. Seems to me, that a woman climbing instructor might be better suited to understand the problem and actually offer better advice.

Good luck.

Josh


redrattie


Nov 12, 2010, 6:29 PM
Post #15 of 16 (2565 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 9, 2010
Posts: 35

Re: [blueeyedclimber] Do top heavy and top roping mix? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Thanks to everyone for their great suggestions...will try them out this weekend with my new instructor, and report back here in more detail. I kinda hoped rock climbing would be something I could do spontaneously (like kayaking) however getting the impression that I will always need to have someone with me...which is ok I guess, if I can find someone that likes to go climbing at sunrise. Laugh


rightarmbad


Nov 13, 2010, 5:15 AM
Post #16 of 16 (2550 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 21, 2005
Posts: 217

Re: [redrattie] Do top heavy and top roping mix? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I can offer one little tit bit.

Be very careful of belay devices when rapping.
It has happened often that projecting bits get caught.

I recommend extending the device away from your harness with a 30cm sling.


Forums : Community : The Ladies' Room

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?
$8.96 (10% off)
$12.56 (10% off)
$76.46 (10% off)
$15.26 (10% off)



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook