Technique training (video clips)

It is vital that you practice all techniques over and over again. It is not enough to ‘know’ a certain technique. It is whether or not you will be able to use it at the right moment. Especially on competitions and during on-sight attempts you will often have to decide very fast which technique will be the best (for you!) in that particular situation. Under stress and getting pumped, you can only use those techniques that are really part of your standard climbing arsenal.

Hands and arms

Changing hands: static (piano) or dynamic.

Using the corner/edge with hand: On some competition routes, the corners are intended to be used. Sometimes routesetters are friendly and put a chalkmark but that’s not always the case. By practicing using corners/edges (this could also be a edge of a volume) during training you will be able to see this opportunities. Extra video.

Thumbing: using just (or primarily) the thumbs to control a hold.

Softball swing: Use the momentum created by a swing of your arm to reach a hold that seems far away.

Lock-off: Compared to the softball swing, this is a more static approach to reach a far away hold. It is important that you learn to choose the best technique for a given situation.

Cross over: Can be done static or dynamic. Make sure you are always in control so you can get your body back in balance after the movement.

Cross under: Unless absolutely necessary, it is better to avoid a cross under. But even so, do practise. An extreme cross under is called a derwish (see also derwish clip).

Side pull (epaule, gaston, schoulder move); double sidepull

Hug: hugging a big hold/volume with one or both arms.

Feet and legs

Heelhook on a hold

Heelhook (using the corner/edge)

Heelhook + mantle move

Toehook: Can be used as a climbing movement or just to clip.

Vertical foothop: Sometimes it is easier (and faster) to make a vertical hop with a foot instead of changing feet.

Dynamic legswing: Create momentum by swinging your leg in the direction you want to go.

Changing feet: static or dynamic

General climbing techniques

Campusing: If chosen at the right moment, this technique could save energy (just campus through a difficult section. But it can also drain all your power… Extra video.

Kneedrop (lolotte, egyptian): kneedrop on a competition

Pied à main: putting the tip of your foot on a hold you are holding with your hand.

Pied à main (with heel): putting the heel of your foot on a hold you are holding with your hand.

Pendule: This technique can save you a lot of energy when done correctly.

Open door: Holding a hold with the left hand, standing with the left foot on a foothold and then going (frontal) for a hold with the right hand can make you fall out of the route as your body will swing open as a barn door. However if used correctly, and open door can be very effective. Extra video.

Diagonal climbing movement is often better than a frontal climbing movement but sometimes it is the other way round.

Dyno: No hesitation, aim correctly and go, keeping your body tension to counter the impact of the dyno. Practise both right and left. If you believe, you have it. Extra video.

Dyno sidewards

Double clutch

Dülfer (Piaz, layback): Laybacks are when the hands and feet oppose each other. This technique comes from rockclimbing a crack or flake or a corner. On artificial walls this technique is used more often than you would imagine although it will just be for a few seconds.


360 (helicopter)


Heelhook + double clip

Softballswing + open door + vertical foothop: this clip shows a combination of a softballswing, an open door and a vertical foothop.

Using the corner/edge with hand and foot: Keep your balance by hooking around the corner.

Resting positions

Apart from a solid no-hands rest all other rests are ‘relative rests’. Don’t stay too long in a relative rest position.

Kneebar: Even a good kneebar will wear you out. And on competitions… the clock is ticking… Extra video.

Alternating shakes: On a better hold, shaking your (stretched) arms one by one helps to recover. Again, don’t be tempted to stay too long in this position.

Point contre point: Using both feet on the same hold to stabilize yourself. One foot pushing, the other one toohooking.

Pied à main heelhook: When there are no footholds, being flexible enough to do a pied à main heelhook can provide a good resting position.

Frog (grenouille)

Heelsquat: Bringing all your body weight on a heelhook while the other leg is just hanging free (to keep balance like a tail would do) may take the weight off your forearms for a while.


Atlas rest



Double clip: clipping 2 quickdraws at the same time can safe time and power.

Derwish clip: clipping while making a Derwish move (extreme cross under). Extra video.

Z-clip: a Z-clip on a competition must be restored before climbing on. It is allowed to unclip and reclip all quickdraws involved but at the end all quikdraws must be clipped in. Extra video.

Blue cross clip: exceptionally a quickdraw must be clipped from a particular hold or earlier (for safety reasons). The hold and the quickdraw shall be clearly marked, preferably with a blue cross.


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