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rocklock


Dec 22, 2011, 8:55 AM
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Open hand pullups On Actual Door Frame (no equipment)
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Hey guys,

I'm new here, and I'm seeking your help

A few days ago, my friend, who happens to be an avid rock climber, showed us that he could hang from the the door frame and do pull ups. We all tried to immitate him, but immediately failed.

Ever since then, I've been obsessed with trying to develope the finger stregth necessary to do pullups from a door way. It occurred to me that this is probably an easy feat amongst rockclimbers, so I'm turning to you guys for advice.

I'm already pretty adept at pullups, but research has told me that hanging from the door frame requires a different set of muscles and the use of 'pulleys'.

Can you guys give me any tips or excercises that would help me on my quest. I don't have the money to buy one of those grip boards, or the time (yet) to hit the rock climbing gym.

I simply wish to be able to do pullups-- heck, even hanging from the doorframe would be awesome-- with an OPEN HAND grip. If you guys have any tips or excercise, and even any pictures on the proper finger positions etc. would be awesome, Thanks!!


shimanilami


Dec 22, 2011, 9:00 AM
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Re: [rocklock] Open hand pullups On Actual Door Frame (no equipment) [In reply to]
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Practice.

It may take more than a few days.


Lazlo


Dec 22, 2011, 9:05 AM
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Re: [rocklock] Open hand pullups On Actual Door Frame (no equipment) [In reply to]
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I would just say practice on the door. Try grabbing the top molding with a hand on each side of the door (ie one in the hall way, the other in the room)
Maybe try dead hangs...where you aren't attempting to lift yourself.

Just don't over-do it and hurt yourself. Those muscles and ligaments need to be worked for a long while to gain the strength/endurance of the average rock climber.


rocklock


Dec 22, 2011, 9:22 AM
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Re: [Lazlo] Open hand pullups On Actual Door Frame (no equipment) [In reply to]
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Hey Lazlo,

I've pretty practicing a lot, (the original post should say a few weeks ago, not days), but I've seen little to no improvement.

In terms of Dead Hangs, My fingers aren't even strong enough to support my weight off the ground. I would be happy If I could even hang on the frame without touching the ground.

Also, my fingers (particulary under the nails) seem to hurt a lot when I'm trying to hang. I'm assuming it's because of all the pressure on the fingers. Is this normal for climbers, and do you just get used to it?


Lazlo


Dec 22, 2011, 9:34 AM
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rocklock wrote:
Hey Lazlo,

I've pretty practicing a lot, (the original post should say a few weeks ago, not days), but I've seen little to no improvement.

In terms of Dead Hangs, My fingers aren't even strong enough to support my weight off the ground. I would be happy If I could even hang on the frame without touching the ground.

Also, my fingers (particulary under the nails) seem to hurt a lot when I'm trying to hang. I'm assuming it's because of all the pressure on the fingers. Is this normal for climbers, and do you just get used to it?

Not sure what to tell ya, apart from try rock climbing. It will take some time to get to a comfortable level where you won't have pain.


SylviaSmile


Dec 22, 2011, 9:55 AM
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Re: [Lazlo] Open hand pullups On Actual Door Frame (no equipment) [In reply to]
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Lazlo wrote:
rocklock wrote:
Hey Lazlo,

I've pretty practicing a lot, (the original post should say a few weeks ago, not days), but I've seen little to no improvement.

In terms of Dead Hangs, My fingers aren't even strong enough to support my weight off the ground. I would be happy If I could even hang on the frame without touching the ground.

Also, my fingers (particulary under the nails) seem to hurt a lot when I'm trying to hang. I'm assuming it's because of all the pressure on the fingers. Is this normal for climbers, and do you just get used to it?

Not sure what to tell ya, apart from try rock climbing. It will take some time to get to a comfortable level where you won't have pain.

Agree. Why would you want to hang in your doorway when you can go rock climb? :)


shockabuku


Dec 22, 2011, 10:00 AM
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Re: [rocklock] Open hand pullups On Actual Door Frame (no equipment) [In reply to]
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Use some bungies to take enough weight off that you can actually hang a while.

Be careful - your fingers have a lot of small parts that are easily injured with these kind of forces.


adelphos


Dec 22, 2011, 11:39 AM
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Re: [rocklock] Open hand pullups On Actual Door Frame (no equipment) [In reply to]
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Rest.

The tendon strength required to support your weight on finger tips takes a long time to develop. Do a search on this forum for developing finger strength and you'll find lots of good advice with a similar theme.

People who want to develop finger strength often underestimate the amount of time that it takes and often over train which creates more problems for them. Think in terms of months and years, not days and weeks.

Break down the exercise into the two primary events - the hang and the pull-up. Train on them separately and work on integration.


markcarlson


Dec 22, 2011, 12:42 PM
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Re: [rocklock] Open hand pullups On Actual Door Frame (no equipment) [In reply to]
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I used to hang/pull up on doorways long before I had heard of rock climbing. Good times in the Canadian prairies.

If it hurts, stop! Part of the pain is from a lack of padding in the fingertips, which isn't too big of a deal and does get built up after climbing for a while. At this point, you are probably not going to be able to tell if you are pushing your pulleys and other ligaments too much, so whatever you do, ease into it and stop if it hurts!

To ease into it, you could try something like this:
Start on a pull up bar or some other large radius bar (hang first, do a pull up if you can,) and make sure you don't do any "jerking" motions. It must be smooth, or you risk injury.
Then find something big and flat to hang on. Some stair cases work well for this, otherwise a 2x4 or something else would work.
Then find a door with a big ledge on top. Eventually work your way down to a smaller ledge.

I think most people here would rather pull down on rock or, plastic if desperate, but hey, who am I to judge!


ClimbClimb


Dec 24, 2011, 8:06 AM
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Re: [markcarlson] Open hand pullups On Actual Door Frame (no equipment) [In reply to]
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markcarlson wrote:
I used to hang/pull up on doorways long before I had heard of rock climbing.

Same here. The surprising thing is that while many good climbers can do it, I also know people that can climb 5.10's without being able to do even a single door frame pull-up.

I don't remember when I learned to do it first, but I agree with (1) taking it slow and (2) starting with hands on opposite side of the doorframe - that's easier.


rangerrob


Dec 27, 2011, 7:38 AM
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Re: [rocklock] Open hand pullups On Actual Door Frame (no equipment) [In reply to]
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I would suggest replacing the estrogen in your body with testesterone :) Just kidding....don't get mad at me people.


jamesnater


Dec 27, 2011, 12:59 PM
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Re: [rocklock] Open hand pullups On Actual Door Frame (no equipment) [In reply to]
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I started rock climbing at an indoor gym mid-september. I can do these open hand pull ups now (only about 2 or 3 before I slip off) on CERTAIN door frames (some can only support like a quarter pad of each finger minus the pinky, it won't reach lol).

I never would have been able to do these if I hadn't been climbing every other day.

Go climbing. It's fun and addicting, and before you know it you'll be able to do an open handed door frame pullup with ease.


tH1e-swiN1e


Dec 27, 2011, 1:53 PM
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Re: [rocklock] Open hand pullups On Actual Door Frame (no equipment) [In reply to]
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rocklock wrote:

I'm already pretty adept at pullups, but research has told me that hanging from the door frame requires a different set of muscles and the use of 'pulleys'.

No matter your grip pull-ups use generally the same muscles no matter what. Mainly Lat, Trap, Bi, and Shoulder. If youre talking about finger muscles, they dont exist, and there is no specific use of "pulleys".

Your grip strength comes from your forearms and you do need to condition the tendons in your hands to avoid pain/injury.


onceahardman


Dec 28, 2011, 5:32 AM
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tH1e-swiN1e wrote:
rocklock wrote:

I'm already pretty adept at pullups, but research has told me that hanging from the door frame requires a different set of muscles and the use of 'pulleys'.

No matter your grip pull-ups use generally the same muscles no matter what. Mainly Lat, Trap, Bi, and Shoulder. If youre talking about finger muscles, they dont exist, and there is no specific use of "pulleys".

Your grip strength comes from your forearms and you do need to condition the tendons in your hands to avoid pain/injury.

This is false. I'm at work now, and don't have time to respond fully. I'll be back later.


jamesnater


Dec 28, 2011, 2:19 PM
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Finger muscles DO exist.

But these muscles have nothing to do with open hand grips. They help with pinches though.

There ARE specific uses of pulleys, which your tendons go through and are used to close your hand into a fist. (those tendons are connected to your forearm muscles.) Here's some pictures, pictures are much easier to understand.




redlude97


Dec 28, 2011, 2:31 PM
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you seem to have forgotten the interossei and lumbricals


jamesnater


Dec 28, 2011, 2:41 PM
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My bad... lol




onceahardman


Dec 28, 2011, 3:39 PM
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Gee, thanks for all the pictures. My point was even simpler.

In reply to:
No matter your grip pull-ups use generally the same muscles no matter what. Mainly Lat, Trap, Bi, and Shoulder.


All the muscles you listed are "shoulder" muscles (at least the long head of biceps) so I'm not sure why you listed shoulder seperately, or exactly what you meant.

If you are taking about a regular, palm-forward pull-up, you would consider teres major, latissimus, rhomboids, lower traps, and brachialis more than biceps as an elbow flexor. Biceps is a powerful supinator, and there is actually a strong pronator torque during a normal pull-up. Pronator teres will pull hard. Actually, since this originates from the common flexor tendon at the elbow, pronator teres is a likely candidate for many cases of medial epicondylitis (including my own).

At the wrist, a strong co-contraction of wrist flexors and extensors will occur.

In reply to:
If youre talking about finger muscles, they dont exist, and there is no specific use of "pulleys".

Trying to give you some benefit of the doubt here. While the muscle bellies for the finger flexors do not lie in the hand, that view is short-sighted. A muscle and tendon are really two parts of the same functional unit. You cannot fire the muscle without pulling on the associated tendon.

The muscle is the winch, the tendon is the cable. They work together.

Regarding pulleys, I'm not sure what you mean by "specific use" of pulleys. But they strongly increase the torque generated by the finger flexors. They are used all the time in climbing, but crimping can easily place pathological forces upon them.

In reply to:
Your grip strength comes from your forearms and you do need to condition the tendons in your hands to avoid pain/injury.

Again, the muscle bellies are in the forearm. But to say you need to "condition" the tendons, apparently without somehow firing the muscle, is really impossible.

Lots of other muscles lie in the forearm too. Wrist flexors, wrist extensors, pronator teres, supinator, pronator quadratus all come to mind off the top of my head. If you strengthen any of these "forearm muscles" in isolation, you will have no effect on the finger flexors, and of course, you will not "condition" any finger tendons.


(This post was edited by onceahardman on Dec 28, 2011, 3:43 PM)


onceahardman


Dec 28, 2011, 3:48 PM
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Oh, and to the OP:

I suspect your hands just aren't used to the force per square inch applied to the fingers. I'm sure you are plenty strong enough, you are just used to the security of a nice comfy bar.

Nail a scrap piece of 2 X 4 to a floor joist in your basement. Practice on that. You'll send the door frame within 2 weeks.


(This post was edited by onceahardman on Dec 28, 2011, 3:54 PM)


jamesnater


Dec 28, 2011, 4:40 PM
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What's gonna stop the finger pulleys from tearing? Or the tendons from tearing?

There has to be SOME sort of "conditioning" or strengthening going on there.

For example, using the winch analogy...

A normal person's "winch" might be capable of pulling x lbs but the "cable" might not handle it and break.

A climber's "cable", I imagine, would be much stronger, like steel that was nitrided, shotpeened or cryo-treated.

How can someone strengthen the "load rating" on their tendons and pulleys in their hands as efficiently as possible without causing pain or injury? Something I've been curious about for a while now. I only ask because I've seen some gnarly injuries in real life... not something I want to ever go through... EVER. lol

Edit: Sorry for the off-topic thread-jack. But it sounds like you know what you're talking about, I'm just learning.


(This post was edited by jamesnater on Dec 28, 2011, 4:43 PM)


onceahardman


Dec 29, 2011, 3:47 AM
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I did a bit of research some time ago on this subject. If I recall correctly, the bottom line is, tendons quickly (perhaps instantly) adapt to strength changes in the associated muscle.

At first that seems counterintuitive. After all, muscle has better blood supply, why would it not gain strength faster?

But, as a survival mechanism, it doesn't make sense we'd develop stronger muscles than tendons. Apparently, the tendon has quite a bit of built in "excess" strength.

It is possible that, due to less blood supply, that they simply heal more slowly from small, repetiive injuries.

Many, perhaps most, complete "tendon ruptures" are really ruptures which occur at the musculotendinous junction. That is apparently the weak point.

Of course, muscles and tendons can and do become stronger with use. But you cannot strengthen tendon without strengthening the same muscle.

Remember we do not gain strength while actually training. We gain strength during the rest periods between sessions. My opinion is, if you are training more than 2, maybe 3, times a week on plastic holds, you are setting yourself up for injury. You need recovery time to get stronger.


Urban_Cowboy


Dec 29, 2011, 4:06 AM
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onceahardman wrote:
Remember we do not gain strength while actually training. We gain strength during the rest periods between sessions. My opinion is, if you are training more than 2, maybe 3, times a week on plastic holds, you are setting yourself up for injury. You need recovery time to get stronger.
I agree, well put. I've gone down the road of over training, only to get weaker because recovery wasn't happening.


jamesnater


Dec 29, 2011, 12:37 PM
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That makes sense.

And I'm sure that recovery time and the amount of training per week and the effects/results it has on one person may differ from another person, since not everyone is built the same, has the same nutritional intake, trains the same, stretches or does other activities as well (cross training?).

I climb at an indoor gym about every other day, sometimes I'll climb 2 or 3 days in a row, other weeks I'll climb only once and skate the rest of the week if the weather permits.

It works for me, but I'm not really "training" for anything, I just climb because it's fun as hell! And the days I'm sore I just rest because it makes sense to. I have no major pains or aches really, so I guess I'm doing something right! lol

However there is one minor thing that has been bothering me, but I'm gonna make a thread for that in the injury/treatment forum.


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