Skip to Content

How To Learn Climbing Technique For Beginners

How To Learn Climbing Technique For Beginners

Climbing technique is one of the best ways to level up your climbing. Like many others, I’ve gone through quite the learning curve that was, by no means, easy or smooth.

Personal coaching and clinics are the best way to learn climbing technique. If you want to save your money then blogs (like this one) and YouTube are a good way to find free instruction for techniques.

There are at least 5-10 videos on YouTube that can teach you how to do them. However, it can be difficult to decide what video is worth watching or what technique to pay attention to when you are at the beginning of your climbing training.

Here are 13 amazing videos that can help you up your climbing performance.

Table of Contents:

  • Basic Training Videos
  • Body Positioning for Climbing Videos
  • Climbing Footwork Technique Videos
  • Flagging Videos
  • Drop-Knee Videos
  • Grip Technique for Climbing Videos
  • The technique for Improved Endurance

Basic Training and Technique Videos

If you don’t know exactly what you need to improve or are just interested in what other climbers have found improves their climbing performance, then these videos are perfect for you.

How to Train and IMPROVE your Technique: 6 SIMPLE ways

This is one of the many helpful videos by Rock Entry. The entire channel is devoted to teaching climbers how to up their performance and a majority of those videos are for various techniques. I highly recommend his videos to learn from.

Side Note: He uses the same bouldering shoes I use!

In this video, Rock Entry recommends that you practice these 6 things on routes that are 2-3 grades easier than what you usually climb to help improve your technique:

  1.  Visualization – learn and practice reading routes so you can get better at it
  2. Down Climb – Helps you focus on your footwork
  3. Silent Feet – It forces you to pay attention to your foot-eye coordination as well as footwork confidence
  4. Avoid Readjusting – avoid readjusting feet and hands to minimize energy use
  5. Flow – practice control and efficiency on every route
    1. Do the route more than once so your body and mind can learn why you do things so it becomes easier for you to do it
  6. Focus on one specific move
    1. Find a move that you are working on for a project (in the case of Rock Entry, Dead Point) and practice it over and over again so you can get better at that technical move.

How To Climb More Efficiently | Climbing Daily, Ep. 580

This video is from way back in 2015 before Louise made videos on his own channel like he does today. He is a well-known climber among the YouTube community and he provides great recommendations in every video. 

In this video, he recommends that you practice climbing without strength so you can focus on technique to get better at climbing.

For ways to do that, he recommends the following tips:

  1. Keep your feet on the wall at all times. This will force you to have control over your entire body but also help you leverage your feet.
  2. Keep your arms straight as much as possible so they don’t waste their energy keeping their body up.
  3. Practice your technique while climbing on easier routes so you can focus on technique instead of just holding onto every hold as tightly as possible.

Rock Climb Better INSTANTLY – 3 Beginner Tips for Climbing Steep Overhangs

Climbing Geek, the maker of this video is an amazing climber that has showcased his improvements and what he’s learned in his climbing adventure on YouTube. 

I found really helpful for any climber that is just starting to learn climbing on steep overhangs to help save energy.

Here is the basic breakdown:

  1. Push hard on your toes to ensure your feet stay secured and take some of the load off your arms
  2. Engage your core to help keep your body on the wall and decrease the effort needed with your arms
  3. Move your feet first and your hands second so that your body isn’t in a stretched out position

Five Training Drills Every Climber Should Do – with Louis Parkinson

This was one of the first videos that introduced me to Louis and years later, he is one of my favorite climbers to follow and learn from. He knows what he is doing!

This video gives you 5 quality drills for climbing training :

  • Footwork precision
  • Rock-over training
  • Static lock-off training
  • Core strength training
  • Pull-up power training

Body Movement Videos

Body movement was one of the first things that I started to notice when I started considering technique training because I saw so many climbers have this amazing flow that I wanted to have. These videos were a great tool for me and hopefully, they will be helpful for you too.

DABRATS Climbing Tips: Placing your hips on the wall

I love the DabRats but most of their videos are vlogs so I’m glad they made a video on hip movement. I actually watched this video before I went to the gym and then while I was at the gym so I could evaluate if I was doing what they were recommending.

  1. Rockover – for slab and vertical climbing,  keep your hips pointing toward the wall and shift your weight to maintain a stable core while you are climbing.
  2. Twist Your Hips – To help minimize the reach and arm strength, you can twist your hips to move your body weight. This is especially helpful on overhang walls/routes

Body Position 101 – Climbing for beginners

Bouldering Bobat is a pretty big climbing group on Youtube. They have changed a lot since the making of this video, but this is still a great video that can teach you how to move your body position to get up the wall.

Body position is one of those things that you have to constantly practice until it becomes second nature. Until then, it may feel strange or foreign but that is just part of the learning experience in climbing so keep practicing and try implementing what the Bobats recommend in this video.

  • Move from one position of balance to another balance
  • Make your body position like a tripod to create a stable position
  • Rockover – Shift your body weight for more efficient movement
  • When moving sideways, always move your feet first before moving your hands 
  • Twist your hips and drive your hips toward the next hold on an overhang so you can avoid muscling up and keep your arms straight
  • Hover over a handhold before you grab it for a couple of seconds to evaluate whether or not you have your feet in the right position

Footwork Technique Videos

One of the first things that climbers should start focusing on when they get into the technique of climbing is footwork. Your footwork will dramatically improve your climbing ability quickly and will be one of the easiest things to work on as a beginner climber.

These are a few of the best videos on YouTube for teaching you good footwork in climbing.

How to INSTANTLY Improve your Footwork Technique

This video focuses on small and slopy footholds that can be difficult to use if you haven’t practiced these techniques.

I’ve personally used these techniques (thanks to this video) and have found them to be very helpful so hopefully, they will be helpful for you too.

  1. Prevent foot slippage by continuing to press down on the foothold
  2. Trust your foothold and actually place your weight on the foothold
  3. Keep your core engaged while you move your body weight on top of the foothold
  4. Place your foot on a portion of the wall as well as the hold so you can get as much rubber on the hold as possible.
  5. Practice placing your holds on small holds and slopy holds

Climbing Footwork Drills! VLOG!

I watched quite a few videos on footwork drills but I really liked the layout and energy of this video along with the actual substance of the video. To help you remember and be able to apply footwork to your climbing adventures, drills are a great way to get the hang of it so you can apply it subconsciously.

  • Drill 1: Triangle Base – Get a solid base so that you don’t swing (create a triangle) then move across and up the wall by moving the triangle
  • Drill 2: Switch Feet – Try different techniques for switching your feet
  • Drill 3: Quiet Feet – Climb routes without making any noise from your feet
  • Drill 4: Practice Flagging – make sure your body is completely balanced before you move to the next handhold
  • Drill 5: Peter Pan – on overhangs, use your hips to reach footholds

Flagging Videos

Flagging is a more advanced movement and can be difficult to understand unless you pair seeing how it is done and actually doing it yourself. These videos can provide recommendations for how to flag so you know what to do while you are trying it.

How to Flag – A Climbing Technique for Achieving Balance

I’ve relied on Movement for Climbers when I was first learning flagging and actually distinctly remember watching this video. It is probably the most extensive video on flagging on YouTube so I highly recommend it.

Flagging is a technique that’s used to achieve balance with the leg that’s not connected to a foothold. It’s done in situations where there is only one available foothold, or if there are multiple footholds, only one that is practical for achieving balance.

There are three types of flags:

Outside Flag

  • This is the most common flag
  • Easiest to execute of the three types
  • It uses the opposite hands and foot – use a right foothold with a left handhold

Back flag

  • Uncommon flag
  • Uses the same side of hand and foot – causes a swing position and the back flag
  • The foothold is higher up
  • Hips are always square
  • Your flagging foot goes on the backside of your foot on the foothold

Inside flag

  • Rare
  • Footholds are usually lower than the backside flag
  • Uses the same side of hand and foot 
  • The flagging foot goes in front of your leg
  • It usually raises your hips higher, which can be beneficial for reaching a high handhold 

Flagging

When I was learning to flag, I watched at least 10 videos about it and there were very few that I would recommend for climbers trying to learn flagging. However, this video is a great way to learn to flag.

People learn differently and respond to different kinds of videos. Compared to Movement for Climbers this one has more energy and shows you the movements on and off the wall which can be helpful for some climbers.

Drop-Knee/Back-Step Videos

Next to flagging, the drop-knee and back step movements are vital for being able to reach different climbing holds. This video helps you learn the back step so you can use it while climbing.

Rock Climbing Technique for Beginners: The Back Step / Drop Knee

A quick but in-depth analysis of the Back Step, Drop Knee or Egyptian technique in climbing.

  • What is a backstep: This is a movement when the hips are not parallel to the wall and the knees are both facing in the same direction to enable a climber to reach a handhold.
  • In static climbing: The backstep allows you to keep your center of gravity as close to the wall as possible so there is less weight on your hands and more weight on your feet without a lot of flexibility.
  • In dynamic climbing: The backstep moves your body in the same direction that you are trying to go compared to using a frontal knee that may force you away from the wall.

Grip Technique Videos

There aren’t a lot of videos for grip technique except in videos that are specific for different climbing holds. This video is no exception, but I found it really helpful and unique compared other videos like it.

Gripping Technique VS Finger Strength (VS Beastmaker Slopers)

I found this video very enlightening when it comes to gripping sloper holds. I don’t have a Beastmaker hangboard (mine is homemade) but I have been bouldering recently on sandstone. The same problem that he mentioned while hanging on the 45-degree hold happened to me so I directly related to how it feels when you try to use more surface to add friction as I trained in the gym compared to treating it as an edge how he recommended.

When you are trying to hang from a 45-degree hold, use the following to make it easier:

  1. Treat the hold like an edge so the arch of your fingers is higher than your finger pads
  2. Flex your body so that the positioning of your body is controlled
  3. Us edges around the sloper hold to get extra surface on the side of your finger

Endurance Videos

Endurance isn’t really a technique, but there are techniques that will help improve your endurance so that is what this video does.

Rock Climb Better INSTANTLY – 3 Tips to Last Longer

Geek Climber has become a very popular climbing channel on YouTube and I’ve personally loved watching him become the climber he is today. I hope to be able to see the same kind of improvement as he did in a few years.

Here are the tips that Geek Climber recommends for being able to climb longer:

  1. Reach as statically as possible
  2. Relax and grip as lightly as possible – pretend the handholds are lightbulbs and try to grip it without breaking the lightbulb
  3. Utilize the backstep as much as possible

Previous
The Best 11 Climbing Shoes Under $100
Next
When to Flag in Climbing and How-To Do It (With Videos)