Just came across a question on reddit.com regarding how to prevent injuries while doing rope climbs. It occured to me that rope climbing injuries have become substantially less common as more people have shifted to the “BUDS” rope climbing technique. There’s a great article on ITS Tactical comparing the different techniques. Link to the complete article is below but here is a breakdown of the three techniques discussed:
Gym Class Technique
Gym class technique is where you pinch the rope between your feet and reach up with your hands to pull up on the rope and repeat. While you can manage to get up a rope using this technique, you’re working twice as hard. With any technique, the goal should be to use your legs to get up the rope and not depending on upper body strength.
Brake and Squat (Marine Style)
…while effective, it’s not a very quick technique and can cause you extra work by having to reacquire the rope if you lose the wrap.
The technique for the Marine style brake and squat is as follows. First you jump up with your arms extended, letting the rope either fall between your thighs or to the outside (I’ve seen both). From there you single wrap the rope around one of your legs and across the top of your boot. The boot of the unwrapped leg clamps down on the other boot, trapping the rope. You can now support your weight without using the power of your arms and hands.
Brake and Squat (BUD/s Style)
…a very simple brake and squat technique that’s extremely fast, easy to reacquire the rope and will beat any other technique for speed. We’d have team rope climb races all the time and it would always be the guys using the Marine style brake and squat technique (despite being taught otherwise) that would slow a team down and cause them to hit the surf.
You can read the full article at ITS Tactical: Learn How to Climb Rope like a Navy SEAL and Build Functional Strength