Indoor Rock Climbing
Indoor rock climbing certainly has it’s nuances and specific differences. Plastic holds look and feel different than outdoor natural rock. Because of this slightly different feel and style indoor climbing has, motor skills are learned and the body’s muscle memory is tuned differently to gripping plastic. Here are a few pointers to maximize climbing performance climbing at indoor gyms.
These are basic skills geared towards climbing at gyms specifically but some of the skills mentioned below can also be utilized to improve outdoor ability too. Indoor climbing improves outdoor ability as well as outdoor climbing improving indoor ability. It’s good to do what you enjoy more (outdoor or indoor) but training the opposite will help you improve as a climber.
Plastic climbing holds and gyms yield a lot more pinching than outdoor climbing. You can improve technique by gripping pinches with less forearm strength. Be consciously aware of how tight your grip is on pinches and make it less, keeping your grip as light as possible while still remaining on the hold. Practicing this will improve your holding capacity and endurance.
Sloped holds are popular indoors. It’s pretty common to find entire routes with slopers only. Thanks to the miracles of the plastic industry Cimbers can hold some of the most interesting sloping holds that would not possibly be found outdoors.
Good technique on these holds is as follows:
1. Cover a large surface area by spreading your palm and fingers out over the majority of the hold. This lets you grip as much as possible and stick on impossible looking features.
Relax on slopes. Over gripping can cause popping off the hold. Keep steady and soft with your grip; this simple adjustment works wonders.
2. Relax your whole body. Like with relaxing your grip having excess tension in the body can cause perspiration that you don’t want on slippers.
3. Search for the nubbins: Many slopers have small features or nubbins that will fined that little extra grip. Eye up the hold beforehand and see if you can spot one of these and aim to hit it in this sloper.
Jibs are to be trusted. Most climbers fear the thought of skidding off them but simply trusting them will make a huge difference. It’s like when cocktail waiters don’t look at the tray when they carry it; drinks won’t spill. Place your foot on a jib and forget about it and concentrate on next move. Trust the jib and you will stick like glue to them.