21. Side Pulls

A “side pull” is any hold that has vertical orientation in relation to the climb. Meaning, pulling sideways. Side pulls come in all shapes and sizes, from crimps to jugs.

Below are a few considerations for climbing side pulls:

1. Pull laterally from the side angle, instead of downward

2. Side pulls offer either a thumb up hand orientation, or a thumb down (i.e. “gaston”) hand orientation

3. Footwork and body positioning are important to maintaining a strong lateral pull

4. Determine whether the hold calls for opposition vs. compression

Tip: Heel hooking with a side pull hand-hold can help extend the body to complete reachy moves.

We hope you found this video helpful. Feel free to comment below with questions or thoughts!


Please remember, climbing is inherently dangerous. Climb at your own risk.