10 Advanced Rock Climbing Techniques


Great rock climbers do not power their way up the rock face. Instead, they “technique” their way to the top using moves that are designed to attack specific climbing problems. Once you get into rock climbing, the next thing you need to do to become a better climber is to hone your movement and technique. 

In this article, we will show you advanced rock climbing techniques. With these advanced climbing techniques, tackling even the seemingly advanced issues should be easy for you. 

Top-Rated Advanced Rock Climbing Techniques

1. Lockoff 

One of the more common advanced climbing techniques, the lockoff can be easily practiced on the gym climbing walls. A lockoff is when the climber pulls down on the hold with 1 hand, bringing and holding his/her chest up to about a similar level as that hand, and then using his/her free hand to reach the next hold. The lockoff is used in scenarios where the next sport climbing hold is a little bit far to reach. 

2. Gaston 

If you have been using your gym climbing shoes regularly, chances are, you have heard someone mention this climbing technique. To help you understand how to gaston, we will put you in an imagined scenario. 

Imagine the move you would use to open a sliding door that does not have a handle, to the right, using your right hand. You would need to turn the right hand anticlockwise so that the fingers are pointing to the left and the elbow is sticking to the right. This is what we are calling a gaston. 

The gaston is one of the most common advanced rock climbing techniques on interesting and technical boulder climbing problems or crimpy climbing rope routes. It is worth noting, however, that a gaston burns the energy in the forearms very quickly – this makes it pretty hard to execute. 

3. Heel Hook 

A heel hook is when you place a heel on hold and, while you are pull up with the arms, you push down with the heel you put on hold. Your leg will be bent at the knee. 

This motion helps you take a lot of weight off the arms and allows you to reach out with one hand to grab the next hold. Depending on the hold you are reaching out for, you may have to turn the foot toward the wall or flex it downward. 

If you are on an overhanging problem, a heel hook can allow you to move to the next hold with the arms without the feet coming free from the wall. Because of the movement’s nature, ensure that your legs are stretched entirely before you use it. 

4. Knee Bar 

One of the coolest advanced climbing techniques, the knee bar gives you the chance to take a breather, rest on the climbing wall, and let out a sigh of relief. Though an advanced technique, the knee bar is pretty simple to execute. 

To execute the knee bar, you will need to tuck the knee into the hold so that you can hold your body weight on it. Climbing pants do help – if you think you might do the knee bar, wear pants instead of climbing shorts. Once you can support your body weight, you should be able to make your next move. 

5. Back Flag 

Similar to regular flagging, the back flag is all about balance. Common on overhanging terrains, the rear flag puts the climber’s free leg behind and close to perpendicular to the standing leg. The advanced technique is used when holds are available on one side of the body but you need to move in the opposite direction. 

For example, let’s say that the left foot and left hand are on and you need to move to the right, a rear flag with your right foot behind and to your left should shift your body’s center of gravity farther to the left, hence, more in line with the supporting foot and hand. This position will be more stable, and it will be much easier to funnel upward power from the left foot into the hips, giving you a big motion range to latch a handhold when you are moving to the right. 

6. Mantle 

Typically seen in bouldering problems, either when topping out or in the middle, this is one of the advanced rock climbing techniques you use when you notice that the next hold has a flat surface where you can lay your hand flat with the palm down. 

You will need to turn the hand downwards, push down on the hand, throw the elbow upwards, and then lift the body just as you would when doing a dip in the gym. 

7. Toe Hook 

This move is generally used on completely overhanging problems, for example, when climbing on the cave roof. Similar to the heel hooking move, it makes it possible for you to move the hands to the next hold in instances where the feet are likely to swing out from under you. 

Simply put the top surface of the foot and toes on hold and then try to keep the foot from flexing up towards the head. You should set the toe into the hold’s lip and try to keep your foot flexed upwards to maintain the friction on your hold – climbing shoes featuring good friction should help. 

8. Dyno 

Dynos – as in dynamic – are usually fun and they need a good amount of athleticism and nimbleness. They are generally used when the next hold is too far away for the climber to reach out and grab. 

The goal is to move upwards by simultaneously pulling down with your arms while straightening the legs in a jumping motion. The legs are extremely important when using this technique. You should, therefore, concentrate on getting solid feet, really pushing off with the left muscles and letting go with the hands as late as you possibly can. 

Being a little bit complicated, you should take care of your climbing safety before trying the move. In addition to wearing your climbing helmet, ensure your climbing anchors, climbing harness, and other safety gear are all working correctly. 

9. Bat Hang 

One of the most advanced climbing techniques, the bat hang is seen on advanced boulder problems. Just like its name suggests, it is related to the bat. Think of how bats sleep – this is how you will look when you are performing the bat hang. 

The tops of your feet will lay flat on the flatten hold and the body will be hanging below. The technique is used when a flat surface to hook to exists just outside of the cave problem. The climber will exit the cave feet-first, hook onto the flat hold, and briefly hang their body weight on their feet while the hands and torso come around out of the cave and reach for the next hold. 

10. Stemming 

Stemming is not a single move. It is more of a technique that a climber can use to do a whole section of a climb. You can use it when you have a flat surface – either a really big hold or a wall – on both the right and left sides. 

This is what you will use on the “dihedral,” which is when 2 faces of a wall intersect to form a corner that can be likened to the shape of an open book. The idea is to simply shuffle your feet and hands up a wall while pushing outwards on the two sides. 



Q: How Do You Teach Climbing Techniques?


The best way to teach climbing techniques is to start the climber with the most basic techniques. If the climber is getting started with climbing, it is a good idea to teach him her the simplest climbing moves. Once he/she becomes acquainted with the simple techniques, the trainer can then move on to the advanced techniques. 

While giving oral instructions is always a good idea. The climber should be encouraged to try out the oral instructions given to him/her on a real climbing wall.

Q: How Do You Get Past A Climbing Plateau?


To get past a climbing plateau, you do not need to train harder, you need to train more strategically. The body generally adapts pretty quickly to the training stress and it is vital to keep 1 step ahead and trick your system into improving. 

If you have already familiarized yourself with the basic climbing techniques, it may be time to try the advanced climbing techniques. This should make things more exciting every time you grab your climbing backpack and head to the climbing gym or outdoor climbing route.

Globo Surf Overview 

As you progress in your rock climbing, you will find yourself using the advanced rock climbing techniques more and more. Before using them outdoors, you should practice the moves somewhere safe – for example, in the gym – with an instructor. Whenever you are not sure you can handle a move, avoid using it in the outdoors – this is the best way to avoid accidents.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!