Train all three gripping positions

EDITORIAL

Monday, 8 February

The optimum finger position varies for each climber and hold. Most climbers have one preferred gripping position, meaning that they use and train this position as much as possible. Thus, the other positions are less used and get relatively weaker. In general, a climber mainly climbing vertical granite will become very good on closed crimps but will have difficulties on slopers or overhang. A climber enjoying bigger holds and finger pockets on limestone will develop their open hand technique. Indoor and competition climbers are more often best in the open crimp position. The best and most advanced climbers are the ones mastering all three positions.

The goods news is that you can quickly improve your weaker positions through recruitment training, which can temporarily make them up to 100% stronger in 30 minutes! Recruitment means that you actually start using more muscle fibres of a finer position seldom used.

1. Hang on your fingerboard and identify your weakest positions - Normally this should be 3-finger open crimp.
2. Make five 0.5 seconds hangs - This should be quite easy.
3. Rest 30 seconds and make three intervals.

Once you feel you are getting stronger, choose smaller holds and repeat it again 3-4 times. Then you are getting closer to maximum recruitment and you can start doing five seconds hang and rest for 30 seconds. This you can repeat for up to 10 times or as long as you feel at your prime.

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