Move of the Moment - The Frog
The frog is the perfect companion to the drop knee, described in last week’s Move of the Moment. Whilst the drop knee requires flexibility on the outside of the thighs, the frog requires flexibility on the inside. Most climbers will favour one method over the other, often neglecting the opposing movement – we’d recommend practicing both, enabling you to be a more rounded climber.
Today we’ve got Lizzie giving us a demonstration of the most common place to find a frog – moving around a corner. This is one of the most subtle uses of the frog, and the easiest way to learn the movement.
In image 1 we can see Lizzie getting ready to move around the corner. Her centre of mass, indicated by the yellow circle, is not directly above either foot. Even though Lizzie is putting more force through her arms in this position, she is placing her feet in the direction that she plans to move, enabling her to be more efficient later in the movement.
Once Lizzie has her feet in a good position, she begins to move her body. As we can see in image 2, Lizzie’s knees begin to push in opposite directions, dragging her centre of mass over her feet. This is the foundation of the frog, and enables Lizzie to distribute her bodyweight between each foothold, reducing the force on her arms and hands.
In image 3, we can see the best display of the frog, as Lizzie lowers her bodyweight onto her feet. Each knee is pushing outwards, away from the wall. This not only places Lizzie’s bodyweight over both feet, but also drags her hips towards the wall, and therefore further towards the footholds. This movement enables Lizzie to let go of the previous hold, and move her hand towards the next hold (which is the essence of climbing). In rare circumstances, this position enables you to let go of the holds completely and have a hands-free rest (try and see if you can find these positions at the Hut!)
As Lizzie completes the movement, shown in image 4, she moves her hips back away from the wall and slightly weights her hands, allowing her to move her feet to continue climbing. Her knees are still pointing outwards, maintaining a frog position and taking full advantage of the change in wall angle. From this position, she can stand up and move towards the next position with ease.
We’ve can also see a great demo from Archie of a more advanced frog position in images 5-7, utilising a near-vertical hold to assist his bodyweight and allow him to move towards the next hold. Archie is adding further support by squeezing his feet together, pushing into the foothold. For this particular climb, the most efficient (and maybe the only) way to achieve the climb is to use the frog.
Look for places you’re able to use a frog, and try it out for yourself. Try turning a corner, or using the position to rest on a long route, and see if any of your favourite climbs have a frog in them.
Want to learn more about this move and others? Why not book on to one of our improver courses: