Aside from extreme bravery and sheer will, one of the most important aspects of a good rock or ice climber is grip strength. Without the ability to grab and hold onto things, you will have a much more difficult time hoisting yourself up the side of a large, rocky surface. But how can you get grip strength? This is a question that many new and intermediate climbersask quite often and the best answer is, ‘Whatever works best for you.’
Let me explain. There are many different methods you can use to build grip strength, and, while they are all effective, they don’t work for everyone. At least, not at first. You can choose hangboard training, bouldering, hand grippers, a pull-up bar, a rope, fingerboard training or edge training. All of these training methods are just as good as the others, you just have to find the one that suits your needs and abilities.
Advantages Of Strong Fingers When Climbing
- Strong fingers can hold smaller holds.
- Well-trained fingers recover faster.
- Strong fingers can be used for longer periods of time.
With that being said, we are going to take a look at the different grip strength training methods so you can decide which one works for you. Let’s get started:
Training Your Grip Strength
Bouldering- bouldering strengthens your grip while teaching technique and strategy. Plan your route before starting and avoid the given colored routes, choosing the grips you want to train.
Bouldering With Weights- using a weight vest or weight belt, you can add a higher level of difficulty to your bouldering workout. Be sure to warm up properly first and only practice bouldering with weights in a climbing hall.
Hand Grippers- hand grippers can be used just about anywhere and they fit easily into a backpack, gear bag, purse or jacket. Training every other day with a hand gripper 3 times until failure will increase your grip strength very quickly.
Pull-Up Bar- you can simply hang from the pullup bar with either a full grip, or just with your fingers, for as long as you can. Practice this multiple times and experiment with different grips.
Rope- a thick gym rope which hangs from the ceiling is an excellent tool for building grip strength. Simply hang from the rope for as long as you can and repeat.
Hangboard Or Fingerboard Training- this type of training works the flexors of your fingers. Be sure to warm up properly before using the hangboard and never workout with tired or injured fingers as you could do even more damage.
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