By Chris Mireault
The next time you’re on the climbing wall, try this basic skill building exercise, it’s one of my favorites! It’s called “glue hands with silent feet” and it goes something like this.
First off let me explain “glue hands.” To initiate glue hands, pretend you have glue on your hands, simple enough right? Now every time you grab a climbing hold, try not to move your hands from the original position that you first grabbed the hold until it’s time to reach for another hold. That’s it!
This exercise is geared to make you think twice about how you grab a hold. Rather than just feeling the hold out and hoping for the best, you will have made the perfect placement the first time. Ideally this will train you to use hand holds better the first time around.
The other exercise is called, “silent feet.” Silent feet involves making perfect foot placements on foot holds without making any sound during placement. This act of silently placing your foot requires much more concentration and will require much practice at first. This exercise is also geared at having you, the climber, make your foot placement correctly the first time around.
Once you get the hang of silent feet you should start to move with more fluidity and grace. Also in theory, the better the foot placement and less foot scraping, the longer the rubber on those expensive climbing shoes will last. This is always a plus in my book.
Combine the two exercises together and you get what is called “glue hands with silent feet.” Practice these together as often possible and in time you will find yourself moving on the rock with more precision and confidence in no time. I guarantee it.
Try it the next time you’re in the gym and let us know what you think.
For more awesome exercises, and to learn climbing technique from a pro, check out Boston Rock Gym’s NUSCHOOL technique classes. These classes are guaranteed to get you climbing better faster.