Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing Holds: How to Use & Hold Them -blydget

Rock climbing holds come in hugely different styles; thus, climbers should know sharp edges and how to use them. When you start climbing an indoor wall, basically, you will get confused to find out which plastic lump you should hold first. If you understand the difference between each climbing hold, your journey will be relatively easy. Rock climbing requires prior training. Beginners practice rock climbing at the training area to develop the skill of rock climbing at an expert level.

When you start your climbing journey, climbing holds material matters a lot. Climbing holds are defined based on how positive they are. A positive climbing hold means it is convenient to use as it carries a solid edge to grasp. Less positive holds mean having no strong edges and being difficult to hold. To handle-less positive hold, you must have better balance and appropriate grip strength than a positive climbing hold.

You come across different types of holds during rock climbing. Here we mention them and discuss how to use them during the journey.


Jugs are considered the most positive climbing hold because these holds are easy to use. 

Experts say you can rely on them blindly during the climb. A jug is shaped with a large hollow area at the top of the hold, which climbers can easily hold with both or a single hand. The structure of the jugs is very simple, with a large surface area. This feature makes the jugs convenient to use for climbers. 

How to climb Jugs

To climb the jugs, you have to curl your fingers over the gap of the hollow part and pull tightly. Jugs are highly convenient to mount. Climbers often use jugs as the resting point while crossing the problematic routes and finding out their next move.

Inputs/ Mini Jugs

This type of climbing hold is quite similar to average jugs, but the size is smaller than that. 

A climber can casually fit one hand on an uncut, and the hollow of the hold is usually trivial, making it difficult to climb. 

How to climb mini jugs

To climb mini-jugs, the climber has to curl their fingers over the positive edge and push them as much as possible. The hollowness provides them the best support.  

Mini jugs are slightly denser than regular jugs, but still, it is convenient to use. When you operate in cuts, try to climb with straight arms instead of bending. This posture of your hand helps you ease the fatigue and make you more energized for the next move on the route.


Crimps are one of the hard types of climbing hold you will encounter. A crimp is small; thus, the surface area is also less. Crimps are irregular in shape. Therefore, climbers use them as the foothold while starting the journey. Crimps are the most challenging rock-climbing holds; climbers need to have enough grip strength and master professional rock climbing techniques to handle them. Only a highly expert rock-climbing hero can go through this kind of difficult hold.

How to climb crimps

It is small in size, having a slight positive edge. It means climbers need to generate a lot of power with a single hand while climbing the hold. To overcome the climber, use a closed grip instead of an open hand grip.

To go through this hold, you have to place the pads of your fingers onto the edge of the crimp and then bend fingers upwards from the first knuckle then press thumb along the side of your hold or over the top of all fingers and push down, generating a firm, locked grip which would help you to grasp the crimp securely. This rock climbing method is popular as crimping, a very stressful technique for your arms. Thus don’t forget to take a break when you feel tired.  

For crimping, you must develop enough gripping strength.


Slopers have a rounded shape with zero positive edges. To compensate for the absence of grip, sloppers commonly have a very textured surface.

How to climb them: The absence of a positive edge on a sloper means climbers can’t rely on their fingertip strength. To manage these climbing holds, climbers have to use friction of the hands’ surface area. So the more surface area you will hold onto, the better.


Pockets are rock climbing holds that carry a hole in the center and usually do not have a positive exterior edge. They are minimal and offer remarkable resilience to your fingers.

How to climb them: Pockets come in one, two, and three-finger sizes. One finger pockets put maximum stress on your hands, and you should always use your strongest finger. On the other hand, two pocket fingers use middle and ring fingers. But one can use an index and middle finger if he feels comfortable. For three-finger size pockets, climbers use the index, middle, and ring fingers where little finger and thumb offer extra support for balance. 

To manage all of the above rock climbing holds, you need enough grip strength. Thus, we suggest you improve handgrip strength first before going to rock climbing training.

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