How Lightly Can You Hold On? (Part 1 of 2)
How over-gripping even 5% on dozens of holds really adds up
You’re a pretty good judge of the state of your mind and body when you’re working out or climbing. If it’s hurting, you know it. And probably, if you’re distracted, you can tell. But a lot of what is going on in there isn’t obvious to you and you won’t be able to tell.
You can be tense, distracted, or not performing your best, even though you don’t notice. It will take deliberate training to overcome this problem; the payoff is that doing so will make you a better climber and athlete.
The problem is especially bad with over-gripping. The slightest bit of tension or fear will manifest itself in your squeezing the holds too hard and contracting the involved muscles harder than the minimum necessary to do the job.
Cutting down on over-gripping is vitally important because over-gripping just a little bit, say maybe 5%, on the first 20 or 30 moves of a route all adds up. That’s a lot more work that you’re demanding of muscles with limited resources, and it will result in premature failure. If you fall off near the top, you might conclude that it’s because those moves near the end are really hard. You might even spend extra time rehearsing them. But those moves might not be the problem! It might be that over-gripping from the ground up led to your fall.
In the next part of this series we’ll suggest a way to tell when you’re over-gripping – and how to stop yourself. Stay tuned.
Labels: climbing, tips