Climbing: How to Dead-point!

Climbing without creating a ‘Dead-point’ is REALLY hard, so you are probably already using them, but having a Concious understanding of them will allow you to utilise them to the fullest potential and get the most out of them!

How to deadpoint in climbing? To create a Dead-point in climbing you need to begin by creating some Inward and Upward momentum with your body. The hips are used most commonly as there our centre of gravity. Start by bringing your hips away from the wall then rapidly throw them in the direction of your target hold.

I keep finding new ways to use deadpoints after years of climbing… Theres a lot more complexity to that first explenation, and plently more places to generate momentum from too!

What is a dead point in Climbing?

A ‘dead point’ in a broad sense is the term used for when an object reaches the apex of its movement or journey and enters a small time period where it barely weighs anything. In Fact it weights nothing at the apex (complete middle of movement), and then very slowly begins to be weighted again as the forces of gravity become greater than the upward momentum.

The centre ball is weightless, Imagine doing all your movement here!

Imagine you just kicked a ball up in the air, like the above diagram.

This is where the upward momentum has reached equilibrium with gravity and your body weight and you become weightless for just a split second before you must come back down.

Ideally our climbing movement will be conducted in this time frame of near weightlessness because it’s going to be super efficient to move our arms when were weightless!

If you do it properly, when you’re reaching for the next hold, the hand you’re holding on with for the duration of the move might only have to hold a small fraction of your body weight before your other hand catches your next hold and your period of near weightlessness ends.

I dont think we could conduct a whole hand movement in this weightless phase as its such a small time frame but you can definetly move around the time where your almost weightless for an incredibly efficient version of the Move.

How to deadpoint in Climbing?

creating dead points requires an investment of speed in the climbing movement to create momentum that will carry your body in the direction you initiated the movement in.

You must create enough momentum through speed that will be great enough to ‘Carry’ you, in the direction you wish to travel to create the dead point.

Speed of a deadpoint?

Using the hips for a deadpoint means slowly bringing your hips away from the wall, then rapidly throwing them into the wall to relieve your hand for a short amount of time.

If you only want to move your hands a little bit like onto a small crimp in front of your face, you will not a massive amount of speed or movementum…

In this situation you will want to just use a little bit of speed and create a smaller deadpoint.

Understanding how much momentum you need will just take some time practicing.

Next time you go climbing focus on creating momentum with your hips and see how much force you need for delicate moves and big moves ect.

Aiming your Momentum

To ‘aim’ your momentum you must begin by moving your chosen centre for the movement in the exact opposite direction you wish to go in.

Think of this phase as the bow being pulled back, to create the potential energy and give your centre enough room to create adequate momentum to carry you through the movement.

The Dyno in this video is a great demonstration of ths principle.

Bear in mind you don’t have to just create upward momentum as climbing moves can require you to travel sideways or to match in on a hold. you mostly create momentum into the wall so all of your weight can temporarily be placed through your feet while you move one of your weightless hands to your next hold.

If you watch the fail attempts and the succesful attempt you will notice the difference was he charges the move with more sideways momentum than in his unsuccesful attemts where it was sent more up than to the right.

In fact, most of the momentum you’re going to be using in your climbing will be directed into the wall so you have a brief period Where you can move a hand to the next hold.

upward momentum does have its place in climbing for Dyno’s and long reaches that require a boost, but this is much less common than the kind of momentum you can apply to your common climbing moves when you move between holds.

Difference between a Deadpoint and Dyno?

The clearest use of Momentum and deadpoints is the DYNO!

Dynos are classified by all or 3/4 our points of contact leaving the wall as we fly through the air to our next hold.

But we cant really fly…How do we magically float to our next set of holds?

Well its the Momentum we create of course!

It doesnt show in the photo but we know we need to bring our body away from the target first, and then ‘throw’ it in the direction we wish to travel.

If we aim it right, and have enough force we can let go and magically fly toward our next holds!

The only difference is a Deadpoint is usually much more subtle, pretty much every hand movement you do can be a deadpoint.

The forces involved with a deadpoint can be so minute for some moves its not noticable to someone watching.

A Dyno is obviously different in the way its usually a massive move where at least both your hands come off the wall!

How to use deadpoints and climb more dynamically!

I dont have time to cover it all here, but i wrote a really thorough post on climbing more dynamically that carries on from what you learned in this post.

You can read it here.Opens in a new tab.

Its got some free movement drills on there too so you can immediately begin practicing using momentum and climbing more dynamically!

For now id recommend going and practicing using your hips as a centre for movement for a month, then move onto the arms and so on… its all covered in the post linked above 🙂


There we go!

Momentum has a massive place in climbing technique, theres so much to learn and as you do you can make your climbing MUCH more efficient!

Thanks for reading this post, I hope it brought you some value because I enjoyed writing it!

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