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sef239


Jan 15, 2011, 1:19 AM
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Finger strength, most common climbing limitation?
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Hi,

I have been climbing a few months now, about 4, so I'm relatively new to climbing.

Right now I boulder v4 and climb 5.11a (inside the gym -- although I assume that what I'm noticing applies outdoors as well), and what I notice most is that as problems get harder, the holds get smaller. At least, in my gym, going from v4-5 is the hardest transition I've encountered so far, which makes sense, but in a unique way: what limited me on previous difficulty levels is no longer an issue. And from what I've seen, the holds just get smaller from here on out.

Is it logical then to assume that finger strength is the most important aspect of climbing, starting from this level, to work on? And if so, at my level, what are some effecient exercises ( am I ready for a campus/hang board)? I've looked online a lot for training tips, I'd still like to get input from experienced climbers here.

Thanks.


mr.tastycakes


Jan 15, 2011, 7:05 AM
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sef239 wrote:

Is it logical then to assume that finger strength is the most important aspect of climbing, starting from this level, to work on? And if so, at my level, what are some effecient exercises ( am I ready for a campus/hang board)? I've looked online a lot for training tips, I'd still like to get input from experienced climbers here.

IMO, pure finger strength ("contact strength") is overrated. It's a common misperception that, "If I could just HOLD ON, I could climb this boulder/route." It's not that simple. The greatest gains will come from improving your movement skills, your precision on the hand and footholds, timing and body coordination.

There are plenty of problems harder than V4 with big holds. The orientation of the holds, rock angle and absence of conveniently positioned footholds, among other things, affect difficulty as well.

Check out the self-coached climber.


ceebo


Jan 15, 2011, 7:17 AM
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No, finger strength is by no means the only limiting factor. I use to climb far to much verticle crimp style routes, super static. On those i was starting to flash 7b's.

It was not untill i started venturing into other styles of climbing that i realised how bad i was. On overhangs for example.. i had all the finger strength i possibly needed for atleast 8a's.. but i lacked, and still lack the strength in shoulders and the dynamic skills to be efficiant on such routes.

Its also mostly wrong to associate small holds with increasing difficulty. Some of the hardest routes i have ever tried had holds bigger than my feet.

With smaller holds your able to open hand or even crimp and just lock off your fingers. Once you get good at these they are extreemy good holds to climb on, The harder holds are the ones where you need to squeeze with an opposing thumb.. that requires direct force to be applied from the 4 arms and finger tendons to keep enough friction on the hold or you slip off. It takes far greater force to sustain a grip on such holds than it does on a crimp.

Slopers are probably a better example though.. their the most easy holds on your fingers.. but by far the mot hardest routes to climb. Some of those holds you can actually sit on.


Btw, v4 is a very decent grade for how long you have climbed. It's probably too hard actually.. and you may allready be starting off injurys that will build over the coming months, then fuck you over on a difficult crux move. Try and resist going past that grade for the first year, and just see how well your body respond's to it.


(This post was edited by ceebo on Jan 15, 2011, 8:36 AM)


cmagee1


Jan 15, 2011, 1:00 PM
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Ive been climbing for 3 months and just developed golfers elbow. Dont let it happen to you!! According to the clynical mechanics of the hand "force generated by the muscles which bend the fingertips must be at least four times the pressure which is produced at the fingertips." essentially by using these tiny holds, you exerting an insane amount of force on your fingers. There is a very good chance that at this early stage your body hasnt adapted completely to this force yet. This could easily cause multiple stress injuries. Be careful! Do some traverses, dont fear jugs and slopers. Do easier problems and down climb after you send them. Let your tendons catch up to your muscles!


Partner j_ung


Jan 15, 2011, 1:25 PM
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sef239 wrote:
Hi,

I have been climbing a few months now, about 4, so I'm relatively new to climbing.

Right now I boulder v4 and climb 5.11a (inside the gym -- although I assume that what I'm noticing applies outdoors as well), and what I notice most is that as problems get harder, the holds get smaller. At least, in my gym, going from v4-5 is the hardest transition I've encountered so far, which makes sense, but in a unique way: what limited me on previous difficulty levels is no longer an issue. And from what I've seen, the holds just get smaller from here on out.

Is it logical then to assume that finger strength is the most important aspect of climbing, starting from this level, to work on? And if so, at my level, what are some effecient exercises ( am I ready for a campus/hang board)? I've looked online a lot for training tips, I'd still like to get input from experienced climbers here.

Thanks.

Really good climbers have strength throughout their bodies, an ingrained grasp of efficient movement over stone, the confidence to execute it in moments of extreme stress and the knowledge and temperance necessary to avoid an early death.

A lack of finger strength may be keeping you from bouldering v5 in the gym right now, but a lack of other things can keep you from doing so much more later.


sef239


Jan 15, 2011, 2:30 PM
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j_ung wrote:
sef239 wrote:
Hi,

I have been climbing a few months now, about 4, so I'm relatively new to climbing.

Right now I boulder v4 and climb 5.11a (inside the gym -- although I assume that what I'm noticing applies outdoors as well), and what I notice most is that as problems get harder, the holds get smaller. At least, in my gym, going from v4-5 is the hardest transition I've encountered so far, which makes sense, but in a unique way: what limited me on previous difficulty levels is no longer an issue. And from what I've seen, the holds just get smaller from here on out.

Is it logical then to assume that finger strength is the most important aspect of climbing, starting from this level, to work on? And if so, at my level, what are some effecient exercises ( am I ready for a campus/hang board)? I've looked online a lot for training tips, I'd still like to get input from experienced climbers here.

Thanks.

Really good climbers have strength throughout their bodies, an ingrained grasp of efficient movement over stone, the confidence to execute it in moments of extreme stress and the knowledge and temperance necessary to avoid an early death.

A lack of finger strength may be keeping you from bouldering v5 in the gym right now, but a lack of other things can keep you from doing so much more later.

The point about confidence is something I can relate to. I've been at the end of problems, tired, only to be faced with a sketchy dyno move, and I've faltered.

Thanks for all the input, btw. I hadn't thought of "effecient movement" before.


gosharks


Jan 15, 2011, 2:33 PM
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Finger strength is actually by far my strongest climbing attribute. My flash grade on crimp problems is 1-2 V grades higher than on non-crimp problems.


sef239


Jan 15, 2011, 3:06 PM
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gosharks wrote:
Finger strength is actually by far my strongest climbing attribute. My flash grade on crimp problems is 1-2 V grades higher than on non-crimp problems.

Were you always like that? Or do you do any finger strength exercises? I realize that "my tendons have to catch up to my muscles" since I'm a new climber, but I still think finger strength is one of my weaknesses, albeit not as crucial as other aspects of climbing that people have pointed out. I'm still interested in knowing more, though,


spikeddem


Jan 15, 2011, 3:40 PM
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ceebo wrote:
No, finger strength is by no means the only limiting factor. I use to climb far to much verticle crimp style routes, super static. On those i was starting to flash 7b's.

It was not untill i started venturing into other styles of climbing that i realised how bad i was. On overhangs for example.. i had all the finger strength i possibly needed for atleast 8a's.. but i lacked, and still lack the strength in shoulders and the dynamic skills to be efficiant on such routes.

Its also mostly wrong to associate small holds with increasing difficulty. Some of the hardest routes i have ever tried had holds bigger than my feet.

With smaller holds your able to open hand or even crimp and just lock off your fingers. Once you get good at these they are extreemy good holds to climb on, The harder holds are the ones where you need to squeeze with an opposing thumb.. that requires direct force to be applied from the 4 arms and finger tendons to keep enough friction on the hold or you slip off. It takes far greater force to sustain a grip on such holds than it does on a crimp.

Slopers are probably a better example though.. their the most easy holds on your fingers.. but by far the mot hardest routes to climb. Some of those holds you can actually sit on.


Btw, v4 is a very decent grade for how long you have climbed. It's probably too hard actually.. and you may allready be starting off injurys that will build over the coming months, then fuck you over on a difficult crux move. Try and resist going past that grade for the first year, and just see how well your body respond's to it.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:




notapplicable


Jan 15, 2011, 3:57 PM
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sef239 wrote:
j_ung wrote:
sef239 wrote:
Hi,

I have been climbing a few months now, about 4, so I'm relatively new to climbing.

Right now I boulder v4 and climb 5.11a (inside the gym -- although I assume that what I'm noticing applies outdoors as well), and what I notice most is that as problems get harder, the holds get smaller. At least, in my gym, going from v4-5 is the hardest transition I've encountered so far, which makes sense, but in a unique way: what limited me on previous difficulty levels is no longer an issue. And from what I've seen, the holds just get smaller from here on out.

Is it logical then to assume that finger strength is the most important aspect of climbing, starting from this level, to work on? And if so, at my level, what are some effecient exercises ( am I ready for a campus/hang board)? I've looked online a lot for training tips, I'd still like to get input from experienced climbers here.

Thanks.

Really good climbers have strength throughout their bodies, an ingrained grasp of efficient movement over stone, the confidence to execute it in moments of extreme stress and the knowledge and temperance necessary to avoid an early death.

A lack of finger strength may be keeping you from bouldering v5 in the gym right now, but a lack of other things can keep you from doing so much more later.

The point about confidence is something I can relate to. I've been at the end of problems, tired, only to be faced with a sketchy dyno move, and I've faltered.

Thanks for all the input, btw. I hadn't thought of "effecient movement" before.

Economy of motion is your friend.

And you may have never thought of it in those terms but anybody working a problem/route employs it as an instinctive part of the process. Being consciously aware of it can make a big difference though.


ceebo


Jan 15, 2011, 4:08 PM
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[img]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_l9qQnbFwc0Q/TAxfAUyjUdI/AAAAAAAAAD4/xfvnTwBn370/s1600/wp-goro-1-m.jpg[/img]

God i hated that guy, sega mega drive ;/ 12 years old.. screaming DIE YOU FUCKING 4 ARMED FREAK.. STOP FUCKING BLOCKING!!!!!!1111!


(This post was edited by ceebo on Jan 15, 2011, 4:08 PM)


gosharks


Jan 15, 2011, 6:31 PM
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sef239 wrote:
gosharks wrote:
Finger strength is actually by far my strongest climbing attribute. My flash grade on crimp problems is 1-2 V grades higher than on non-crimp problems.

Were you always like that? Or do you do any finger strength exercises? I realize that "my tendons have to catch up to my muscles" since I'm a new climber, but I still think finger strength is one of my weaknesses, albeit not as crucial as other aspects of climbing that people have pointed out. I'm still interested in knowing more, though,
I guess I've always like crimps. Finger strength is definitely not anything that I work on. Being a lightweight helps a bit.


jman214


Jan 23, 2011, 11:12 AM
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I find myself in a similar situation. I've been climbing for roughly the same amount of time and have hit pretty much the same plateau. It's frustrating that for the most part, I seem to be falling off because I can not keep my grip closed on small holds. I often find that my flash grade on crimpy problems is lower than overhangs with better holds, or slopers.

The advice I've been given by the harder climbers at my home gym has just been to work lock-offs, technique and core strength until I build up the fingers strength. One of them suggests hanging from the nicest holds on the hangboard for pull-ups and sequentially moving to worse holds as grip strength increases. I am cautious because I don't want to ruin my tendons, but have started to incorporate a few deadhangs and pull-ups on some of the larger edges and jugs into my workout.

My approach to this plateau, at least for the moment, is to get stronger, get more controlled on easier problems, do them with as little energy as possible and slowly and carefully improve my grip strength with some training.

Hope this helps.


sef239


Jan 24, 2011, 1:01 PM
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jman214 wrote:
I find myself in a similar situation. I've been climbing for roughly the same amount of time and have hit pretty much the same plateau. It's frustrating that for the most part, I seem to be falling off because I can not keep my grip closed on small holds. I often find that my flash grade on crimpy problems is lower than overhangs with better holds, or slopers.

The advice I've been given by the harder climbers at my home gym has just been to work lock-offs, technique and core strength until I build up the fingers strength. One of them suggests hanging from the nicest holds on the hangboard for pull-ups and sequentially moving to worse holds as grip strength increases. I am cautious because I don't want to ruin my tendons, but have started to incorporate a few deadhangs and pull-ups on some of the larger edges and jugs into my workout.

My approach to this plateau, at least for the moment, is to get stronger, get more controlled on easier problems, do them with as little energy as possible and slowly and carefully improve my grip strength with some training.

Hope this helps.

I don't have a hangboard or a campus board, so I can't train that way. I've just been climbing crimpy v3's to train.


jindap


Jan 24, 2011, 1:57 PM
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I haven't been climbing much longer than you, started about six months ago and currently I'm stuck at the V6/V7 grade. I think the only reason I've progressed this far is because I'm a little smaller/lighter in frame, however I too had become frustrated with pushing past V4 grade problems.

From what I was told and found helpful was looking objectively at your climbing and finding the weak points and keying in on those areas that need work. I was strong enough to power my way through V4s but finished them very sloppy because my technique was so poor. The time spent improving my technique helped with my efficiency, which also in turn increased my finger strength.

To supplement my "technique correction" phase, I began a VERY light campus/hang board routine which I would do after my climbing sessions to ensure maximum failure on my muscles and tendons.

When i say VERY light, I stayed completely away from crimping and worked mostly on 4 and 3 finger open-hand techniques as well as pinches and slopers.

(I hope this makes sense because this helped out tremendously for me)
- Start by standing directly in front of the campus board/wall and with two hands, pinch the bottom rung (#1) with your arms holding your entire body up close to the wall, chest close to your hands, elbows down to your sides as much as possible in a "lock-off" position.
- With your body close to the wall, take one hand off of the #1 rung and pinch the #2 rung directly above #1
- while pinching #1 and #2, relax and extend your arms, slowly bringing your body away from the wall. keep your body tension straight and use your feet as the pivot point.
- pull your body back in towards the wall and hold for a couple seconds before you take your hand from the #1 rung and pinch the #2 rung, then relax and extend your arms slowly bringing your body away from the wall again.

I'll repeat this back and forth, alternating hands between the #1 and #2 rungs of the campus board until muscle failure, rest for a minute and repeat again till muscle failure.

The idea behind this is to work on your pinch contact strength and lock-off muscles in your back and shoulders, but you'll mostly likely feel it in your forearms first.

hope this helps!


ceebo


Jan 24, 2011, 5:17 PM
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jindap wrote:
I haven't been climbing much longer than you, started about six months ago and currently I'm stuck at the V6/V7 grade. I think the only reason I've progressed this far is because I'm a little smaller/lighter in frame, however I too had become frustrated with pushing past V4 grade problems.

From what I was told and found helpful was looking objectively at your climbing and finding the weak points and keying in on those areas that need work. I was strong enough to power my way through V4s but finished them very sloppy because my technique was so poor. The time spent improving my technique helped with my efficiency, which also in turn increased my finger strength.

To supplement my "technique correction" phase, I began a VERY light campus/hang board routine which I would do after my climbing sessions to ensure maximum failure on my muscles and tendons.

When i say VERY light, I stayed completely away from crimping and worked mostly on 4 and 3 finger open-hand techniques as well as pinches and slopers.

(I hope this makes sense because this helped out tremendously for me)
- Start by standing directly in front of the campus board/wall and with two hands, pinch the bottom rung (#1) with your arms holding your entire body up close to the wall, chest close to your hands, elbows down to your sides as much as possible in a "lock-off" position.
- With your body close to the wall, take one hand off of the #1 rung and pinch the #2 rung directly above #1
- while pinching #1 and #2, relax and extend your arms, slowly bringing your body away from the wall. keep your body tension straight and use your feet as the pivot point.
- pull your body back in towards the wall and hold for a couple seconds before you take your hand from the #1 rung and pinch the #2 rung, then relax and extend your arms slowly bringing your body away from the wall again.

I'll repeat this back and forth, alternating hands between the #1 and #2 rungs of the campus board until muscle failure, rest for a minute and repeat again till muscle failure.

The idea behind this is to work on your pinch contact strength and lock-off muscles in your back and shoulders, but you'll mostly likely feel it in your forearms first.

hope this helps!

How on earth did you get to v7 after 6 month?


jbro_135


Jan 24, 2011, 8:54 PM
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soft gym grades? lol


esander4


Jan 25, 2011, 10:08 AM
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jindap wrote:
I haven't been climbing much longer than you, started about six months ago and currently I'm stuck at the V6/V7 grade. I think the only reason I've progressed this far is because I'm a little smaller/lighter in frame, however I too had become frustrated with pushing past V4 grade problems.

From what I was told and found helpful was looking objectively at your climbing and finding the weak points and keying in on those areas that need work. I was strong enough to power my way through V4s but finished them very sloppy because my technique was so poor. The time spent improving my technique helped with my efficiency, which also in turn increased my finger strength.

To supplement my "technique correction" phase, I began a VERY light campus/hang board routine which I would do after my climbing sessions to ensure maximum failure on my muscles and tendons.

When i say VERY light, I stayed completely away from crimping and worked mostly on 4 and 3 finger open-hand techniques as well as pinches and slopers.

(I hope this makes sense because this helped out tremendously for me)
- Start by standing directly in front of the campus board/wall and with two hands, pinch the bottom rung (#1) with your arms holding your entire body up close to the wall, chest close to your hands, elbows down to your sides as much as possible in a "lock-off" position.
- With your body close to the wall, take one hand off of the #1 rung and pinch the #2 rung directly above #1
- while pinching #1 and #2, relax and extend your arms, slowly bringing your body away from the wall. keep your body tension straight and use your feet as the pivot point.
- pull your body back in towards the wall and hold for a couple seconds before you take your hand from the #1 rung and pinch the #2 rung, then relax and extend your arms slowly bringing your body away from the wall again.

I'll repeat this back and forth, alternating hands between the #1 and #2 rungs of the campus board until muscle failure, rest for a minute and repeat again till muscle failure.

The idea behind this is to work on your pinch contact strength and lock-off muscles in your back and shoulders, but you'll mostly likely feel it in your forearms first.

hope this helps!

Advice from someone who boulders V6 indoors. Try an outdoor route. Welcome back to V1.

To the OP, while being good at crimps is very nice, if you would like to work on technique, train outdoors. The outdoor problems have a wide variety of different holds that no climbing gym can ever compete with. If you're bouldering V4 indoors, then maybe start out on a V0+ traverse and practice footwork, and then really take the time to notice each hold and the way your hand is positioned on it. Run traverses outdoors back and forth on as hard of problems as you can do (and by that I mean do 3-4 laps on. Don't do the peak of your grade)


spikeddem


Jan 25, 2011, 10:19 AM
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esander4 wrote:
jindap wrote:
I haven't been climbing much longer than you, started about six months ago and currently I'm stuck at the V6/V7 grade. I think the only reason I've progressed this far is because I'm a little smaller/lighter in frame, however I too had become frustrated with pushing past V4 grade problems.

From what I was told and found helpful was looking objectively at your climbing and finding the weak points and keying in on those areas that need work. I was strong enough to power my way through V4s but finished them very sloppy because my technique was so poor. The time spent improving my technique helped with my efficiency, which also in turn increased my finger strength.

To supplement my "technique correction" phase, I began a VERY light campus/hang board routine which I would do after my climbing sessions to ensure maximum failure on my muscles and tendons.

When i say VERY light, I stayed completely away from crimping and worked mostly on 4 and 3 finger open-hand techniques as well as pinches and slopers.

(I hope this makes sense because this helped out tremendously for me)
- Start by standing directly in front of the campus board/wall and with two hands, pinch the bottom rung (#1) with your arms holding your entire body up close to the wall, chest close to your hands, elbows down to your sides as much as possible in a "lock-off" position.
- With your body close to the wall, take one hand off of the #1 rung and pinch the #2 rung directly above #1
- while pinching #1 and #2, relax and extend your arms, slowly bringing your body away from the wall. keep your body tension straight and use your feet as the pivot point.
- pull your body back in towards the wall and hold for a couple seconds before you take your hand from the #1 rung and pinch the #2 rung, then relax and extend your arms slowly bringing your body away from the wall again.

I'll repeat this back and forth, alternating hands between the #1 and #2 rungs of the campus board until muscle failure, rest for a minute and repeat again till muscle failure.

The idea behind this is to work on your pinch contact strength and lock-off muscles in your back and shoulders, but you'll mostly likely feel it in your forearms first.

hope this helps!

Advice from someone who boulders V6 indoors. Try an outdoor route. Welcome back to V1.

He never said anything about whether he boulders indoors or outdoors. Dave Graham climbed 14a after one year of climbing, and that was over a decade and a half ago.


sp115


Jan 25, 2011, 10:25 AM
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If bouldering grades started where techincal rock climbing grades started, I'd be a lot better boulderer.

Other than that, I'm just too fat.


jindap


Jan 25, 2011, 10:36 AM
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Re: [ceebo] Finger strength, most common climbing limitation? [In reply to]
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lots of protein. i changed my diet completely to compliment the climbing and all the calories i was burning...also, my father is half simian.


esander4


Jan 25, 2011, 10:39 AM
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Re: [jindap] Finger strength, most common climbing limitation? [In reply to]
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jindap wrote:
lots of protein. i changed my diet completely to compliment the climbing and all the calories i was burning...also, my father is half simian.

How about just good nutrition in general? Protein is only about 20 percent of what builds muscle


esander4


Jan 25, 2011, 10:41 AM
Post #23 of 61 (7714 views)
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Re: [spikeddem] Finger strength, most common climbing limitation? [In reply to]
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spikeddem wrote:
esander4 wrote:
jindap wrote:
I haven't been climbing much longer than you, started about six months ago and currently I'm stuck at the V6/V7 grade. I think the only reason I've progressed this far is because I'm a little smaller/lighter in frame, however I too had become frustrated with pushing past V4 grade problems.

From what I was told and found helpful was looking objectively at your climbing and finding the weak points and keying in on those areas that need work. I was strong enough to power my way through V4s but finished them very sloppy because my technique was so poor. The time spent improving my technique helped with my efficiency, which also in turn increased my finger strength.

To supplement my "technique correction" phase, I began a VERY light campus/hang board routine which I would do after my climbing sessions to ensure maximum failure on my muscles and tendons.

When i say VERY light, I stayed completely away from crimping and worked mostly on 4 and 3 finger open-hand techniques as well as pinches and slopers.

(I hope this makes sense because this helped out tremendously for me)
- Start by standing directly in front of the campus board/wall and with two hands, pinch the bottom rung (#1) with your arms holding your entire body up close to the wall, chest close to your hands, elbows down to your sides as much as possible in a "lock-off" position.
- With your body close to the wall, take one hand off of the #1 rung and pinch the #2 rung directly above #1
- while pinching #1 and #2, relax and extend your arms, slowly bringing your body away from the wall. keep your body tension straight and use your feet as the pivot point.
- pull your body back in towards the wall and hold for a couple seconds before you take your hand from the #1 rung and pinch the #2 rung, then relax and extend your arms slowly bringing your body away from the wall again.

I'll repeat this back and forth, alternating hands between the #1 and #2 rungs of the campus board until muscle failure, rest for a minute and repeat again till muscle failure.

The idea behind this is to work on your pinch contact strength and lock-off muscles in your back and shoulders, but you'll mostly likely feel it in your forearms first.

hope this helps!

Advice from someone who boulders V6 indoors. Try an outdoor route. Welcome back to V1.

He never said anything about whether he boulders indoors or outdoors. Dave Graham climbed 14a after one year of climbing, and that was over a decade and a half ago.

He said he did a hangboard workout right after climbing. Ok so yeah, it could be outside, but I assumed it was indoors after that sentence.


jindap


Jan 25, 2011, 10:43 AM
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Re: [spikeddem] Finger strength, most common climbing limitation? [In reply to]
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thanks spikeddem for not immediately hating! maybe the routes at The Gunks are soft, i don't know, it's the only place ive climbed outdoors.


jindap


Jan 25, 2011, 10:50 AM
Post #25 of 61 (7697 views)
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Re: [esander4] Finger strength, most common climbing limitation? [In reply to]
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don't hate, participate.

truth, protein is only a small factor in the grand scheme of a good balanced diet. what i should've said was i started eating things that i initially thought were "bad" for you.

1% chocolate milk is one of the best recovery foods out there. it's got a lot of sugar, yes but it also provides a lot of calories, carbs, proteins and fats.

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