Climbing is one of the most strenuous physical activities for a human body. The combination of strength, balance and spatial intelligence required to scale seemingly impossible routes—often exposed, hundreds of feet off the ground—is not easy to comprehend. That is, what precisely does the human body endure, and how does it respond in order to make that climb possible? Which muscles do the hardest work, what body parts carry the most weight, and how much leverage of these muscle groups maximizes efficiency when it matters most?
Red Bull recently dropped a new video cracking these secrets of climbing kinesiology, featuring climbing superstar Shauna Coxsey. As the most decorated competitive climber in British history, who better to lay out the rigors the body often strains through to finish a route?
In the video, Coxsey thoroughly explains how each part of the body (quite literally) pulls its own weight during a climb. She spells out precisely what your muscles and ligaments are going through, as well recovery strategies after a rigorous climb. In addition, she also details why climbers need to move certain ways to make particular climbs even doable.
The amount of stylized information packed into this five-minute video is impressive, as the incorporated graphic illustrations paint a clear portrait of exactly how the human body allows climbers to tackle incredible feats. If you’re a seasoned climber, you’ll most certainly relate. But even if you’re not, the informative and interesting short watch will at least help you climb over the hump day.
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