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Academy: Shift Hips for Better Balance

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

Tags: Beginner, Intermediate, Movement

Proper balance is critical for good rock climbing. Properly positioning your center of gravity is the best way to create balance, and your hip position is the dominant driver for your center of gravity. In this video, we demonstrate a few examples of how to get your hips more centered over anchor foot, increasing balance and making moves easier.

Keeping your weight centered over your anchor foot is an excellent way to create balance. This works on both overhanging walls and slabs. In the image below, Haley is struggling to make a reach on an overhanging wall because her hips are too far left. In the image on the right, the reach is much easier (notice how her right arm is bent instead of straight and her left shoulder angle is more acute) because she has pulled in tight on the right foot.

To drive this lesson home, try a few boulders or moves where you first intentionally avoid a proper hip shift, then exaggerate the hip shift on a second attempt. You’ll quickly learn to create better balance by shifting your hips over the dominant foot.

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