Crushing Tip #27

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crushing tip 27

Trix Aren’t Just for Kids

by Jimmy Grant

Climbing games at Edgeworks are not just for our young up and coming Sharma’s, Caldwell’s, and Puccio’s. They are also fun for our fully grown “kids” as well. Games and climbing drills are a great way to build strength, technique, and visualization. Not to mention a great way to kill the monotony of endless hours in the gym.

So grab a few friends and try out these games and drills to spice up your next session:

The Classic – “Add-on”

How to play: The first player begins by choosing and establishing themselves on 2 start handholds preferably on the boulder or in our lead cave, but can be played on any terrain. The second player then uses the same 2 start handholds and adds-on 2 of their own handholds. Then the next player adds 2 more handholds, or the first player returns to the start to try the new sequence and adds 2 more at the end. The feet are open to step on any hold they would like. You can play this classic with 2-4 players of similar ability. The game keeps going until someone makes a mistake, making them out. Add-on is great for training endurance. It is also great for making you aware of where you may excel and others struggle or vice versa. This can make you more aware of what you can work on to become an even better climber.

Variation: Try to add-on 5-8 moves at a time per player. Attempting to do more moves all at once will help climbers work on their on-sighting skills.

The Challenge – Edward Hover-Hands

How to play Edward Hover-Hands: Step One: Start by choosing a route which is easier for you. Right before you touch the next handhold force yourself to “hover” your hand over it and count out loud to five! If you are able to do this without struggling, pulling really hard, or becoming out of balance, move to a more difficult problem. Focus on finding the easiest and most efficient position for your body. Hover Hands helps you slow down and further understand your enemy, gravity. Practice once a week for 20-30 minutes towards the end of each climbing workout. Come back later to crush the enemy.

The Basic – Straight Arm Climbing

This drill may not be the most fun you have ever had, but it is a necessary exercise to add to any climbers arsenal, experienced or not. It is exactly what it sounds like.  Straighten your arms and lock those elbows as you climb a slightly easier route. Climbing with straight arms forces all of your upward movement to be derived from your lower body. Even as strong as some upper bodies may be, even the strongest person in the world can’t do pull-ups all day. Because we cannot engage our arm muscles, the pull becomes a push and we are forced to rotate from the hips for reach, causing more efficient technique.