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Hold On Longer: How to Improve Grip Strength for Better Climbs

Never skip finger day!


Never skip finger day! You don’t hear anyone saying that, but if you’re a climber, it’s true. Your fingers and your wrists are a huge part of your success and stamina when climbing, and there are things you can do to strengthen them.

The more you strengthen your fingers and wrists, the longer and higher you can go. Training these tiny but important muscles will also increase your choices of holds when you’re on the wall.

No longer will crimps and pockets scare you—you’ve trained for this! Ready to learn how to improve grip strength?

We’ve got your guide, below.

Rubber Band Finger Extensions

Some workouts require you to have fancy equipment. Not this one! All you’ll need for this finger extension and strengthening exercise is a thick rubber band.

Start with whatever you have stashed in a drawer, then when that gets to easy, buy a bag of multi-sized bands. The thicker the band is, the harder it’s going to be. If the thickest band gets too easy, add another one on top of it.

To do the exercise, place the rubber band around all four fingers. Then roll it down your fingers until you can fit your thumb under the band as well. Your hand should look like you’re doing a “talking” or “blah blah blah” motion.

Then separate your fingers and try to spread them all the way out. Do about 20 reps of this (per hand) each day and watch your grip strength level up in as little as a month.

Isolated Hangs

When you’re at the climbing gym or alone on the crag, give yourself two or three minutes a day to hang by your fingers.

Choose a grip that you can reach by standing on your toes, put all four fingers on it, then hang for as long as you can.

Beginners will want to do both hands at a time. But as you get stronger, you can go to one hand at a time, and then even three fingers, two fingers, then only one.

This is the most realistic way to increase your grip strength, but it poses a larger risk of injury than the method above—so don’t push it.

Wrist Curls

This exercise will strengthen the muscles in your wrists and forearms. Place the top or back of your arm on a desk or table so that only your wrist is hanging off. Hold a dumbbell in your hand with the palm facing up.

Hold onto the dumbbell and flex your wrist down, then pull it back up. Your wrist should get longer in the down position and shorter in the up.

How to Improve Grip Strength: It Takes Consistency

Improve Grip Strength


None of these exercises will work for you if you don’t do them consistently. If you’re looking for how to improve grip strength overnight, sorry, you’re out of luck.

You have to put in the time and effort for your fingers and wrists just like every other muscle group.

When you’re done doing your wrist curls, stretch those sore muscles by using your mouse to browse our site. You deserve a reward!