Learn how to use your hips and feet when rock climbing in order to stay safe and propel yourself forward in this free instructional outdoors video.
Now we'll go over a couple to foot positions. When you are looking at the rock sometimes it looks pretty blank, but if you look closer, there are plenty of things for you to stand on, especially with technical rock climbing shoes. There are two basic holds you are going to use with your feet. You are going to use smears, which go on anything that is not 'in-cut', that is, smooth and slabbed. When the rock is more 'in-cut', similar to a rail, you are going to use a edging technique, or 'toeing in'. On a smear, you are going to stick your foot on a smear, with your heel down, so you get as much surface area of your foot onto the hold as possible. I can support my whole weight on just that one smear, with tennis shoes you cannot do this. Rock climbing shoes give you extra support and sticky rubber, which is going to stick better to the rock. If you are advance people. you can take this rock standing all the way on smears, similar to this rock which barely have ledges at all. Now for the edging, you are going to want your heel up, because if the hold is flat, then you want your heel flat with the hold, this is going to give you the most surface area. Now with these shoes, you can stand on the inside of the foot, which is going to be the strongest. If ledge is small, you are going to stand on just your toe, which takes a lot of foot strength, but it keeps you a little bit more into the rock, or more angled so you can stand on the rock. You can use the outside of your foot, and that often requires a bigger hold, but it will allow you to do some more turning and flagging, I'll show you now. So you are standing on the rock, one thing to think about is keeping your hips into the rock as close as you can, this is going to mean more weight onto your feet. Now if the rock is very slabbed, like the smears we showed, then it is acceptable to keep your butt a bit further out, you want your center of gravity, which is about level with your hips, to be over your feet. The steeper it gets, the closer you want your hips inward. One way to keep hips inward, is to turn your feet inward, and this will keep hips closer to the rock, this is called 'the turn'. Another way to stay in close, is to use just one foot on the rock and keep the other one out for balance, this is called 'the flag'. You can also keep your legs inward on the rock, just like a frog would, this works better on the slabbed rock. If you keep your toes straight down, this is great for smearing, you just walk up.
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