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Tips to Improve Your Dynamic Climbing

Posted by Clay Chaszeyka

on October 17 2017

The primary goal of climbing well is using as little energy as possible. Climbing requires different techniques for different situations: whether static or dynamic. Dynamic movements, compared to static, need a quicker, more powerful response to complete the move. Static actions are more straightforward and save more energy, but it's important to complement your static climbing with explosive, dynamic movements.

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Warm-up your body. Begin by spending a generous amount of time warming up your muscles before practice. Start with 10-20 arm circles to get the blood flowing in your arms. Hang from a pull-up bar for 10-seconds and let your back relax and stretch out thoroughly; this will help loosen up your back and shoulder muscles. Warm up your fingertips by putting light body weight on a few crimps on the wall. Grasp the hold loosely and create a light tension in your fingers by pulling away from the wall. Warming up for 10 minutes will get your blood efficiently flowing and will reduce your chances of injury when performing explosive dynamic movements.

Warm-up tip: reduce the chance of injury with a slow warm up before climbing.

Focus on speed. Speed is essential to performing dynamic movements. Work quickly on the wall and don't waste time contemplating your next move. "Deadpointing" is one important speed technique. Deadpointing is a dynamic move that helps you reach a hold when you are too pumped or too tired to reach it statically. The goal is to push-off your hand hold while keeping one or two feet stable and grabbing the next hold before you start to fall; this is the moment in time (the "dead point") where there will be the least resistance to sticking the hold. You still maintain three points of contact during this lunge, but your move should be strong and quick, not static.

Speed tip: practice deadpointing easy moves before you move on to difficult ones. Familiarize yourself with the explosive power combined with continued three points of contact to the wall.

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Use your momentum. It is essential to learn how to use your full momentum in a dynamic move. Consider the playground monkey bars: you use your momentum to swing and reach the next bar and repeat. The more thrust you have on the bars, the quicker you finish them. A dyno is a similar example, especially when it is a far jump. At first, the hold might appear out of reach, but good timing of explosive leg power and the release and range of your hands will allow you to jump farther. Is gravity always getting you down? Pull your body weight towards the wall to compensate for gravity's pull away from the wall.

Momentum tip: practice on a dyno by experimenting with the timing of pushing with your legs, releasing your hands, and reaching for the hold. Focus on a smooth transition. Release your hands when you have begun your momentum upwards. After multiple tries, you will see your jumps getting higher and more efficient.

Rock and Ice magazine explains the transition well: "... the key is to let go with the lower hand approximately two-thirds of the way through the pull-up. A small bounce can work well before you go for the move, but don't bounce more than once."

Commit to the move. Your mind can hinder your ability to complete a challenging dynamic movement and can reduce your ability to climb well in general. If you are pausing on the wall trying to muster the courage to jump the next dyno, you are wasting your energy. Inspect the dyno before you get on the route and visualize your movement. Then, when you arrive at the dyno, you can work quickly. Briefly look where you are jumping, then commit and be confident.

Mental tip: practice positive thinking on the wall. Visualize yourself completing the route. Don't over think your next power move. Dynamic movement requires quick, confident response.

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