How to train to improve capacity to climb bunched up?

Hi there

I’m trying to train my capacity to climb bunched up (ideally from climbing based drills). I’m 5.10 and came to climbing from dance so I feel very strong in spreadout/splitsy moves, but as soon as the moves get bunchy I either really struggle or fall. I also had a shoulder injury which made compression challengeing so that’s a bit of a weakness. It’s really hampering my capacity to progress so I want to develop my skills in this area. Any advice wound be hugely appreciated!



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The best way is certainly to do a little more each session or week, over time.

I’d also spend some time expanding your comfort zone there, rather than just increasing capacity.

This drill is maybe our most underrated. I’d put it in top 3 most useful, but also top 3 most difficult to connect with, particularly if you are shorter or taller than average, simply due to your own preconceived notions about your skill.


That’s a great drill, Kris- very cool. I’d also suggest spending time around kids- i coached kids for years and really learned how to climb small while doing so (it helped that I also set the youth comp teams problems as well).

These days, I tend to climb small and really struggle to do the big moves and am having to re-learn that skill- I’m always surprised just how big my reach is sometimes!

Are you flexible? I found that the drill that Kris recommends goes really well with some off the wall flexibility training for those high/near steps and close heel hooks. I`m 6.2 myself and sometimes i got to sit lower than my peers just to organize all the limbs into the same box. Flexibility is a hack for tall people really.

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