Monday, October 8, 2012

Defining Body Tension

I've been absolutely swamped by "real work" for some time now, and, like many of the blog authors out there frequently lament, the fun stuff has been shoved aside temporarily.

However, I did have a minute to respond to a post on the Self-Coached Climber blog a few days ago. The SCC was one of my first training books and helped me to really gain an understanding for how to not just suffer through but actually get better at movement. I started routesetting very early in my climbing career, and that urge to improve quality of movement I think is a huge factor in my setting as well - not just setting to get a route up, but setting something that will force quality of movement as a criteria for success.

Flaws in the scope of the definition

The next post on the SCC was an interesting one attempting to define body tension. Here's a fascinating topic, mainly because I don't think anyone can agree on what the topic is. Body tension is a term that gets thrown around pretty willy-nilly as it relates to climbing. I'm not a movement expert, just a routesetter, and even for an expert body tension is tough to define. If we just replace it with a more discrete term like "isometric contraction" - which Douglas was right to correct me for using in the comments - we still have some fundamental issues:
  • We have to account for several different methods of generating tension. Compression, where two holds facing opposite directions are pulled in a direction other than downward; could be two hands, a hand and a foot, or in some cases two feet. Opposition, where the holds are facing each other and are pushed outwards. The obvious example being a stemming corner, with something more extreme like an elevator move in a steep wall being the higher end progression of the same idea. Finally, there's the pure resistance style - everything pulls in the same downward direction, and the climber produces all the tension from their body.
  • The above three types of tension are very rarely used in isolation. Purely anecdotally, I would say most routes, even if they are biased toward a certain style, involve a considerable amount of moving in and out of different types of tension. For instance, if I make three foot moves to put my heel up, I'm probably in more of a resistant tension for those foot moves, and then the compression allows me to relax those muscles just enough to make a hand movement.
  • This is probably in every bulleted list I've ever made on this blog, even when I try to generalize, but morphology plays a tremendous role in body tension. A tall, apey climber with larger levers is simply going to struggle more in a tight elevator position on a steep wall than a shorter climber.
  • Finally, and this is the one that probably hurts the most: as with most movement analysis in climbing, there is no standardized measurement for "tension" of any kind!

Body tension in routesetting

All of this makes it difficult to define something as ambiguous as "body tension." But we can make it a bit easier on ourselves for the purposes of this thought exercise. Let's make a few reductions:

First, let's assume we are trying to define body tension for the purposes of routesetting. How a setter should use body tension to their ends, rather than how a climber should understand it in order to solve a sequence. Our goal isn't to define body tension for getting to the top of the wall, but to define body tension for how it can make it easier for us to get the climber to do what we want.

Second, we're looking for the most broadly applicable version of the term. So for the time being, let's be egregious and take all dynamic movement out of the equation. We're going to define body tension as if every move is made in a static position - as thoroughly unrealistic as that may be. Dynamic tension adds elements, both time-wise and kinesiologically, that are way too complex for me to grasp yet, much less put into words.

OK, so now our goal is "to define body tension, for the purposes of setting, for static movements, mostly." Perhaps not as heroic as the original thesis, but a bit easier to corner.

Here's the meat, and it's gonna sound obvious: Climbers, when possible, want to avoid tension. Resting, finding easier sequences, and using intermediates instead of performing moves with a point of contact off are all examples of this. If climbers seek to avoid body tension, then it is our job as routesetters to ensure that the intended sequence is the one that follows the path with the least body tension. Unanticipated sequences and rests plague competition sequences because the climber has found a point where they can reduce the load on their core muscles (whatever those may be - we're being vague here!)

As routesetters, how can we use this definition to our advantage?

  • Knowing that a "rest" doesn't just imply a large hold the climber can dangle from - it implies any position where the climber isn't in an actively tense position. Many times, a non-extreme compressing or opposing position with a foot will allow a reduction of body tension for an arm. Heel hooks and drop-knees are great examples of times when you will see competition climbers shake their hand before moving, because they offer a chance to have less body tension momentarily.
  • A skipped sequence (for a climber of the appropriate skill level) often occurs in a similar scenario - when a climber can find an easier form of body tension through a move. A hidden toe hook, greater hip flexibility that allows a more dramatic rockover, and the unplanned use of (or unplanned way of using) intermediates are all examples of this.
  • Tricky sequences are great for testing a climber's route reading skills, but for a sufficiently technically adept climber, they often present enough options to let climbers find positions that either benefit their body type or skip sequences. The more holds are available to a climber = the more options a climber has for body position = the more opportunity for reduction of tension through positioning.
  • If you need to tire a climber out quickly, maintaining the same kind of tension over a long problem or route is better than rotating through different types. After doing many compression moves in a row, a downward pulling hold with an edge on it can be restful. After doing many downward-pulling resistance moves in a row, having a chance to heel hook and squeeze can be restful. In both of these examples, the same position might not be restful at the end of the other problem!
  • Conversely, if you want to test a climber's ability to read the sequence, be liberal with the need for tension. This is why you don't see a lot of incut holds on the world cup circuit - the same sequences can usually be achieved with neutral-edged-holds that have a much smaller margin for body position and thus require more tension to maintain.
This post is just a brief glimpse into a dense topic. I'm sure Douglas will continue to provide insight on his blog. In the mean time, ABS season is coming up and I'll probably have a bit more to talk about before I take off to travel for the winter. Happy setting!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Coping with Comp Week: Basic Tips for Roped Setting on a Schedule

With local SCS comps well underway, I thought it would be good to go over some basics for roped setting. Setting 50 routes in a sprint is a lot to deal with. Starting with the general:

Have a plan. Re-setting most of the gym is a huge task, and one that shouldn't be played by ear. If you don't have one, designate a head routesetter to take responsibility for final decision-making. Take an hour the first day, walk around the gym, and decide what should go where. The team goal is very likely to be separating the competitors, so make sure each range of routes has a mixture of terrain, style, length, setter, etc. For an onsight comp, the plan will need to be much more comprehensive, including setting up isolation, organizing the routes so that competitors can't see other routes in their category, and a mixture of other challenges. Onsight comps are a topic in themselves which deserve a focused post.

Stick to the plan. Don't let setters get off track by making ad hoc decisions about what should be done. Include a work plan for each day - when to strip which walls, what will be set, and even by whom and when. There will always be exceptions, but those decisions should be made by the head routesetter and not on the spot.

Work complex tasks first. For instance, deciding where large volumes should go and getting them on the wall is a task that can require teamwork and time. Waiting until there are routes up can be limiting. If you're creating any custom features, best to do it early in the week when complications won't threaten the comp schedule. Decide where they will go, how to integrate them, needed materials, and estimates of cost and time. Creating an interesting and unique comp atmosphere is crucial, but it shouldn't (and doesn't need to) threaten the setting schedule.

Prioritization is crucial in competition setting. When you have a lot of routes to set, focus on skeleton setting. Get the ideas up, then come back and tweak them. When you've been setting all day for several days in a row, it can be daunting to do the hard work: I've seen many setters make the mistake (myself included) of constantly tweaking the opening boulder problem of a route as a means of delaying roping up. Set the skeleton, discuss what needs to be fixed, and execute with fair attention to each sequence of each route.

Prioritize your effort on sequences. Are you so dead set on forcing your flashy crux sequence that you blitzed through the rest of the route? Each move builds on the last. Routesetters care about that specific cool sequence - gym climbers and competitors care about the experience of the whole route. You need to be the first, and think like the second. Especially with route climbing, "flow" can be more important than style points. Save the boulder problems for learning how to force a tricky new move - then you can put it up your sleeve for the next route.

There is always another move. If you're having a hard time forcing a move, drop the ego and set something else. Sometimes it can be frustrating when an innovative sequence just won't work out for you; instead, set something you know and move on. If the sequence needs tweaking later, it'll be tweaked later. Set a move, change the body position, and you have a fresh chance to be creative.

There is always another route. If you're dead set on a hard sequence, don't sandbag an easy climb because you can't step up and adjust. It makes ordering and forerunning the routes a nightmare. Similarly, if you're feeling tired, you might feel like setting something easier than you have to. Maybe this means hopping off the ladder and setting a different route right now - not always an option for routesetters who operate on a fixed schedule. But it might also mean saving up that inspiration, setting the route in front of you, and having that extra creative gas in the tank for the next route.

Stay organized. When there's a lot of setting to do, something as mundane as making a list of minor tasks / tweaks can feel like a waste of time. In reality, keeping a running task list can drastically alter how well a setting sprint goes. Anyone with downtime or facing setter's block can refer to the list and check off a few quick items. These tasks might be setting-related: adding a new foothold, adding or removing tape, adding a set screw, or forerunning and tweaking a sequence for consistency or equity. They could also be event related tasks - routesetters are often expected to follow through on creating route placards, printing scorecards, setting up seating and safety lines, or helpful secondary tasks like printing out a map of the gym for visiting competitors.

Manage the mundane tasks. Some of the most important things that happen during hectic setting are forgotten by most setters. And yep, that means doing jobs everyone hates. If there isn't someone designated to keep a load of holds in the wash at all times, there probably should be. Organizing holds for better access. Keeping the task list and route plan updated.

Communicate well, especially on small tasks like holds in the wash. This helps with sharing of gear. Keep track of your tools - if you're borrowing someone else's ratchet or drill, or taking a hold from their pile, let them know so they don't spend 15 minutes looking for it. And for the love of red wrenches, write down which routes are being set! Nothing says disorganization like an inexplicable 51st route on the last day. Communication is also crucial when tweaking, which I'd like to talk about more - for now, read the forerunning primer.

Distribute resources. In a smaller gym, aid gear and ladders might be in short supply. Set in rotation to maximize their usage. Setters should never be waiting for gear; there's always something to forerun, tweak, holds to wash, etc. If holds or bolts are at a premium, set up a ration. Set clear limitations and expectations for route length. Strategically save holds, but don't allow hoarding. If absolutely necessary, consider a lottery for choice holds. It can be tough to remember that the primo holds are better spent on a route that'll see a lot of traffic than the hardest route.

Delegate to save time and energy. If you're working from a plan, either delegate routes to specific setters, or let them pick.  Be flexible, but have a plan ready. Don't expect one setter to handle steep terrain several days in a row - mix up terrain to keep ideas and muscles fresh. Newer setters may be expected to set the easiest routes, handle secondary tasks, and assist the setters, so that those with experience can work faster - just like any other workplace.

Work in batches. This should be rote for any serious routesetter by now, but never make a trip twice. If you're heading up to finish setting a route, ask yourself what else you might be able while roped up. Check the task list to see if routes on the same anchor need any edits, set screws, tape, etc. Check with setters of nearby routes. And of course, bring extra feet, bolts, screws and tape. Need to grab a hold from the pile? Check for what else you might need, and save yourself a trip across the gym. Better yet, if you're setting from a pile or set, bring them all over from the get go. Setting from a ladder and need a tap? Grab your harness and aid gear for when you rope up later. Heading to lunch? Grab everyone else a burrito... okay, that last one is dubious.

Small efficiency is big efficiency. Learn from your mistakes. Try to set every route faster and better than the last one. Use fixed lines, jumars, and other aid devices to save muscular effort for forerunning. Tweak by directionality, not by changing holds. Practice, practice, practice. Proper setup seems like a lot of extra work, but it saves more time in the long run. Check this list of basic efficiency tips to brush up on the basics.

That covers a good chunk of it. I'll make a specific post about forerunning for sport comps. For now, what did I miss? Share your secrets to a smooth comp week either here on the Facebook page.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Movement Analysis: Gecko Assis Swinging Heel

The first time I saw this problem was in Between the Trees. Ty Landman makes short work of it, though not quite as short as Adam Ondra's recent flash ascent.

The problem links some interesting and difficult climbing into the 8A+ stand start. The swinging heel is what I find most interesting, because it bridges between two otherwise basic body positions. Also, dynamic foot movements are interesting to learn, execute, and watch, and easily break up otherwise monotonous hand-foot-hand-foot style climbing.

Intended grade: Probably no easier than ~V3 (evidently, up to at least V14)
Ease of setting: Moderate. The sequence can come out quite awkward if placement & directionality aren't right.

The setup:

The foothold(s) are high and left, which prevents upward motion. Directionality of the starting holds is mostly leftward, making upward motion difficult. There are no available footholds underneath the starting holds, so to be set in sequence, this move would need to be traversing.

Opposition between the hands and foot is the primary tension creator, until the target hold (B) is latched. This generates enough compression to cut the feet, match the heel, and bump the right hand again.

The handholds need to be far enough apart that downward motion is difficult to generate between them; if they're in the happy range of motion for shoulders, the climber might be able to smear or campus the next move. The holds should be relatively close in vertical placement, to keep the heel swing from being overly strenuous; but a good (if extreme) variation would be an overhead heel hook.

The tension in the move is such that removal of the starting footholds creates swing, that is then used to help curl the body the opposite direction. So the starting footholds are going to need to be pretty close to the starting hands, allowing a bit of spring in the legs and spine. Also, the target hold for the heel needs to be sloped and directional enough that the climber can't miss the heel and then try again - the swing should be (for a climber of the appropriate grade) essential to stick the move.

Note that I've only added one foothold in the diagram, but a combination could be used if preferred.


Some steepness is good. The main thing is just to have the wall steep enough that the swing doesn't involve the climber smearing or navigating their knees around a minefield of painful plastic blobs. Steepness can also make the sequence much more difficult to skip.

It can help for the terrain to be convex, but too much will quickly make the move awkward, as the climber has to swing around the wall. However, on an ultra-steep prow feature, this move becomes recognizable as simply a normal compression-style heel hook, followed by a cross move.

Hold selection:

Hold A - Placed directionally facing towards the foot. Too much downwards will make the move awkward, difficult, or, if the hold is too good, allow passage directly to hold C. Too much upwards will allow a sequence skip, as well as opening up a huge foot option for a left heel. Facing to the side at just less than a 90 degree angle is about right. Two holds would also suffice (especially if you wanted to add the bumping move that occurs in the real problem before the big move out.)

Hold B - Should be relatively poor. Campusing or smearing to match should be much more difficult than the sequence. The climber should only be able to pull up on it enough to do a crunchie and get their heel up. The majority of exertion in the second move should be happening with the hand on hold A and the heel on hold B.

Hold C - Needs to be directional facing right, to force a right hand preference. Should be difficult to match on.

Troubleshooting: (as usual, for movement of the appropriate grade.)

The climber can skip to hold C from the start.
  • Try turning hold A a bit further downwards
  • Try moving the starting foot upwards, closer to the handholds, or both. If you have time to learn how to set the move, I strongly suggest just putting on 6-8 feet and trying the move from each option until you find the right positioning.
  • Try making hold A slightly worse

The climber can match on hold B. In some cases, this is okay - notably if hold C is unmatchable, and the sequence cannot be continued with the left hand on hold C.
  • If they're smearing: the terrain might not be steep enough, hold B needs to be rotated or made worse, or the distance between hold A and B needs to be increased slightly.
  • If they're campusing, hold B needs to be rotated or made worse.

The climber doesn't need to cut their foot to get the heel hook.
  • The positioning needs to be revisited; either B is too low, or the foothold is too low, or both; it's also possible that they're not far enough apart.
  • It's important to note that the swing is created not by the distance between holds A and B, but by the distance between the opening foothold and hold B.


For harder sequences, it can be good to force a "one try only" element into the foot swing. Usually this means using a poor hold for B, and rotating it to such an angle that the initial push off of the starting foothold is what allows the climber to kick their heel up, and strength through the shoulder cannot be utilized as well. This will cause the climber to need to "pop" off of the foothold,

Enter the sequence by gastoning hold A, then hand-foot matching the prior hold as the foothold to enter the sequence. The opening move could be from an undercling, from a gaston into an elevator-type move, etc. Here I've shown the elevator option.

Another great variation would be, rather than continuing right, to cross under (or rose) past hold C, to continue right. In this case, hold B must be very well selected and oriented to prevent skipping.

Exit the sequence by using hold A as a downward-facing heel hook. This would require the opening foothold to be directional facing straight sideways. More than likely this means hold C will need to be slopey, to prevent just floating sideways with their heel still on hold B.

Or, as usual, any number of other movement concoctions.. what can you come up with? Happy setting!

Ergonomics, Part 2: Movement and Levers

This is a lot more specific than the first post on ergonomics. Before I get into this post, please note that I am not a medical professional. This is a basic overview of climbing movement as it relates to ergonomics; it's not a complete list, just food for thought.

In the last ergonomics post, we talked about pressure. Well, it's time for another physics lesson. This one's about levers. A lever is simply any object that has a load applied at one side, and rotates along another point, called the fulcrum. For now let's look at the simple version.

A basic, normal lever.

In climbing, levers are somewhat more complex, as the load is at one end of the fulcrum. This is called a third class lever, although most often you'll see the load at the other end of the arm, such as lifting a weight. In climbing, as other bodyweight exercises, the body itself is the load.

A climbing lever, such as an elbow.

The fulcrum is the joint, the load the body. For the purposes of setting, we'll view effort as being the climber pulling down on the holds, resisting gravity.

Elbow levers in action.

Note that this photo is very simplified - there are many more levers in play, including the wrists, joints of each finger and thumb, and knees. The hips and shoulders are more complex mechanical structures, with lateral and rotational flexion, but can be viewed much the same way as a normal lever - rotation is created by applying force to load at a pivot point.

Understanding how levers work in climbing technique is quite simple. Just raising the center of gravity on four perfectly spaced holds means that a lever (or levers, really) somewhere in the body must engage. For example, a beginner climber might use their arm as a lever. An advanced climber is likely to use their legs as levers as much as possible, because they know the size ratio of the involved muscles makes it a much stronger mechanism. This is where "twist-in" technique comes from - it relies on turning/bending the legs, and keeping the load off of the weaker lever (the arm) by keeping it straighter.

What's all this lever business mean for ergonomics? I'm glad you asked. A move becomes dangerous when the limb acting as a lever is hyperextended or hyperflexed. This endangers the joint mechanisms (fulcrums) which have to bear the most load. I'll talk a little bit about specific moves and how they can be tailored to be more ergonomic. In these cases, I'm usually talking about more static climbing or specific body positions. The ergonomics of dynamic movement are complex to a degree that I don't think I could cover it in a single blog post. Needless to say, any mainly dynamic movement is putting all of the involved joints at great risk, because the load is immediate, uneven and inaccurate. However, in a future post I'll go over some basic Dos and Don'ts which apply to both static and dynamic movement.

Vertical lockoffs are a simple example. Lockoffs are well-known for troubling elbows. In a deep lockoff, we see that the shoulder joint can quickly become endangered. Especially given most climbers' predisposition to an overdeveloped back and an underdeveloped chest, this can be a bad position. Also note that locking off on a deep hold like a sloper (or a very deep lockoff on a smaller hold) can put a lot of stress on the fingers and wrist. As the move gets deeper and eventually becomes a press, this wrist strain increases proportionally.

Avoid danger by: being aware of the angle of the shoulder and wrist levers when forerunning the move. Increase difficulty by altering the directionality of the source and target holds, rather than by adding distance. If distance is important, consider moving the feet upwards, or using larger footholds, to decrease the load placed on the endangered joints.

Gastons are a great case study for ergonomics, because used incorrectly they can endanger many of the upper body joints. Load is created at the fingers, and forced against the plumb line of both the elbow and shoulder. Straightening the arm to remove load is rarely an option, so we see even greater stress than usual placed on the elbows and shoulders. The further away from center mass the gaston is, the more load. A gaston far away from the body (overextension) will place extreme force on the fingers, shoulder, and wrist, while one closer (overflexion) will emphasize the elbow fulcrum. Gastons are notorious for a reason.

Avoid danger by: being cautious with dynamic movement on gastons. Use body position and foot placement to emphasize static movement. Gaston holds should allow a range of body positions - holds with extremely specific directionality will force climbers' fingers into strange positions to allow them to move vertically.

Underclings present a good, obvious case of hyperflexion and hyperextension. Like a gaston, an undercling that's too far away will require overextension of the muscles, placing great load on the joints. An undercling that is at chest height will require overflexed wrist, elbow and shoulder joints, and can be especially painful on the wrists.

Avoid danger by: Keeping underclings in the comfort zone between flexion and extension for the average body type. Adding an extra foot or two is a good compromise to allow the climber to find their ideal body position. Be wary of slopey underclings that must be held close in, as the body position range quickly becomes limited and climbers' wrists can get overflexed easily. Juggy underclings are less of a concern, because they allow the wrist to relax. In cases where a hold must be used like an undercling around the chest area, another option for moderate routes is to use a hold that can be meathooked (AKA monkey-wrapped, bugled, etc.) upside down, as it allows the wrist a more natural position.

High-steps ergonomically refer to any foot movement where the climber has to lean away from the wall, get maximum flexion of their hip joint, move a foot up high, and then load that foot. Performed wrong, this move places extreme stress on the hip joint, which can be dangerous to the lower back. In many high step scenarios, the knee may also be flexed past the point of safety, and loading it can be disastrous. High, heavily weighted heel hooks, especially overhead heel hooks, place similar stresses on the knee (not to mention being very muscularly asymmetrical.)

Avoid danger by: setting routes where unsequenced extreme high-steps are discouraged by practical use of feet. When high-steps are in the sequence, keep them closer to the center of gravity, respective of course to the intended grade. The rest is largely up to the climber's posture and ability to fire their leg muscles ergonomically, but you can gently push them in the right direction.

Kneebars can be painful, especially if set wrong. The nomenclature often leads climbers to attempt to jam their knee into a hold, when the action should really be happening in the thigh area. Jamming directly on your kneecap is dangerous for obvious reasons and I shouldn't even have to say not to purposefully set a "knee-cap-bar" type of move. Kneebars on the thigh, while notably more comfortable, can still be loaded to a degree that they become dangerous, especially when combined with extreme twisting to reach further from the locked position. Sharp kneebars on the thigh, while uncomfortable, are fine so long as the point of contact remains over the muscle and not near the patella.

Avoid danger by: using appropriately sized kneebars, leaving space for different size legs, and never overloading a kneebar in a twisted position. To generalize, kneebars should be used for body positioning and resting. Setting a kneebar as a way to extend static reach is possible, but should be meticulously forerun and tweaked.

Other quick notes:

Jams involving the fingers, such as hand jams, finger locks, ring locks, etc. are always going to have some inherent pain. It can sometimes be fun to use these moves indoors, and they can still be set safely. However, use them sparingly and mix up the hand/fingers used to avoid as much danger as possible. These positions are inherently stressful, especially on a gym population who are likely to have little (if any) crack climbing experience.

Heel-toe cams should always be set with a "dead man's handle" effect. In other words, it should be bomber only when the ankle is consciously flexed into position. A heel cam that locks by positioning only can be extremely dangerous, especially when coupled with dynamic, extended movement. The climber should have to focus to keep the cam, so there is no danger of the cam staying locked in during a fall.

Full extension upwards can be stressful on the back, ankles and shoulders. Often when trying to reach as far as possible, climbers hyperextend the tiny supporting muscles of the posterior chain. However, I consider this one fairly minor since routesetters usually know better than to set repetitive, body-size-dependent full extension moves.

This list is in no way comprehensive. The possibilities for movement might as well be infinite, and you shouldn't be held back by these precautions - just keep them in mind when setting. Climbers are taking a risk walking into the gym - your job is to reach a balance between danger and fun, not to minimize the danger to the point that the moves are homogenized. As always, take my advice with a grain of salt and think for yourself. And of course, the harder movement becomes, the higher the danger is. I highly doubt there is a V15 in the world which could be considered joint-friendly - but V15 climbers are the ones whose bodies are prepared for this level of exertion. That is your goal: the relative danger should match the difficulty and specificity of the move, so climbers can keep getting stronger and smarter.

For further reading on related topics:

Check out the book One Move Too Many. It is easily the most important climbing injury text I've ever read. Both for your own climbing and for knowledge on these subjects, I suggest finding a copy.

For more info on body mechanics, check out ExRx: the articles on levers and angle of pull would be good starting points.

I'll post again on this topic to go over some basic tactics for keeping climbers safe and healthy. Happy setting!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rotation in Dynamic Moves

The entire idea of movement in climbing revolves around moving from one body position to the next. Knowing that it's more of a gradient rather than a binary concept, let's quickly look at the two main types of movement:

In more static climbing, a climber uses the holds they have to move comfortably into a body position where they are ready to change to the next hold. Examples of this might be perching weight on a good foothold before moving the hands, finding balance on one leg before stepping up to the next foothold, and locking off on one arm to move the other hand.

More dynamic climbing revolves around the climber making similar movements, but with momentum. A lockoff made dynamic might involve a lot more motion coming from the leg and hip, rather than the arm and shoulder. Especially on steep walls, and for very large moves, the ability to create and control momentum becomes crucial.

However, in these dynamic movements, the thesis I started with remains true. A dynamic movement is simply using momentum to move from one body position to the next, rather than tension. There are many applications of forced dynamic movement: most notably, larger upward movement becomes possible. Lateral movement can be added in to spice things up. Dynamic movement to poor holds can require immediate resistance ("holding the swing") rather than the constant tension offered by static resistance climbing.

Lately, I was inspired by a post on Facebook to think about how we can use body position planning to add rotation to dynamic movement. If the target holds require the climber to be in an externally rotated position, a twist is added into the dynamic movement. If the movement is also large enough to require a foot-cut, that twist becomes a full body rotation. In many cases, like Sharma's beta used here on Evilution, this is just enough rotation to get the body underneath the target hold. (Perhaps not the best beta, but we're just examining movement here.)

Moving B laterally will make rotation more or less evident.

Moving from A to B isn't a lateral movement, but requires rotation to get underneath B and grab it from a proper angle. Failure to do so would keep the climber from being able to weight the hold. The climber starts facing slightly right, but close to the wall, and ends facing straight rightward. In this case, when I say "the climber," I really mean "the climber's hips," because that's where the rotation is evident. The starting position will have the hips square to the wall, and in the finishing position they're facing nearly horizontal, with the direction of movement. Watch that video again and watch Sharma's hips to see what I mean.

It is also possible to rotate past 90 degrees. The big boy beta on Toxic Avenger (not a great angle, but you get the gist) involves a dynamic move that sends the climber from almost fully laid back facing left to facing right and almost away from the boulder.

Notably, Toxic Avenger climbs out of the opposite terrain (exiting a roof, rather than entering one) - this setup would present much less difficulty.

In this case, moving from A to B requires a much larger rotation, as the climber would start facing left. Again, the rotation is evident in the climber's hips. The starting body position will be nearly square to the wall, but the end position (before swinging the feet back on) will have the hips facing outward, in this case opposite the direction the climber moved.

That's all for now. And yes.. I do love responding to these kinds of questions on Facebook. Thanks for commenting, Aaron!