Climb a Ladder or Climb a Rock Face – Balance is the Key

Fall is here and it’s time to finish outside chores before the cold weather sets in. In my world that includes cleaning out the gutters and washing the outside of the upstairs windows. We have a long extension ladder to do this and although I can climb up fairly easily I decided it was time to review good form for climbing. I might add, for people with arthritic knees, hips or any other joint problems, it becomes even more important to use your body effectively when you’re engaged in challenging activities. Good form is good form so whether you’re climbing ladders or rock faces, the same principles apply.

Balance and equilibrium are two of the most important aspects of climbing safely. So think of your body as an X, move from your center and spread the effort evenly through the system by moving contralaterally (e.g. right hand and left leg). In the following video I demonstrate effective movement.

Funny enough, even though I knew intellectually the best form for climbing, when I started filming the video my first impulse was to reach and step with the left hand and foot rather than the contralateral movement of left hand and right foot. Since then I’ve been practicing so when I start cleaning the windows tomorrow I’ll climb safely and easily.

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