Friday, January 29, 2010

Line and Flag Exercises from Self Coach Climber

I have a small number of friends getting into exercises and training from the book; Self Coach Climber, aka SCC. I have been doing the same side traverse and it helped me break into consistent onsights of V3+. I am working to perfect the line and flag exercises. Here is my response to a friend.

So, I did 6 of line and 6 of flag exercises. It felt awkward. I had to backstep more aggressively and different muscles are sore; deltoid, lat and scapula; mostly upper shoulder. This explains why I could not do them before because I started doing shoulder recovery exercises only about a month ago and my shoulder muscles are getting stronger. I just could not rely on my unstable left shoulder.

It means there are different muscle groups I need to develop. We are supposed to pivot but with these small footholds, we can't. I had to do many more foot adjustments to make it happen.

Like my success with the same side traverse exercise, I was forcing my pivoting without good awareness of where my COG is and I had my hand not adjusting to pivoting. This caused two problems; back ache and hand pain. You need to grab holds differently from normal climbing routine. Like Gaston or layback, or just don't wrap your fingers.

What is important is if you can produce high quality moves. Quantity does not matter so much at the beginning. Don't think it is a failure if you could not finish the whole wall. Just do what you can do with sections of the wall.


  1. The single most important element in mastering this exercise is to be sure you are standing on a hold that is directly below (as in plumb line) the opposite hand.

    If you need any assistance please feel to write me at

    Dan Hague

  2. Thanks.. Brooklyn bouldering gym is not a great place to train as they don't have training and warm up areas. I have arranged a small wall but for this exercise, you need two good hand holds and generous foothold on the plumb line to practice pivoting. I think pivoting is genius.