I’ve recently been thinking about my campusing abilities, and I know its all about explosive power. I know this isn’t the only thing to work on, but I have noticed that I am near my max ability of reach with one arm locked on a rung, and the other at max reach. The next step in driving beyond that and improving that distance would be to turn your lower hand from pulling to pushing. What I am not sure of is what the process is to begin making that shift.
What have you done, or thought about while campusing, or what exercises did you work on in order to improve this transition for yourself?
In a related scenario, someone gave me the tip to try bumps. So I would keep my left hand on rung 1, and then bump my right hand to rung 2, then 3, then 4, and finally 5. The whole time I was focused on pushing with the bottom hand. This exercise really helped in terms of coordination, but it’s a much simpeler case than yours (because it sounds like you want to be able to pull up and then push down all in 1 move). Although your case is more complex, this exercise still might be a good stepping stone to progress from…?
I’d be interested to see at what point in the pull you feel like you need to switch to pushing. It’s super common for climbers to think of a pull ending when their hands reach chin-level or just below. That’s the arbitrary height that pull ups stop at, so it’s about as far as most people train their pulling. Realistically though, if you’re strong for it, you can continue to pull until your hands get to just below your sternum. If your triceps are strong enough isometrically to keep your elbow in a slightly more opened elbow angle as you campus then you can reach shockingly far without ever switching to pushing.
Here’s a video of Yves Gravelle (who is on the shorter side) Bumping from row 1 to row 9. In it, he continues to bump all the way to row 6 just by pulling further and stacking his shoulders for extra height. He doesn’t switch to pushing until he’s going from row 6 to 7.
I’m not saying that practing pushing with the low hand isn’t a good use of time, but if your goal is to do bigger pulls then I’d look towards things like sternum pull ups or doing bigger moves on the wall where you’re taking your shoulders through a fuller range of motion. Lower angled walls work best for this since the steeper the wall gets the less ROM people tend to use at their shoulder.
Have you worked offset pull-ups (one hand higher than the other) on the campus board? They can help build the strength/engagement that you’re trying to add explosiveness to for the campusing, and you can work up to a larger difference between your hands to increase the amount of work the bottom hand is doing. You’ll get a better sense of what that action is, including the mobility you need in order to bring your elbow back to pull further down and allow for the transition (similar to chest to bar pull-ups and muscle-ups).
If you are solid on that, you can then work some reps where you’re starting matched on the rung, but with your feet on, and jumping up to mimic the campusing action to get comfortable with the coordination.