Balance and Momentum
Use Your Center of Gravity.
Being mindful of your center of gravity and the type of movements you make can help you climb more effectively.
When climbers change positions on the wall they are employing the concept of momentum.
momentum = mass × velocity
Impulse causes a change in momentum.
Newton's Second Law of Motion
force = mass × acceleration
By rearranging the equation,force × Δtime = mass × Δvelocity
impulse = Δmomentum
The climber makes slow, controlled movements from one hold to another while maintaining balance. Low Δmomentum means less force.
The climber makes fast movements that require momentum to reach the next hold. However, changing your momentum during these moves requires greater forces.
Center of Gravity. (CoG)
An imaginary point where the average location of the weight of an object is thought to be concentrated.
*The center of gravity for humans is approximately at the belly button.
Manipulate your CoG.
Experienced climbers use different body positions to manipulate the location of their center of gravity to make certain moves and holds easier.
CoG Pointers and Tips
Left: During a “rocker” move, a climber moves their CoG over their foot, which greatly reduces the force held by their hands.
Above: To climb slabs, a climber can lean in to “edge” on good footholds and reduce the weight on their hands ( above left), or they can lean back to “smear” and get the most out of poor or nonexistent footholds (above right).