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pinch holds?
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unsunken


Dec 30, 2011, 2:49 PM
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pinch holds?
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I found a couple of old threads about this, but they didn't answer my question very well. I've been gym climbing for about a year now and still cannot use pinch holds at all. I love slopers and crimps are okay, but I don't think I've ever gotten past even an easy pinch hold unless I used it in some other way.

Is this a technique or strength thing? If strength, is there some better way to gain pinch strength other than 'climb them more'? It feels like trying to do that first pull-up -- when you can't do it, it's hard to get better by just trying it more; so instead you do negatives. Also if someone can explain to me why my general gripping ability is decent but my pinching ability sucks, that would be great!


shockabuku


Dec 30, 2011, 8:02 PM
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Re: [unsunken] pinch holds? [In reply to]
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Most holds have some body position that best utilizes the geometric properties of the hold and the surrounding wall so work on that but, pinch holds require your thumb to be strong as well as the fingers and not too many other holds work the thumb in the same way. Pinches can be hard, try to find ones on easy routes and work with them. Just like anything, they'll get better with effective practice.


eric_k


Jan 2, 2012, 1:39 PM
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Like was said before, just climbing on a bunch of easy stuff with pinches would be good. I have never made one but I you could make a pinch strength trainer by cutting a short piece of 4X4 and attaching a cable to it that you can hang weights on. Once you have the weights attached just pinch the block as long as you can while the weights hang off the floor. I don't know if that made sense or not? Either way just climb more Smile and learning to love slopers from the beginning is a good since I find hard boulders with slopers are very body position dependent which will teach good footwork.

Eric


tH1e-swiN1e


Jan 3, 2012, 8:06 AM
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Re: [eric_k] pinch holds? [In reply to]
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Definitely use more pinches.

The gym oriented way is to take 2x25lb plates and squeeze them together with your fingers pointed at the ground until they fall out.


adelphos


Jan 3, 2012, 11:21 AM
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Re: [unsunken] pinch holds? [In reply to]
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I'm in agreement with everything mentioned here, but I do have two thoughts to add.

First, given your level of experience, you are probably still relying a lot on your arms to pull you up. It is pretty tough to do this with a pinch. Use the pinch to keep yourself attached to the fall, and use your legs to pull up. It is most likely a technique issue, not a strength issue.

Second, you also need to keep in the forefront of your mind that climbing strength takes a long time to build up. Pinches, especially if you are pulling on them, can force your wrist into a nasty position. We've all seen it, elbows up and out, wrist bent up. This can cause some elbow pain. If it hurts, stop immediately and save it for another day.

Adelphos


unsunken


Jan 3, 2012, 1:29 PM
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Re: [tH1e-swiN1e] pinch holds? [In reply to]
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Thanks all. I'll try to find easier pinch climbs at the gym and consciously think about which muscles I'm using.

tH1e-swiN1e wrote:
The gym oriented way is to take 2x25lb plates and squeeze them together with your fingers pointed at the ground until they fall out.
Thanks for the tip. Does thickness of the plates have any impact? I'm probably going to have to start with 2x5lbs and work my way up.


acorneau


Jan 3, 2012, 6:54 PM
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adelphos wrote:
Use the pinch to keep yourself attached to the fall, and use your legs to pull up.

Wait... what?!?

Tongue

One other thing I haven't seen mentioned yet: make sure you're elbows are down more than out/away from the wall.


lena_chita
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Jan 4, 2012, 11:14 AM
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Re: [unsunken] pinch holds? [In reply to]
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unsunken wrote:
Thanks all. I'll try to find easier pinch climbs at the gym and consciously think about which muscles I'm using.

tH1e-swiN1e wrote:
The gym oriented way is to take 2x25lb plates and squeeze them together with your fingers pointed at the ground until they fall out.
Thanks for the tip. Does thickness of the plates have any impact? I'm probably going to have to start with 2x5lbs and work my way up.

Of course it does! Imagine pinching something really wide, maybe 6 in or so, vs pinching something really thin, like 1/2 inch. Neither one would feel very comfortable, and both would feel pretty difficult. Most people have the best pinch strength somewhere in the mid-range between the two. Where exactly the "best" point is, biomechanically, will depend on the size of your hands and the length of your fingers.

I think your best bet is to climb a variety of easy routes that have pinches of various sizes. Systems boards would have a few pinch grip possibilities in several width, if you have systems board in your gym.


nick12391


Jan 11, 2012, 6:10 PM
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Re: [unsunken] pinch holds? [In reply to]
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Your thumb isn't strong enough. Simple as that. Focus on working the extensor carpi radialis longus. There are tons of forearm exercisers you can buy that work the thumb. Deadhanging is also a good way to increase overall grip strength. Hang until you literally cannot hold on any longer. Take a nice rest (resting is crucial) then do it again.


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