Academy: Foot Switch Drill

Part of our "Toes to Knows" Climbing Academy series--covering climbing from footwork to mental preparation.

Tags: Advanced, Footwork

It’s often necessary to switch feet on small holds. By itself, switching feet is hard enough, but when you’re on an overhanging route and the foot is far off to the side, it gets even more difficult. A lot of body tension and foot pressure is needed to be successful. In this post, we demonstrate a drill to practice this important technique.

To execute this drill, find an overhanging wall with a couple of handholds that are off to the side of a foothold. The goal is to switch feet 10 times on the hold of choice. 

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You can make the drill easier by choosing bigger holds that are closer to the foot. Make it harder by choosing smaller holds that are further from the foot. If you’re able to easily do the 10x switch, choose smaller handholds and a smaller, more distant foothold until you’re struggling. Try footholds on either side to keep the practice symmetric.

Core Tension Required

The keys to success on this drill are to maintain good core tension and foot pressure. If either one of these drop off, you won’t be able to stick all 10 switches.

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