4 Ingenious Ways to Improve Your Grip and Finger Strength
Do you remember the feeling you got the first time you climbed to the top of that wall?
The first time you yelled, “race you to the top!” to your climbing buddy, and won? Being a climber is about so much more than just tackling some rocks. It’s a way to bond with friends, exercise, enhance your mind and body connection, and much more.
It’s important to keep your body healthy and in the best shape. Have you ever found yourself in a position that was tough to get out of?
You see a way out, but you don’t have the finger strength to grip your way out. This is a common problem for climbers.
Read on to find out how you can address it.
Improving Your Finger Strength
Something that a lot of climbers might not realize is that you’ve got to work out first!
But wait–I just told you that rock climbing was a great workout? Yes, but I’m talking about finger workouts here. Finger strength is a significant aspect of rock climbing.
Have you noticed pain in your hands and fingers? Again, the strength of your fingers is the answer. Doing finger strength exercises is a great way to lessen any long-term pain.
Let’s go over a few exercises to get you started.
This one is fundamental, but don’t let that fool you. Hangboarding can be thoroughly exhausting. Be sure to give your fingers plenty of recovery time between workouts.
Equipment: A hangboard is the official piece of equipment, but these can be a bit pricey. If your favorite climbing spot doesn’t have them readily available, you can use any board. Make sure that it’s securely attached to the wall before you begin!
Workout: Grip the hangboard as tightly as you can and pull yourself into a hanging position. Hold for 10 seconds and rest for 5. Remember to rotate fingers!
Reps: Repeat cycle five times and rest for 3 minutes in between. Continue for a total of 10 sets.
Recovery: There should be between 48-72 hours of rest in between each workout. Be careful not to overwork your fingers because you’ll need them!
Rock Ring Pull-Ups
There are multiple ways to perform rock ring pull-ups. Make sure that you are alternating to maximize your benefit.
Equipment: Rock Rings (can be suspended from any solid anchor point)
Workout: Alternate between pull-ups and offset pull-ups. With regular pull-ups, focus on maintaining a smooth form, and start for 2-3 repetitions per hand, and for offset pull-ups, set one ring a bit higher than the other. Next, move on to bent arm hang, where you pull yourself up to your desired angle and hold for 5 seconds.
Reps: Repeat this process five times. Rest for 4 minutes in between each cycle.
Recovery: Take this exercise at your own pace. Make sure that you give yourself ample time to recover.
Stress Ball Squeeze
Stress balls aren’t just for when your job or significant other get to be too much. They are also great for increasing the strength of your fingers. The best part is that you can carry around the ball anywhere you go!
Equipment: 1 appropriately sized stress ball
Workout: Squeeze the stress ball as hard as you can and hold for 5 seconds and release.
Reps: Repeat 10 times per hand.
Don’t forget to stretch! Stretching is an integral part of any workout. We recommend this one.
Equipment: None required
Workout: Bend your fingertips to touch the base of each finger, and don’t forget your thumb! Your hand should resemble a claw. Hold for 30-60 seconds.
Reps: 5 times per hand
Recovery: As needed
Don’t get ahead of yourself, as rock climbing can be exhausting. However, these exercises will help you improve your finger strength.