[VIDEO] Hangeln – Climbing with swinging feet

In climbing, it sometimes it is easier to let our feet swing through the air instead of trying to use them on the wall. This liberates the choice of our body’s position in three dimensional space.

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„Campussing“ seems to be the established term in english-speaking sport climbing and bouldering communities. Campussing stems from the Campus board, a two dimensional training device.

Training on the Campus board is intended to build finger, arm and shoulder strength. It consists of bending your arms with hands in a pronated position and a static phase while reaching the next rung with the other hand.

Mind you, this is a training exercise, not the most efficient movement. If we initiate the motion with our center of gravity we can move faster and more efficiently with just our hands.

Other activities share the basic concept of locomotion, but different arrangements and distances between the points of contact and especially the infinite variety of angle, surface and size of the holds is unique to climbing.

Hangeln is the German term for this locomotion. Hangeln is understood by everybody in the german speaking world, regardless of age and background. Hangeln is what monkeys do in the trees. This reflects in the english translation „brachiation“ – a term used in zoology but not in climbing circles. (Bimanual locomotion (standard and ricocheting brachiation) was studied kinesiologically in two adult white-handed gibbons for example.)

Hangeln is a truly three dimensional movement involving our whole anatomy. Every part of our body is spiraling in a particular fashion and sequence. The body is a true gestalt entity – the total is more than the sum of its parts.

We’re only just at the beginning of realizing what hangeln can do for our climbing – let’s start by not calling it just „campussing“ anymore, will ya?

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