Do a Lie Back While Rock Climbing

Do a Lie Back While Rock Climbing
Rock climbing can get you into a lot of tricky situations, and sometimes you need to be able to use your holds creatively. A lie back or layback is one way to utilize cracks or other vertically-oriented holds as well as combine the strength of your arms and legs for an extra push out of a tight spot.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Locate one or two vertical holds in which you can place your hands.
Step 2
Get into a position where you can grip the vertical hold or holds with both hands. If you are holding onto a large crack, put both of your hands into that crack.
Step 3
Get into a position where both of your feet also have leverage.
Step 4
Lean your body away from the hand hold and push with your legs while also pulling on the hand hold.
Step 5
Continue to seek new footing while maintaining your grip on the vertical hold or holds. Essentially you are leaning away from your vertical hold to maintain leverage and walking up the surface.
Step 6
When your feet are nearly as high as your hands, look for higher holds for your hands and move them one at time to progress up the surface.
Step 7
Allow your arms to stay loose during a lie back. All you really need to successfully complete the technique is a good grip and the leverage you create by leaning back away from the hold. Leg strength, as in most climbing techniques, is your primary force.

Article Written By Lesley Graybeal

Lesley Graybeal is a life-long nature and travel lover who spends her free time hiking and climbing in the Appalachians and the Rockies, and has also enjoyed mountain hikes in New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, South Korea, and Tibet.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.