The importance of balance for climbing

The importance of balance for climbing

The importance of balance for climbing

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of balance in climbing. Many of us have seen the reels on social media of people walking upright up a slab of rock, amazed at how they do this so easily. The fact is, these people have mastered the ability to balance their weight over their feet to stay stable on the wall. Meanwhile, indoor and competitive climbing – including the Olympics this summer – might not seem to require similar skills, but any climber relies heavily on balancing their weight in the right place all the time.


Lateral weight transfer

Moving vertically puts great strain on the upper limbs, and the more we can engage our bigger, stronger leg muscles, the better. However, moving a foot onto the next hold is impossible if it is still weighted. So, our first step, when trying to move a foot effectively and efficiently, must be to release the pressure by shifting our weight to the other foot. Shifting our weight from side to side can significantly impact the stress placed on each limb. Weight transfer is a crucial factor in climbing, and learning it successfully is the first part of FUNdamentals coach education courses.

photo of woman climbing mountain

Balance training for climbers

Several key aspects relate directly to climbing when using balance boards. Intrinsic feedback, feedback that comes from within, allows us to tune into our tactile feedback and proprioception, enabling us to feel what our body is doing. The core muscles play a significant role in maintaining balance, especially on steeper walls. Balance boards help develop the right muscles for climbing and bring balance to the forefront of our minds.

Which Balance Boards for climbers

For moving weight side to side, The Huku Original is a fantastic option. For portability, the Corefit is slightly smaller and lighter, suitable for taking to the climbing gym. The Ulu-Lár helps refine and develop nuances in weight movement.

Balance is possibly the most forgotten yet crucial factor in climbing. Mastering balance can be the difference between struggling up routes and moving smoothly across the wall. Balance boards are excellent tools for honing these skills, easily incorporated into warm-up routines or rest periods. The three Huku boards – Corefit, Original, and Ulu-Lár – cater to various aspects of climbing skills.

Pete Edwards is a professional climbing coach, running his own business, Prowess Climbing Coaching. He works with climbers of all ages and abilities and provides coach education courses for the British Mountaineering Council. Find him on Instagram (@prowess.coaching) or Facebook (Prowess Climbing Coaching), or visit his website