If you’re looking to take your climbing to the next level, improving your grip strength and endurance is key. That way you can push the grades or spend more time out on the crag without suffering from fatigue or getting the dreaded pump in your forearms. If you are new to climbing, it is best to just climb for a year or more before taking up grip-specific exercises, otherwise you risk injury as your tendons haven’t had a chance to get used to the exertion.
Many climbers find themselves plateauing after a year or two and this is a sure-fire way to burst through that ceiling. Check out these varied tools for your training sessions.
The VariGrip has a button for each finger. So, although your whole fist is wrapped around it, it forces you to work on individual digits. It means there is no way of compensating with a stronger part of your hand. You can vary your workout by pinching with individual fingers, one at a time. You can vary each spring’s resistance, so you can concentrate on the strength of one finger, or ease off injured fingers.
IronMind Captains of Crush Hand Gripper
The IronMind is a very simple piece of equipment, but sometimes that’s best. A highly tensioned spring between two handles, allows you to pump, hold or squeeze together. It comes in a variety of strengths, to suit your needs. Their simplicity means they are durable. You can chuck one in your bag, or keep it in your drawer at work, and get an extra workout in here and there.
Metolius Grip Saver
Counter-intuitively, the Grip Saver resists as you open your hands. The rubber rings around your fingers stretch as you spread your fingers.
This makes it particularly good at injury prevention or healing by evening out disparities between your muscles by putting your hand and arm through a full range of motions.
Hangboards, including the Beastmaker, are not for beginnings. They put a lot of strain on tendons, so will definitely result in injury unless you have a very solid base from years of climbing.
If you are an experienced climber, this is the tool to take your climbing up a gear. There are a range of holds so you can tailor your programme to build on specific weaknesses, or to dial in for a project you hope to send. There’s a variety of sloppers, jugs, pockets and holds for three or even two fingers.
Awesome Woodys Pinch Block
A simple idea that works great. It’s a block of wood with a piece of string through it. You can tie a weight to the string and then hold the wood. There are a couple of bumps and divots on the block, so you can practice with small holds or a big wide grip. You can change the weight on the end of the string as your progress, or to suit different sessions like a heavy but short session, or a light but long one for endurance.