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granite_grrl


Feb 6, 2008, 4:06 PM
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Developing Lock off
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When searching for this the most popular suggestion were frenchies. Well, I don't like spending too much time on pullups (start to bother my elbows) and hence I can only do 2 or 3 at a time. Ice and mixed climbing could also be options, but the ice season around here has sucked so far and I don't think it's going to get any better. :(

Any other suggestions for developing lock off strength? I have a home wall at my disposal, the main angles on it are 25, 60 and a small roof section.


irregularpanda


Feb 6, 2008, 4:36 PM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Developing Lock off [In reply to]
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if you don't like pull ups, then it'll be hard.

I do frenchies, but offset pull ups are great also. Also, I sometimes do offset frenchies.


patmay81


Feb 6, 2008, 5:09 PM
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If you have a gym available lat & trap pulls, and military press work well for strenght building.


rjtrials


Feb 6, 2008, 5:17 PM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Developing Lock off [In reply to]
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Lockoffs on a pullup bar are not that beneficial to climbing. What you need to do, is train your body to maintain a position for several seconds when only 2 or 3 points are on the wall.
During boulder problems on your wall, stop during the motion between the holds. Right before you are going to be gripping the next hold, keep you body tight and motionless for 3-5 seconds. Then grab the hold, get into position for the next move and repeat the timed lockoff.

RJ


a.frosch


Feb 6, 2008, 5:53 PM
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Re: [rjtrials] Developing Lock off [In reply to]
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rjtrials wrote:
Lockoffs on a pullup bar are not that beneficial to climbing.

RJ

Not to rock climbing, but they are (arguably) somewhat useful for ice. Technique is more important, but being able to hold a single arm lockoff with poor feet can come in handy.

This is actually one exercise for which I prefer a pull-up bar over a hangboard; take a piece of cloth, drape it around the bar, and hold it as low as possible while still being able to pull up; it gives a mean pull-muscle workout.


Partner rgold


Feb 6, 2008, 6:45 PM
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Re: [a.frosch] Developing Lock off [In reply to]
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Lock-off ability is certainly useful for rock climbing, even for sport climbing if onsighting matters.

1. When you dyno to an unknown hold, it is often necessary to lock off in order to shift the grip to the best one.

2. In trad climbing with nasty fall potential, reversibilty of moves becomes critical. Dynoing to holds that can't be fully inspected becomes too dangerous, and locking off is the only remaining option for long reaches. Lock-off ability also allows you to back down without just dropping onto the lower hand hold.

3. In trad climbing, if pro has to be placed at full extension on steep ground, lock-off ability is essential, since you can't dyno a nut into a tricky placement.

I think equipment-based lock-off training is the most efficient, the easiest to control, and so the least likely to result in injuries. (This is an observation from personal experience, but please remember that I have no qualifications as any kind of coach or physical trainer.)

There will, of course, be the usual arguments, which certainly have merit, about whether this is time well spent. I think that if pullups produce elbow problems, then any lock-off practice, including the more climbing-specific ones, will also produce elbow problems, except that the less controllable exercises will result in worse problems. I mentioned the use of wrist straps in another thread as a way to mitigate elbow stress while doing pullups. Works for me---worth a try anyway.

Lock-off training can be done on climbs and boulder problems as described upthread. I think it is probably better to at least start on climbs, because there will typically be bigger holds and/or less overhanging wall, and this will allow time for the elbows (and other muscles and tendons) to adjust.

Just do the climbs with a solid three-second pause between releasing a handhold and grasping the next handhold. As a side benefit, some interesting things about body position emerge when you aren't moving more dynamically.

An excellent lock-off exercise, if your gym has the right terrain, is to do the easier routes with big holds on less than vertical walls with only the handholds and foot smears. No actual footholds allowed, so you have to lock off on every move. This also helps you to understand where to put your feet for maximum body position effect.

As for the much-maligned pullups, I think Frenchies are ok, but not ultimately the best because they don't load one arm up sufficiently. (Of course, one could add weight...) Some of the elbow stress may be relieved by not pausing too long. I've read ridiculous holding times like seven seconds. I think three seconds will work just fine. I also think you get better training effect (and possibly less elbow damage) if you do the three-second holds on the way up rather than on the way down. (I'm thinking of holding at 120, 90, and full chin-up positions. The full chin-up position has the bar to the chest, not the chin.) Of course, this is a bit harder, which is good, because you have to pull out of the holding position to the next holding position.

There was at some point some research indicating there is more muscle damage in the eccentric rather than in the concentric stages of contraction. If this is still true, it would be a reason to do the holding on the way up.

Better, I think, than frenchies is uneven grip pullups. I mentioned these in another thread too. The standard recommendations are absurdly primitive, like loop a towel over the bar. What you need for progress and injury prevention is a fairly precise way to adjust the span between grips. The beginner's starting postion could be achieved with a towel, the lower hand is positioned at mid-forarm level of the upper hand. But as you progress, the lower hand has to be positioned lower and lower. Eventually, you should be starting with the high hand at full extension and the low hand at armpit level, which means the low hand is used almost entirely in a pressing, rather than pulling mode.

I think the best way to accomplish this is to use a set of rings that are suspended using burly cartop carrier luggage straps with cam buckles. I suppose adjustable daisies would work too. The buckles can be used for rapid but very fine adjustments in height.

Sets, reps, and resting have to be chosen for strength. This means reps in the 3-5 range and rest intervals of 3 or more minutes. It goes without saying that a good warmup is essential, and this is another place where the adjustable straps are a big help. If you are working in this range, I've found it may be counterproductive to do such exercises with less than two to three days rest in between.

Good luck with whatever method you choose.


miavzero


Feb 6, 2008, 7:22 PM
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Re: [rgold] Developing Lock off [In reply to]
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Checkout Jibe's lock off climbing drill in Performance Rock Climbing.


Partner rgold


Feb 6, 2008, 9:29 PM
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Re: [miavzero] Developing Lock off [In reply to]
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miavzero wrote:
Checkout Jibe's lock off climbing drill in Performance Rock Climbing.

...which is exactly what I described above, except that JB (or is it Goddard and Neumann?) recommend "three to five seconds" between release and grasp.

For those who think lock-off training is not relevant to rock-climbing, Goddard-Neumann describe it as a method of building "anaerobic strength in the positions climbers 'scan' for holds or clip protection."

As for the advantages of lock-off training on climbs (as opposed to on apparatus) they say that it also "...helps teach the optimal body positions and orientations for moves..." and "...strengthens the core muscles that stabilize your body in the different positions that long lock-off's require."


jto


Feb 7, 2008, 1:23 AM
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Re: [rgold] Developing Lock off [In reply to]
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Good points. One has to remember that locking off in climbing is not an arm thing. Itīs a whole body thing. So do your lock off drills in the gym or better yet on your projects or else outdoors.

Eccentric part really causes more muscle damage but that is pretty much only a good thing as it results in a better hypertrophy. So itīs not that kinda damage you do with a knife :) When doing eccentric ladders and lock off the locking is not the danger part. Dropping on your straight arm is, so keep them bent even a bit.

Static strength training is very joint angle dependant so be smart and use many different angles on your shoulder, elbow too. So wide lock offs keeping the elbow almost straight are very very beneficial and theyīre not so stressful on the elbow (medial epicondylitis in mind). A good point is to lock off your upper body and at the same time move your feet to new holds.

The normal times used in general strength training are good also in climbing so it means keeping the locks between 1-5 secs. Longer ones are ok but I wouldnīt do them that much as they usually do more harm than good especially when the arm is very bent.

The load doesnīt always have to cause failure. More important is to introduce bigger loads. So if your 3sec max in one lock off type is 20 pounds it would be better to do more reps (like 4 x 3secs x 15lbs or 4 x 1secs x20lbs) than trying every time make a new record.

Go up in volume (sets x reps x weight) for three weeks and make the 4th very light only doing one easier workout in thursday or so to wake the body up. Then on Saturday test yourself going to failure. After that a new four week phase.

:)


(This post was edited by jto on Feb 7, 2008, 1:28 AM)


edl


Feb 7, 2008, 1:51 PM
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Re: [jto] Developing Lock off [In reply to]
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First off, I am not trainer and have no professional experience with this, so my advice is based on my own experience.

I would personally advocate for training lock off's by climbing problems statically. The reason for this is because, as rgold hinted in his post, locking off moves while climbing is as much a technique thing as a strength thing, and it requires strength not only in your arms but throughout your body because to lock many moves off you need to hold your body in a particular way (that's the technique part, think about it as putting your body in the position so that the hold you are hanging on to is the most positive that it can be).

As for just getting lock off strength in your arms...? If you are going the weight gym route, perhaps another thing to work on in order to achieve your goal is some core strength training?


(This post was edited by edl on Feb 7, 2008, 6:20 PM)


Partner cracklover


Mar 24, 2009, 11:21 AM
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Re: [edl] Developing Lock off [In reply to]
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Do you all think that these techniques would work equally well for developing lockoff ability for crack climbs? The main difference being that the body position is often different.

I'd like to train for a climb in which the crux for me involves holding finger locks and ring locks with poor feet while resetting the next arm higher.

It sounds like the main advice so far is that the best way to train for lockoff strength is to use a rock gym, and hold lock-off position for several seconds at each move. I can see how this would be more effective than just training with a pullup bar, particularly since it trains the rest of the body.

But if my gym doesn't have much in the way of cracks, is this still the best method, or should I fall back to some kind of pullup bar training?

GO


seatbeltpants


Mar 24, 2009, 12:05 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Developing Lock off [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
I'd like to train for a climb in which the crux for me involves holding finger locks and ring locks with poor feet while resetting the next arm higher.

It sounds like the main advice so far is that the best way to train for lockoff strength is to use a rock gym, and hold lock-off position for several seconds at each move. I can see how this would be more effective than just training with a pullup bar, particularly since it trains the rest of the body.

But if my gym doesn't have much in the way of cracks, is this still the best method, or should I fall back to some kind of pullup bar training?

just thinking out loud here, but it seems to me that locking off on a jam isn't hugely different to looking off on a hold - the hand position is different, but arm and body tension will, to a greater or lesser extent, be much the same i'd imagine. which would mean that the training in a gym on holds would translate quite well to jamming a crack. possibly more so if you kept the same wrist orientation (thinking sidepulls or similar with a vertical wrist, rather than a crimp on a horizontal hold).

though i may be completely and utterly wrong?

great thread and suggestions, btw!

steve


Partner cracklover


Mar 24, 2009, 12:37 PM
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Re: [seatbeltpants] Developing Lock off [In reply to]
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seatbeltpants wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'd like to train for a climb in which the crux for me involves holding finger locks and ring locks with poor feet while resetting the next arm higher.

It sounds like the main advice so far is that the best way to train for lockoff strength is to use a rock gym, and hold lock-off position for several seconds at each move. I can see how this would be more effective than just training with a pullup bar, particularly since it trains the rest of the body.

But if my gym doesn't have much in the way of cracks, is this still the best method, or should I fall back to some kind of pullup bar training?

just thinking out loud here, but it seems to me that locking off on a jam isn't hugely different to looking off on a hold - the hand position is different, but arm and body tension will, to a greater or lesser extent, be much the same i'd imagine. which would mean that the training in a gym on holds would translate quite well to jamming a crack. possibly more so if you kept the same wrist orientation (thinking sidepulls or similar with a vertical wrist, rather than a crimp on a horizontal hold).

though i may be completely and utterly wrong?

great thread and suggestions, btw!

steve

I wasn't thinking about the hand position (though maybe I should have been) when I suggested that cracks would be different. I had more in mind the body position and tensions.

On a vertical crack, trying to get as much weight over your lowest foot as you can, when the hand and foot are in the same vertical plane, your have to torque your body dramatically between upper and lower body. You often have your upper body way off to one side of your center of gravity, while your hips are well off to the other side. This is uncommon in face climbing.

I'm not trying to get into a crack climbing discussion, just looking to clarify why I think lockoffs on gym face routes might be less applicable.

GO


seatbeltpants


Mar 24, 2009, 3:01 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Developing Lock off [In reply to]
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good points - i'd been focusing on hand position, not body...

steve


boracus


Mar 24, 2009, 3:32 PM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Developing Lock off [In reply to]
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GG-
From an injury prevention stand point any kind of lock off training is going to be hell on the elbows. It is probably the best way to create an overuse injury at the elbow if you don't already have one.
Since you mentioned that it does bother your elbows you may want to stear clear of it.

I'm not sure if you're simply looking to be able to hang onto holds longer while messing w/ gear or if you truly feel that the locked off arm position is a limiting factor in your performance? If it's the former you can experiment w/ some of the suggestions pertaining to maintaning a static body position for a number of seconds between reaches while climbing, you can keep your arms straight while doing this and decrease the stress on your elbows. But even still you've got to keep in mind that the flexor digitorum groups and the Extensor digitorum attach to the medial and lateral side of the elbow respectively and by doing prolonged gripping exercises this may aggravate the elbow even in a straight armed position.

I only bring this up because I'd hate to see you head down the lock off training road and develope elbow problems that may take months to get rid of, or even back to where you are now.
cheers, BA


pulchny93


Apr 9, 2009, 8:14 AM
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A good way to get strong at lock offs is locking off every move you do on a boulder problem or even a route for 2 seconds also when you climb try to keep everything nice and slow, no swinging etc.
Doing too much static climbing can cause injury so you should not train it for too long, a couple of weeks of lock offs and then swapping to something else is probably the best.


limeydave


Apr 9, 2009, 8:35 AM
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pulchny93 wrote:
...Doing too much static climbing can cause injury...

Really?


krusher4


Apr 9, 2009, 9:07 AM
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I like to ladder on a campus board to train lock offs


ryanb


Apr 9, 2009, 9:28 AM
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I'll agree with this...I have certainly had my share of elbow and shoulder issues over the years and a lot of it came from being too heavy and climbing too statically.

That said I still train locks offs regularly and I think I have a system I like. My theory is that the hardest part of developing serious strength is not the exercises you do for the strength but the opposition and preparation you do to your body so it can handle the strength.

My program is to stay as light as i can, drink lots of water, do yoga (very pushing intensive and teaches you to maintain good form in exercises) and do various support muscle building with an elastic band and hammer almost every day.

Then once a week i do a few (~3) frenchies with slow perfect form and maybe once more a week a train front levers. I usually do these on the same day as a good dead hang session (no pullups, just hanging edges) and rest 1-2 days after. If my elbows feel weird i lay off and just climb for a bit.

This is not enough to see hugh gains quickly but I've definitely seen big gains over the course of a winter and I am injury free and headed into the outdoor season stronger then i have ever been.

Lock off strength definitely helps trad climbing...having the finger and arm strength to climb with ones body further out from the crack is 40% of being secure and comfortable on climbs with poor/thin feet (only slightley less important then footwork).


booyuhka


Apr 9, 2009, 10:18 AM
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I train fairly hard in the gym and locking off on climbs that I'm working (ie after I'm done warming up) isnt really an option. I guess you could do these lock off exercises instead of just climbing at your max level in the gym but then you get into the debate of whats better for your climbing...
Personally Id rather waste my skin climbing at my limit than a 3 second lock off exercise on climbs that arent my limit.
I think I'm more in ryanb's camp. Once my skin has worn out, once or twice a week I'll go over to the pull-up bar and work in 3 sets of 3 frenchies at 7 seconds. I'll only do these when the next day is an off day from climbing. Like this Im getting in lockoff training without it getting in the way of a training day on the wall at my limit.
just some quick notes... 1) i dont have elbow problems. I guess I'm lucky in that aspect. 2) I get finger problems all the time. Rarely do I not have a tweaked finger here or there. Another reason why I train my lock offs on a pullup bar than on smaller climbing holds where I could potentially injure my fingers.


pulchny93


Apr 11, 2009, 2:37 AM
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Climbing too static can cause injury by putting too much stress on your joints. for more information on that go on http://www.davemacleod.com/articles/elbowinjuries.html


limeydave


Apr 16, 2009, 10:33 AM
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pulchny93 wrote:
Climbing too static can cause injury by putting too much stress on your joints. for more information on that go on http://www.davemacleod.com/articles/elbowinjuries.html

Doesn't dynamic climbing also carry the potential for injury?

I guess I'm just amused that the logic follows that climbing (regardless of style) may cause injury.

Which is obvious.


limeydave


Apr 16, 2009, 10:34 AM
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pulchny93 wrote:
Climbing too static can cause injury by putting too much stress on your joints. for more information on that go on http://www.davemacleod.com/articles/elbowinjuries.html

Oh, and too much static climbing is not the same as climbing too static.


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