I see a lot of people at the gym talk about crimps. I hate crimps or crimping is hard is generally a string of words used to talk about this very useful hand position. Why do so many people think crimping is hard? Isn’t it just hanging on the fingers?
Well, let me tell you, there is definately a physics component to crimping.
What if i told you there are vectors that make crimping and jugs feel way different?!
When you grab a jug, something funny happens: your hand feels solid as hell. Once more, you can easily move up to the next hold while grabbing said hold. Why? Well, first, the hand is working more muscles and gets a better grip but also because of vectors.
When your mass starts moving up towards the jug, a outward vector is created because you’re not really pulling just down since your weight is a few inches away from the wall. Thankfully, the jug can pull back because of the catch. Similarly, finger jugs feel the same way:
Even though we are using much of the muscles in a crimp, a finger jug will feel more solid due to this catching effect of the outward vector.
Now think of that no catch flat crimp. Is there anything pulling against you pulling outwards? Yes, the friction on top of the crimp and that’s it!
Since there is basically nothing holding you from slipping outwards, the crimp feels much harder to catch. You grip harder because more weight will give you more friction. That’s how you go about generating it the dumb way.
The smart way is to sink down as low as you can to create a vector that is more in the downward direction than in the outward direction. That, in turn, makes you have to use less tension and use the natural weight of your body effectively.
Don’t believe me? Watch around 1:30, TC drops down quite a bit to milk those really bad crimps in this pitch 15 dawn wall video:
Keeping your body very low on the crimps helps you stay stable enough to move slowly towards the next hold. Obviously, eventually you want to step up on it but once you get the hold, holding on is much easier than trying to grab a crimp while you have that outward vector of force pulling you out.
Think: If gravity weren’t pulling you straight down, you’d just grab whatever and move like an ant. Too bad our holds are mostly generated from downward force.
Crimpin’ like a king,