If you’ve been bouldering or climbing for a while, you’ve probably wondered more than once whether height matters in this sport? Is being tall an advantage in climbing, and how to take advantage of it? In this article, we’ll look at the different ways you can choose your climbing technique to suit your height.
So is being tall an advantage in climbing? Generally, the taller someone is the further they reach, they then have easier access to the next problem. However, sometimes being tall can also get in the way, blocking our movements and making it difficult to get into the right position.
Can technique help with height?
Climbing is a sport for everyone who likes effort, unusual challenges, and overcoming their weaknesses or fears. Both bouldering and other types of climbing are extreme sports, as you have to get used to considerable heights and unusual positions you have to perform.
Is being tall an advantage in climbing, or can everyone have an equal chance with the right technique?
In the world of climbing legends, many people are around 160 cm tall, and yet they do very well and compete with much taller colleagues. The problem is usually the situation where the taller climber reaches without any problems, while the shorter one has to struggle. Any situation requiring the use of non-standard techniques means a greater risk of falling off, so shorter climbers will need:
- More strength to pull themselves to the wall or rock to reach further.
- More flexibility and limberness to make the most of all types of steps, both longer and shorter.
- Better power and dynamics to be able to jump precisely to long holds. It is also very useful to be able to swing the body properly, which also increases our range.
- A strong grip, to grasp the next obstacle quickly and efficiently, to minimize the risk of slipping or falling.
- Less weight, this is of course not a rule, but it is true that the less weight to lift, the easier it is. Of course, as our body gains muscle mass and strength, this is no longer as important as it is for beginners.
There are of course more important issues when it comes to skills that can compensate for a climber not being very tall, shorter people need to combine different types of climbing techniques more often. So is being tall always an advantage in climbing?
What does being tall in the climbing technique give you?
Height is one of the few things we have no control over, but when it comes to climbing regardless of our height we can have an equal chance. Climbing develops all muscle parts during training, so every climber has the opportunity to improve their skills.
It’s impossible to name one particular muscle part which has to have the greatest strength because, during climbing, arms, legs, back, or buttocks work equally intensively.
Climbers also have an excellent spatial imagination, which helps them to anticipate their next moves quickly and effectively. All these elements can be developed during regular training under the supervision of an experienced instructor, and height alone is not the most important thing here. In this article, you can read about whether hand size matters in climbing.
What are the popular bouldering techniques?
Every climber knows how important it is to choose the right climbing technique. Then our growth, regardless of whether we are tall or shorter, is not the most important issue and does not determine our win.
Here are some important techniques that you should know when bouldering, that will help you answer whether being tall is an advantage in climbing? Therefore, it is worth knowing the more basic techniques as well as the more advanced ones:
- The technique of straight hands is one of the most important at the beginning. When climbing, remember to straighten your arms, it will not only use up less strength but also increase the range of your movements.
- Three points of contact, the technique of always having three points of contact with the climbing wall. It is also important when performing movements, as the lack of three points of contact can lead to a fall off.
- The static technique is a slow execution of movements, which makes them more thoughtful and stable, a good technique for beginners who do not yet have adequate motor coordination.
- Dynamic techniques are quick movements, thanks to which we can cover a given route faster and use less energy. A technique important for advanced climbers not only, but it also increases the range of our hands.
- Footwork on the steps is very important also at the beginning. Thanks to the appropriate quality of work, we can effectively relieve the heel, thanks to which you can meet their range of grips.
- The technique of hooking the heel and on the top side of the foot, are techniques for more advanced people, they allow you to perform more complex movements or positions.
- Stabilization position – the position of the flag consists in moving the leg without a step behind the other leg to obtain stability of movement or position.
In Summary – Is Being Tall An Advantage In Climbing?
Climbing is one of the sports in which climbers, regardless of age or height, have equal chances. Of course, other techniques will be suitable for tall people and others for shorter ones, but it is worth knowing the more popular ones.
They will make it easier for us to climb, as well as save energy or cover the routes faster. So whether being tall is an advantage in climbing technique depends mainly on what techniques you use, height itself can be an advantage, but sometimes it can make it a bit more difficult to follow a more elaborate route.