The Importance of Climbing With Straight Arms

Going up a climbing wall looks comfortable, at first. All you have to do is locate the proper hand and foot holds, and then just haul yourself up. All it takes is a little cleverness and a lot of brute strength.

Well, that’s not correct. While it is possible to climb using raw muscle power, a lot of the time you can make your climb much easier by using the right techniques. For example, did you know that you should barely use your arms at all when you climb? In fact, you should keep them straight, and let your legs do all the heavy lifting.

The Importance of Climbing With Straight Arms

Think about climbing rope, for a moment. While it’s possible for you to hand-over-hand it, using your arms and shoulders to haul yourself up to that red ribbon at the top, that’s not the way most people climb a rope. Instead, you wrap one leg around the rope, grasp it with your feet, and only use your arms to stop from slipping. You raise your feet up, grasp a higher part of the rope, and then you straighten your legs, pushing yourself upward.

Climbing with straight arms is a lot like that.

Instead of pulling yourself up with your arms, you leave your arms straight. This means you aren’t flexing, and you’re using a lot less energy. Instead, your arms are used to anchor, and balance you, like you see in this video. The majority of the climbing should be done with your legs, pushing your body up one step at a time. Your arms, much like when you’re climbing rope, just have to find something to hold onto.