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Advice pls: can't grab slopers
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ivinengsh


Nov 5, 2011, 1:05 AM
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Advice pls: can't grab slopers
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Hi

I climb in an indoor gym, and I just started out a month odd ago. I climb twice a week. I'm still not familiar with all the climbing lingoes yet, so please pardon me.

I climb at the beginner's wall - lots of jugs. I've been trying to replace a couple of jugs with slopers, but I just couldn't do it. My fingers will just slip right off the slopers the moment I try hanging onto it to shift my leg. I tried to have full contact with it, pressing it down, pinching it; I still can't hold onto it.

I was advised to do dead hangs to strengthen my forearms and grip using the training board. Problem is, I couldn't hang from it. The minute I lift my feet off, I'll slip and fall immediately. I can't hang from a pull-up bar either. It's the same outcome.

What should I do?


rsmillbern


Nov 5, 2011, 4:07 AM
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Re: [ivinengsh] Advice pls: can't grab slopers [In reply to]
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Not all sloppers are the same. In general, you want to keep your body low as much as possible. Try to keep your pressure downward on the hold, and not outward, as much as possible. It is more a matter of balance and body position than strength.

Try different positions, stay low, keep the pressure down and remember...
Sloppers are your friend!


pdpcardsfan


Nov 5, 2011, 8:25 AM
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Re: [ivinengsh] Advice pls: can't grab slopers [In reply to]
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you could also try assisted dead hangs, where a partner supports some, but not all of your body weight. slowly try and reduce the amount of support you get until you can do them unassisted. it will take time, but it works.


Partner j_ung


Nov 5, 2011, 9:12 AM
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Re: [pdpcardsfan] Advice pls: can't grab slopers [In reply to]
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pdpcardsfan wrote:
you could also try assisted dead hangs, where a partner supports some, but not all of your body weight. slowly try and reduce the amount of support you get until you can do them unassisted. it will take time, but it works.

Yup. Set a stool or folding chair under the hang board if you don't have a partner to assist.


kobaz


Nov 5, 2011, 10:09 AM
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Re: [ivinengsh] Advice pls: can't grab slopers [In reply to]
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One of the best ways to get good at slopers... is keep trying to use slopers!

Find some sloper holds that are hard for you but you can hold on for at least 5-10 seconds. Work on your balance and foot placement so that you can increase your limit for holding onto this particular hold.

Work as many different sloper holds in this fashion as possible... get your sloper confidence up. The more often you work with slopers the easier it will come to you on what you need to do with your body to stay on said slopers.

Find some routes with one or two slopers that are giving you a problem.. Work the moves.

Climb, climb, climb.


shockabuku


Nov 5, 2011, 1:24 PM
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Re: [ivinengsh] Advice pls: can't grab slopers [In reply to]
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Climb for a few more months. These things don't change overnight. Not to be disparaging, but if you can't hang from a pull-up bar, I wouldn't expect you to be able to hang from a marginal hold. But, one of the keys to slopers is body position. Getting under the hold so that you orient your direction of pull most effectively onto the hold is pretty important. Play around, watch others, have fun.


marc801


Nov 5, 2011, 2:22 PM
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Re: [shockabuku] Advice pls: can't grab slopers [In reply to]
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shockabuku wrote:
Not to be disparaging, but if you can't hang from a pull-up bar, I wouldn't expect you to be able to hang from a marginal hold.
+1
If the OP cannot hang from a pull-up bar, there is a far more basic problem than hanging off of slopers that needs to be remedied.


tH1e-swiN1e


Nov 6, 2011, 8:33 AM
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Re: [marc801] Advice pls: can't grab slopers [In reply to]
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Agreed. Sounds like someone needs a hangboard in their room.


shockabuku


Nov 6, 2011, 9:45 AM
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tH1e-swiN1e wrote:
Agreed. Sounds like someone needs a hangboard in their room.

I think a hangboard is probably an over aggressive solution to this situation,


jae8908


Nov 6, 2011, 3:40 PM
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Re: [ivinengsh] Advice pls: can't grab slopers [In reply to]
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How much do you weigh? I don't think I've ever met anyone in any kind of decent physical shape that couldn't hang on a pull up bar.


ivinengsh


Nov 6, 2011, 4:50 PM
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Thanks all for the suggestion so far. I weigh 57kg. I'll try assisted pull-ups. :)


jorgegonzalez


Nov 6, 2011, 9:11 PM
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Re: [tH1e-swiN1e] Advice pls: can't grab slopers [In reply to]
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I disagree with all of you that imply superior arm strength is the key to hanging onto slopers. By their very nature you can't get enough grip on a sloper to hang from. Your problem is you learned in a gym climbing steep walls on jugs. Go outside and do friction climbs, less than vertical, and learn how to use your feet better. Learn to position your body weight over your feet, stand up and avoid leaning into the wall, and trust the friction. The sloper is best used to contribute to the pull upward, but gain elevation using your feet.


JAB


Nov 7, 2011, 3:39 AM
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Re: [ivinengsh] Advice pls: can't grab slopers [In reply to]
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Like shockabuku, I think your main problem is that you are too weak. This is easily trained by doing assisted deadhangs, then deadhangs, then pullups.

While this gives you some basic strength, it still does nothing for your technique. I would recommend bouldering. With no rope to distract you (or the overzealous pulling you out of balance), you can easily try different ways to hold the sloper. Try to understand how your body position makes it easier or harder to stay on the hold.

Also remember than very often slopers will have a "best way" to keep them. A big blob might look like it doesn't matter how you hold it, but often a desperate hold can change to good if you pull it from the side instead from above, if you find that small crimp groove and so on.


ivinengsh


Nov 7, 2011, 5:18 AM
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Re: [JAB] Advice pls: can't grab slopers [In reply to]
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Thanks for the tips. I'm trying to do more assisted deadhangs now. Will do some bouldering to help me figure how to handle the slopers.

Thanks so much for helping me out, guys. Appreciate the recommendations. Never say die! :)


lena_chita
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Nov 7, 2011, 5:18 AM
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Re: [ivinengsh] Advice pls: can't grab slopers [In reply to]
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ONE MONTH of experience, people, come on!

One month 2x a week means that the OP has gone climbing maybe 9 times.

What hangboard could possibly help at this point?

I am going to hazard a guess that the OP is a female. There are plenty of females in the general population who cannot hang on a pull-up bar.

To the OP: this early in the climbing "career", not being able to muscle your way through the climb by doing series of pull-ups may actually be to your advantage long-term. Since you cannot rely on strength to get you through the climb, you will have to really focus on developing good technique and climbing efficiently to conserve your strength. This would be a good foundation to build upon.


Being able to hold on to a sloper and make a move off of it (or many other non-jug holds in general) is, to a large part, a matter of correct body positioning. If your gym offers a technique class, take it. Right now! You will learn a lot, and won't regret it.

If there is no such class, then buy a book, such as Self-Coached Climber (buy that book anyway, even if there is a technique class). The book comes with a DVD that demonstrates some common climbing moves, and is a great training resource in general.

Make a point of watching more experienced climbers do the moves that you are struggling with. Ask for advice when you are stuck on a move. Many experienced climbers will not presume to coach you unasked, but will be happy to watch you and offer some corrections/suggestions if you ask them.

Strength training has it's place. If you are climbing 2x a week, there is definitely room in your week to incorporate assisted pullups, and just general strength training and conditioning, since it sounds like you aren't the strongest pumpkin on the patch. By all means, find an exercise class that incorporates free weights, or go to a regular (non-climbing) gym and make circuit training a part of your weekly exercise routine. But your climbing improvement most likely won't come from you doing pull-ups and crunches. it will come from learning climbing-specific movement, and practicing it a lot.


irukandji


Nov 9, 2011, 12:45 AM
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Re: [ivinengsh] Advice pls: can't grab slopers [In reply to]
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Concentrate on footwork, posture, balance and flow, NOT on mere strength.

You might need some strength as you can't hang on to a pull-up bar. Stick to that pull-up bar for now, but DON'T overdo it.

DON'T use a fingerboard just yet. You're not ready and you'll likely get injured the first time you mess up.

CLIMB. And climb some more. Good technique comes from a lot of CORRECT climbing. A decent amount of strength will follow, i assure you.


camhead


Nov 9, 2011, 10:15 AM
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so, nobody has mentioned working core strength yet? That seems to be particularly important in sloper technique.

But yeah, one month experience, you don't need to mess with hangboards or anything like that. If you want to start honing your open handed/sloper technique at this point, find easier slopers that you can start hanging onto, and do a lot of routes with them. Clean and/or new holds in the gym make a big difference, too; they'll be easier than greasy old holds that pizza party kids have been slobbering all over for three years.


adelphos


Nov 9, 2011, 3:05 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] Advice pls: can't grab slopers [In reply to]
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"Being able to hold on to a sloper and make a move off of it (or many other non-jug holds in general) is, to a large part, a matter of correct body positioning. If your gym offers a technique class, take it. Right now! You will learn a lot, and won't regret it. "

I think Lena is dead on on this. Slopers are all about position, and that position may not be "hanging" on them. Some slopers require a side pull, some require you to pull up on them and still others require some kind of bracing. Normally your failure on a slope is the result of poor technique, not a lack of strength.

Adelphos


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