Climbing: Why you should look down - By Yann Troutet
In this article, Yann Troutet explains the importance and emphasises that climbing is all about legs and footwork and how to work on these things to improve your climbing experience.
One of the first things an experienced climber will notice at a rock gym is the technique of those who are new to climbing. One thing that is obviously not taught enough is that climbing is all about footwork. It seems to be a natural occurrence that people will always try to use their arms to pull themselves up. While out on the rock, arms should really only be used for stability and not much more. Exercises like smearing, where you practice leg stability wearing your climbing shoes on rocks with slight inclines, or even using tennis balls in your hands while climbing will help you get used to using your legs to your advantage. Obviously, your upper body cannot be totally out of shape when climbing, but your legs can lift a lot more than your arms.
I know I will be climbing in the future and this helped in the way that I now know the importance of using your legs while climbing. It may be hard at first to trust them more than what you can see in front of your face, but I know it will become second nature with practice.
Troutet, Yann. “Climbing: Why you should look down”. Ottawa Outdoors Magazine. 2013. <http://www.ottawaoutdoors.ca>