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Overhang Technique
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climber_trev


Apr 27, 2002, 3:32 AM
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Overhang Technique
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Ok here's the deal,

Basically whenever there is a overhang on a climb i'm a bit intimidated. This is mainly due to tendency to be weak when it comes to climbing on overhangs. When i do climb them i drop the climb level a touch to compensate. At the local crag overhangs are either non existant simple or quiet difficult. For this reason i'm not overly experienced on them and thus don't feel comfortable. Whereas i'm completely a home and controlled on slabs, vertical and slightly overhanging climbs.

Any input on techniques, tricks or training practices is greatly appreciated. (note. this weakness is becoming more apparent as my skills increase and the climbs tend to have atleast one overhanging section)

Thanks for the help!
climber_trev


kaptk


Apr 28, 2002, 8:09 PM
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The best advice that I can give you is to keep as much weight on your feet as possible instead of trying to just do a pull up. You may want to learn how to do a heel hook. You also can practice turning your hip in sideways. By twisting your body, you can extend your reach. You also may want to do a search for similar posts on the same topic.


crackaddict


Apr 29, 2002, 7:26 PM
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I agree overhangs can be intimidating when you don't feel strong on them.
My advice is if there is a gym to climb at go there and get on as many overhangs as possible. Devote all your time there to climbing them. This is the fastest and safest way to train.
Stong lower abs help keep your feet up on the wall.
Hanging leg raises will help build these.
My last bit of info is to just get on them and get used to being on them. The more you you will get used to being there and the easier it gets.

Rockitup!


Partner calamity_chk


Apr 29, 2002, 7:37 PM
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Something that seems really obvious that took me a while to learn is to keep my arms straight at all times, so that your skeletal tissue is supporting your weight (as opposed to muscular).

My habit was to bend my arms just slightly, so that they "felt" straight, but I was still burning muscle. To help break this habit, I had a friend watch me boulder overhangs at the gym, and he'd yell at me whenever he caught me bending my arms ever so slightly, especially when I was doing a pull up instead of twisting my body as described in a previous post.

Hope that helps ...


crazeeclimber


May 1, 2002, 4:34 AM
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Definately keep your arms straight. That way you won't be burning off your energy and killing your arms at the same time. Try to keep your legs and hips close to the wall (centre of balance). When moving to the next hold put your weight on to one leg (left for example) then reach up with your right hand. This will help to keep your balance. Try different holding positions too, like hook your heel into a hold or toe hook into a jug etc.
Keep climbing


miagi


May 1, 2002, 3:34 PM
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Well, the above are all great tips. Some extras are:
Keep your foot stance close to your body. If you move your upper body and arms, make sure you moving your feet close to your torso or your feet will fall off the rock and you will be doing alot hanging on your hands.
Make ready use of underclings


climber_trev


May 1, 2002, 3:37 PM
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true im a big fan of the old undercling

keep the tips coming!

Peace
climber_trev


toobigtoclimb


May 1, 2002, 4:01 PM
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I'm a big guy, so I always have problems with overhangs. Two things that help me -

Try to move through the overhang. Visualize the moves and flow through them. If you stop it's hard to get moving again.

Use your whole body. It's easy to get good hands and try and pull yourself up. Don't forget about your feet. Get them high and pull/push your way over.

BC


wyoclimber


May 1, 2002, 4:22 PM
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Good tech ALL!


clipngo


May 1, 2002, 5:05 PM
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If you are with someone who can lead it, you can clean the route, or set up a top rope. once you are on belay, feel free to fall (if it is a big roof, be careful on t/r, there may be ground fall potential.) The only way to get stronger or improve your technique is to do it!


Partner iclimbtoo


May 1, 2002, 5:21 PM
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Underclings, if possible, definitely help cut back strain on the arms. However, I can't stress enough how your feet are a crucial part of climbing overhangs. Heelhooks work really well to take weight off your arms, but on huge overhangs, just getting your feet into what I call "vertical pockets" helps too. Just picture the overhang as being upright, like a slab. I know it's tough with gravity, but you get the idea. use your feet the same way that you normally do. It helps so much.


climberchic


May 2, 2002, 7:55 AM
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ooooohhhhh....I LOVE overhangs!!!

I agree that it is a good idea to keep you arms straight for the most part on roofs and while resting on overhangs, but for movement on overhangs, it can be hard to reach the next hold if you're that far below it. Sometimes you need to "lock off" or keep your arm in close and tucked into your body. This will require SOME stregth, but not nearly as much as if there is a "slight" bend, as clymbr_chk stated. This will allow to reach that next reachy hold or come out from under a lip statically.

Also, very important....your center of gravity shifts from your head-toe on vertical to out your back or butt on roofs and overhangs. Try not to keep your legs spread eagle on the wall (inside thighs turned into the wall). KEEP TWISITING YOUR BODY! Turn one thigh into the wall, flag the other out, grab a hold with the opposite arm (of the leg that is turned in) pull in, lock off and reach.

(I hope that made SOME sense )


dupree


May 2, 2002, 8:15 AM
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A more experienced climber gave me the following advice and it has helped a great deal:
Find an overhanging boulder problem that has huge jugs and reasonable reaches that you can send within a few tries. Then, instead of moving on to something more difficult right away, keep working the same route until you can do every move precisely and naturally. I found that this method gave me a good frame of reference and some extra confidence when I moved on to a harder problem...


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