Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Climbing Technique: Outside Edge, Flag and Drop Knee

The following is an excellent video for those who enjoy climbing steep terrain. On steep routes, we commonly talk about keeping the arms straight in order to conserve energy. There are three core movements shown in the video that allow for this on this type of terrain.

The first movement is the use of the Outside Edge. It's common for people to climb "frog-style," with their hips paralleling the wall. This type of movement is intensive and difficult. Instead, to increase stability and to decrease the amount of strength used, one should try to use the outside edge of the climbing shoe. This essentially forces you to cross your legs and allows you to achieve more height on each move. The narrator of the video below says, "the outside edge move should be considered the utility move for climbing steep walls."

The second movement is the Flag. If the holds are not lining up appropriately for you to effectively use the outside edge of your rock shoe, you might have to regularly swap feet. This of course is energy intensive. The answer is to flag. In this situation, instead of swapping feet to use the outside edge, you can use the inside edge and either cross the opposite foot in front or behind and brace it against the rock to stabilize the stance.

The third and final movement is the Drop Knee. The outside edge and the flag moves are used on a wall where you only have one foothold and the spare leg is used to achieve balance. If you have two footholds then dropping the knee to create counter pressure and to lengthen the reach also works well.

The following video describes each of these techniques in depth and is well-worth your time:

--Jason D. Martin


Chris said...

This is by far the best video I have seen on advanced climbing technique and probably climbing in general.

Teaching these techniques is not easy and they do a really good job both explaining and illustrating them along with their application... Another great find AAI.

Chris @ Seekingexposure.com

Grace Davis said...

This is one of my favorite technique videos!

Anusha said...

The linked video no longer exists on YouTube. Could someone please share the title or another link? Thanks!