When teaching the “system move”, I never hand the graphic to students without a significant amount of explanation and practice. The “system move” graphic is not meant to be understood in isolation. Read on for a more in-depth understanding. For the most technical explanation of the move and its training, please read Rob Mulligan’s posts on system training. Or work with Chad Gilbert or Paul Dusatko – two phenomenal coaches who introduced me to the “art of the possible.” Much of my post is an intentional over-simplification in order to provide a practical lens to a complicated idea.evolv principles diagram_042412-01

The Context

Look at the graphic as if you’re looking at the climber’s back. The left hand is high and the right foot is high. The left foot is not on a hold and the right hand is mid-reach. This move generally can be used on vertical to limited overhang. It involves “turn-out” position and a lack of a lower foot when reaching for the next hold with an opposing hand. The move is meant to mitigate against a feeling of instability brought on by poor hands and awkward hold placement which may prompt you to throw wildly for a hold.

The Individual Parts of the System

  • The left shoulder wants to lean forward – “puff” your chest to put it in the “cradle.”
  • Imagine a “karate chop” hand along your spine – squeeze it.
  • Intent is to shift the hips up and over the engaged (right) foot, BUT:
  • The hips may need momentum first. Kick them to the opposite direction of the target hold, and out from the wall. Then fire in and up. Fuego.
  • To stabilize the lower left foot: you’ll feel it in your groin and down the inside of your leg if you think about driving the force from your foot INTO the wall.

The Ripple Effects – how one part of the system effects another part

  • Generally, more distance between the feet laterally creates a more stable support base WHILE less distance is less support but more potential drive upwards.
  • The height of your flagged foot changes the height of your Center of Gravity AND distance of your hips to the wall BUT:
  • You can mitigate this outward effect by bending your upper left arm or lower left leg.
  • The big toe drives into the hold but the hamstring pulls you over your right foot BUT
  • The pull turns into a push from the quad at the right point – not too soon.
  • If the heel drops out from the wall, it points the knee into the wall, which jack-knifes the hips, changing location of your trunk and shoulders, which effects the angle at which your arms connect to your fingers, requiring more finger-strength to stay on the wall.
  • The heel drives up as far as you feel comfortable, which changes the biomechanical possibilities of the knee, allowing it to drive to the right and pull the hips over the foot.
  • The left foot’s “thrutch” up the wall helps to drive the hips upward and is called an active flag (or smear, as opposed to a passive flag for balance).
  • The push comes from not only the left foot, but the right hand, which can push once your hips get high enough to torque the elbow up in a way similar to a mantle.

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