In climbing there are numerous factors that make up success and help you advance. Most of them haggle over strength, hang on to the fingerboard early on and shimmy up and down the campus board. Especially for beginners, however, it is worth taking a look at the climbing technique. Christoph Völker presents you with three simple but not to be underestimated techniques that you should take to heart.

A guest contribution by Christoph Völker from target10a

In this article I want to introduce you to the three biggest beginners mistakes when it comes to climbing technique. In addition to these three errors, there are of course a whole series of other errors - but for the beginning it is sufficient to concentrate on these three.

The aim should be to concentrate on these three points for the next few boulder / climbing units! That’s challenging enough to start with! But if you manage to concentrate on a clean solution for three to four units in order to avoid these mistakes, then you have already gained a great deal!

In the long term, of course, you should internalize these errors and solutions so that everything runs subconsciously and automatically! It is best to have a small training group in which you observe each other and point out mistakes! You learn the fastest through observation, hints and doing it yourself!

Mistake # 1 - unclean pedaling

It starts with mistake number 1 - unclean pedaling! Kick with the middle of the sole of the foot instead of the forefoot and the big toe.

Why is it important to step clean instead?

Reason 1: Mobility

To be able to turn and turn on the step!

Reason 2: Optimal power transmission

Reason 3: Stretching (reach)

Important for dynamic pulls: The movement impulse that is initiated from the hip is usually ended with the extension of the ankle in order to accelerate a little and thus to increase the range.

Reason 4: There is no other way on small steps!

The following also applies to the noise when pedaling: loud = bad / quiet = good

Error # 2 parentheses

Beginners work a lot from their arms, there is a lot of clamping and blocking. Instead, you should concentrate on simply hanging on the so-called long arm more often!

Reason 1: Saves energy

Reason 2: Hanging on the long arm automatically leads to better technique, just like twisting!

With the long arm plus combination, you can climb with very short and energy-saving pulls. Unfortunately, the long arm technique is not necessarily recommended for every move - you have to develop a feeling for which moves the technology is appropriate for. The technique tends to be used more in steep than in vertical climbs.

Those who climb on the long arm automatically climb more dynamically - those who cling, however, inevitably climb more statically.

Mistake no. 3 Forgetting to step (further)

Beginners like to focus too much on reaching further and forget to step further (up) early enough. The result: You hang overstretched on the wall and it is difficult to go forwards or backwards, because in this position it is difficult to see where you should step up. In addition, in the overstretched position, it is difficult to step up at all if there is no mobility in the lower body!

So: Concentrate on stepping up early when you can still see the steps well! This mistake is more often made wrong when climbing with rope than when bouldering, obviously because the fear of falling often prevents you from stepping higher when route climbing. And so the hands keep feeling up to see if there is still a better grip somewhere!


In my opinion, these are the three most serious technical beginners mistakes that you should try to avoid first of all! While point 1 “clean pedaling” always applies, it is a little more difficult to recognize the situation when “clinging” and “forgetting to step on”

So concentrate in the next few units on avoiding these mistakes and using the correct techniques! In addition to these three errors, there are of course a number of other errors that will gradually be presented in further articles!

The technical tips for beginners are also available as a video

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Credits: Picture and text Christoph Völker von

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