Rope climbs, which used to be a standard in PE classes, have all but been banned due to ‘safety’ issues. Somewhere along the way things that kids do naturally have been banished to the realm of dangerous activity: tree climbing, monkey bars (check your local parks and you’ll see that monkey bars are hard to find nowadays), tumbling, etc. The result are a generation of kids who have incredibly agile xbox thumbs, zero kinesthetic awareness, and an irrational fear PE tests.
Rope climbing is incredibly functional. Think dire life and death cliff hanging scenarios (i.e. if your dog jumps off a cliff in Palos Verdes and you have to climb your way back up using nothing but shoelaces and chewing gum). However, unlike strict pull ups, or other such upper body strength intensive movements, there IS a way to climb while making your legs do all the work. We posted on rope climbing techniques before and have briefly reviewed it in class, but we’ve always acquiesced too quickly to subbing ‘climbs from the floor’ instead of pushing technique.
The two most common and efficient techniques are:
1. The Wrap: You wrap your leg around the rope (think eggbeater when treading water), step on the rope with your free leg and stand. The key is to not pull with the arms (think rock climbing, long arms) but to stand with your legs. Here’s a great video on the wrap technique from the CrossFit Journal. You’ll need membership to view the whole thing though.
2. The Step and Trap: You scissor your instep and foot to trap the rope. Take a look at CrossFit Portland’s video demonstrating this method:
Whichever method you choose to employ, we’ll spend some time in class today perfecting it. No legless climbing today. Feel free (as with any goat) to work on them if you get to class a few minutes early.
Rope Climb Skill Work
4rds: AMRAP 2 Minutes:
5 Ring Dips
5 Pull Ups (as many strict as possible)
Rest 90 seconds between rounds.