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Dynoing Basics

Connor's World is the newest FrictionLabs series that explains climbing techniques, tips, and best practices to help you crush.

Welcome to the first entry in FrictionLabs’ new series, Connor's World. Each month, I will explain a particular climbing technique.

Who am I? My name's Connor. I’ve been climbing for 13 years, primarily as a boulderer. I’ve lived in Colorado for the past 10 of those years, getting lost in the ocean of rock throughout the state as often as I can. I’ve climbed up to V11 and established new boulders up to V10 outside. I am a professional route setter, a student of climbing movement, and a coach––but only to you, readers :)

Oh, and I love dynoing.

Why you want to dyno

Isn’t this an easy answer? Because flying through the air like a happy dolphin is utterly liberating. What’s that you say? Sending your project is more rewarding? No, no—sticking a huge dyno is way more fun. Trust me.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had flying dreams, or gone skydiving, but dynoing is kind of like that. But, just in case you’re wondering what exactly a dyno is, let me momentarily push aside my childish exuberance and explain it to you.

The term “dyno” is a slang abbreviation for “dynamic.” A dyno is a dynamic move, i.e. one in which you use momentum and power to cross a large distance between holds. A typical dyno requires you to jump from hold(s) to hold(s), and can cause your body to swing violently upon execution. Sounds like a blast, right?!

Here I am on Wrecking Ball Dyno, a V8 in Joe's Valley, Utah.
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How to jump like LeBron

Most of us climbers aren’t born with the freakish athleticism of NBA players. Then again, even if a raw talent with jack-in-the-box legs showed up to the climbing gym, she still wouldn’t be able to dyno well right off the bat. Because it’s allll about the technique.

Learning how to huck huge dynos takes many, MANY hours of practice. A truly well-executed dyno requires a combination of momentum, precision, and strength to pull off. What follows are the basic components that go into a classic, straight-up dyno.

First off, here’s what you need in order to practice:

  • A gently overhanging wall (dynoing on a slab is a perfect way to smash knees and elbows).
  • Comfortable, easy to grab jugs for the start and finish hold(s), ideally about 4-6 feet apart.
  • Good foot holds to launch from.
  • Chalk. For real. Dynoing with greasy hands is like trying to catch minnows bare-handed.

Secondly, here's a rundown of proper dynoing mechanics:

  • Prepare for takeoff: grab your meaty starting hold jug(s) of choice with both hands, and place your feet on the girthiest foot holds you can find. Your feet should be 2-3 feet below your start hold. My advice: place your dominant foot (which should correspond with the hand you plan to lead with) slightly higher than the other.
  • Dynoing is mostly a practice in momentum, which needs to be generated. Straighten your arms on the start holds. Use your feet to “pump” your whole body in the direction you want to dyno. When you come down to the bottom of your swing, sink as low as possible. I recommend only one pump per dyno, as two or more can actually cause a loss in energy and power.
  • Now comes the explosive stage of the dyno. Use your feet to push and your arms to pull your body upwards with as much force as possible. When you see a dyno master flawlessly execute a huge jump, you might think he executes the move in one fluid motion, but this isn’t entirely accurate. Begin the dyno by pulling mostly with your arms; when you reach the point where the start holds are about level with your chest, start pushing with your feet as hard as you can.
  • Ideally, you want to continue pulling the start holds down until your arms are completely straight, then let them go. In midair, bring your lead arm up and extend it towards the finish hold.
  • When you latch the finish hold(s), get ready for a big swing. If the finish hold is juggy enough, you may be able to control it with one arm. Otherwise, coordinate your second arm to snap into either the second finish hold or a match on the first.
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Learn from others

By now, you’ve probably seen other climbers in the gym flailing about, desperately jumping around like schizophrenic chimps. Or maybe you haven’t. Since dynoing is not the most intuitive movement, especially in a sport that inherently favors precision and control, most of us would benefit from some visual learning. If your eyes glazed over and you browned out during the step-by-step description above, don’t worry, there’s a video.

So, without further adieu, we present to you Nik Vukovich, The Flying Serbian, in a masterful demonstration of the magical art of dynoing. Enjoy!

 

Connect with Connor

Instagram: @connor.griffith_

Twitter: @connor_climbs

Facebook: facebook.com/PersonofInterestLtd

Website: personofinterest.life

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