Academy: Maintain Foot Pressure

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

Tags: Footwork, Intermediate


Friction is directly proportional to how much pressure you put on your foot. In order to maximize friction, focus on maintaining consistent pressure on your toe. This is easy on vertical or slabby routes, but harder on overhangs. For overhangs, keep your hips close to the wall and core, hamstrings and glutes with tension to keep pressure on the foot.

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Practice Drill: Rooting
Visualize growing tree roots with each foot placement. Your goal is to grow the roots as deeply into the hold as possible. Roots grow faster when more pressure is applied—like toothpaste squeezing out of a tube. Climb your warmup boulders slowly, under control, rooting each foot into the holds.

Credit where due: Rooting is a concept I learned from Kris Hampton at Power Company Climbing


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