Have you recently finished your bouldering session and now you are looking for the easiest and fastest possible route to improve your climbing skills? Then you are in a perfect place to learn more before your next bouldering or climbing session. In this article, we will focus on the handholds in bouldering, and we will explain and show you what are the easiest holds in bouldering.
There are many holds in bouldering but there is only one type of handhold considered to be the easiest which is called “Jugs” or some people call them “Bucket”, and as the name suggests it’s a hold easy to grab because you can use your full hand to get the best grip on it, also it’s common to see jugs which will allow you to use both hands on one hold. Later in this article, we will explain why Jugs are the easiest and why so many people like them, but for now let’s get back to the general but important stuff. There are two main categories of holds, which are handholds and footholds
What is the difference between handholds and footholds?
At first, you have to know that in climbing there are handholds but also footholds, and the main difference is that the footholds are supposed to be used by your feet but there is no restriction that you can’t grab them with your hands, and the handholds are meant to be used with your hands but you can also stand on them with your feet so don’t worry about it,
The ones that will give you the most trouble are handholds because you can’t as much with your toes, as you can with your fingers and hands overall. Your hand is structured for doing very complex movements, and that’s why you are mostly using your legs only to support your hands by holding most of your body mass.
Your body has stronger muscles on the legs than on the arms, and that’s why your legs won’t fatigue as fast as your hands. So we can do much more with our hands than we can with our legs.
Why jugs are the easiest holds?
As you can see in the picture above, jugs will let you put your full hand in that hold, so you can get way more friction, and you won’t fatigue as fast. They tend to be bigger than any other handholds so often will see people putting both hands in one hold. Jugs will let you use all lengths of your fingers to grab them, almost like the edge of your desk, so make sure to stay low when you grab them to make your center of body mass below the jug, which will let you rest a bit more while holding it.
Most climbers consider jugs to be the easiest holds, and you can often see them on the lower graded problems. This type of hold stands out far from the wall, so using it as a foothold will also be easy for any climbers.
What holds are easy in climbing?
There are many types of holds in the climbing world, and I bet you have seen them all already so we won’t surprise you but we will give you information about them, which are easier and how to hold them properly. The climbing handholds are:
- Crimp – Crimps are considered to be hard due to the small amount of space for the pads of your hands. You will mostly hold them with one pad of each finger, so make sure to get closer to the wall and get a better angle for your mass center. You will find them on upper graded routes.
- Sloper – Slopers tend to be medium/hard but you can find many of them on harder problems. Those big round rocks that won let you get a good grip, but you can use your full open hand on them. Also, you can push yourself away from the slopes.
- Pocket – A pocket is a small hole on the wall where most often you can put two of your fingers for their full length, so make sure to use your strongest fingers. They can be used in every grade which will depend on the number of fingers that will be possible to use, so we can say that they are medium in terms of difficulty. They can often damage your fingers.
- Jug or Buckets – As we said above they are considered to be the easiest holds, mostly used on the less difficult problems.
- Pinch – Pinch is a type of hold that you will use your hands horizontally to pinch like a rock. The thumbs are key here to get the best possible grip, They are considered to be medium difficulty,
- Flake – Flakes are mainly the cracks that are deep enough for you to get a good grip with your full hand, and they also tend to be longer so you can move both of your hands horizontally. They are easy even for the new climbers.
- Undercling – Underling is often connected with a dyno move, on many bouldering gyms which are hard, but when it comes to the hold itself it’s easy/medium in terms of difficulty.
- Horn – It’s rare to see this type of hold even on a bouldering gym, but it’s very similar to a door handle, and it’s easy to grab and hold on to it.
- Ledge or Edge – When climbing outdoors you can find literally cuts in the wall that will let you put one or two pads of your fingers in it. Also, it’s can be sometimes impossible to put your toe in it due to the width and structural blockade from above. Ledges are considered to be hard.
In summary – What are the easiest holds in bouldering?
Everything depends on the climber, but for most of us the jugs are considered to be the easiest possible holds because they are easy so easy to grab and push, also your feet should like them as much. Most of us struggle with many types of handholds due to our body mass, and if you want to know more about how important is weight in climbing then check out our new article “How much weight should I lose to be a better climber?“