September 20, 2021

How to Increase Grip Strength for Climbing

You’ve all heard of the exercise regimen people do at the gym for bodybuilding, strength training, or sports exercises. But you’ve probably never heard of rock climbing exercises before. 

It’s unprecedented to do mountain climbing, but if you are serious about the hobby, it’s probably time to take grip strength exercises to build a foundation of skills and power to traverse through the mountain scale. 

So, how exactly does one increase grip strength for climbing? Here are some valuable and extensive tips in building power to strengthen fingers for climbing.

Why Should You Consider Building Strength in Your Fingers for Climbing?

How to improve grip strength for climbing

You might be thinking: isn’t it more comprehensive and convenient to go to the gym and work out typically to build strength naturally? You might be right. 

However, there are a few reasons why you should consider aiming to develop specific strengths attributed to mountain climbing only:

  • Building strength in the unnecessary parts of the body that are not related to mountain climbing is counterintuitive. You only need core and grip training to be able to sustain more extended periods in a harness. 
  • Too much strength can condition your body to fatigue quickly when exercising for the wrong reasons can cause you some injuries when climbing. 
  • Most exercises don’t specialize in grip training anyway, and commercial gyms aim to body build rather than strength training which is more important in rock climbing. 

Simple Exercises to Improve Grip Strength for Climbing

Firstly, you should know the concept of grip training and what it can do to your overall strength when doing this regularly.

To put it simply, you’ll get better at pull-ups and drips that will account for something other than climbing. 

But more than that is the benefits of having better blood circulation because you’ll go out there and scale mountains.

If anything, it is excellent for heart rate and blood circulation. To have all these benefits, you first need to build a grip to climb successfully. 

In addition to the exercises below, you can use grip strengtheners for fingers.

How to increase finger strength climbing

Here is the most basic grip training that you can do right now:

1) Wrist curls

Wrist curls are one of the most straightforward exercises that you can do at home. What you do is rest your arm on a flat and comfortable surface and grab a dumbbell that’s around your strength capacity, and do 10-12 reps per 5 sets. 

The more you can increase your strength this way, the better your grip can become. The reason why this builds strength is that you don’t want to let loose on the dumbbell. If you drop it, then you’re not exercising. 

The heavier the dumbbell is, the stronger the grip required of you to finish those sets. It’s ideal for bicep training as well, so you’re hitting two birds with one stone on this one for a multipurpose exercise. 

2) Reverse Wrist Curls 

Instead of resting your arms faced downwards where the dumbbell is oriented towards you for an upward motion, you instead put your forearm in a pronated position. This is a much stiffer flex to do because the orientation of your arm is very awkward and unnatural. 

Nevertheless, you’re going to benefit from a firmer grip at the end of the day. This position forces you to go against gravity and pull the dumbbell towards you, which parallels the inclined plane that makes all the difference in difficulty. 

If you have already mastered the wrist curls exercise, then consider adding this to your routine to further strengthen those fingers for rock climbing. 

How to strengthen fingers for climbing

3) Figer extensions 

If you liked playing rubber bands as a kid, then you’re going to love this. An elastic extension device is a heavy-duty band that contracts when you spread your fingers after encasing them in it, which stresses your joint muscles to extend strength. 

Do around 10-12 reps per 3 sets to exercise those fingers for rock climbing, and after 3-4 weeks, you’ll immediately see the difference. Aside from your grip, your fingers’ stability is also essential when building grip power. 

The best part about it is you don’t need dumbbells or heavy equipment to do this, and elastic bands are very cheap to buy in gym stores everywhere. 

4) Crushing 

This is the most famous grip strength training out there, and it works like a charm. A crushing device looks like a v-shaped tool that you have to squeeze to build your grip strength.

Not only is this effective, but it’s also enjoyable to do. Five sets of 10 are the best way to do this, and you don’t need to worry about breaking it because the design is purposely made to bend rigorously so you’ll build palm power. 

There are different variations in spring power, and the higher the spring strength, the harder it is to squeeze and crush the device. Increase capacity incrementally when you get the hang of the exercise much more. 

How to build grip strength for rock climbing

5) Wrist rotation 

This is the most fundamental exercise in rock climbing because it doesn’t require a dumbbell. Having a dumbbell defeats the purpose of it because what you need is a mallet or a hammer. 

The reason for this is the uneven distribution of weight. In grip training, you have to be at a disadvantage because you’ll clutch your grip more strongly when this happens. 

So holding a hammer where the focal point is at the head of the hammer gives you an added stress in rotating it, which provides you with additional strength in your palm when gripping.

This is a fantastic exercise where you can truly benefit when you’re out there climbing a mountain. 

Conclusion 

Grip training is so necessary for rock climbing. You mainly use your hands to do it, and without the proper strength to pull it off, all that gear, technique, and expertise go to waste. Remember when exercising to put time and effort into building your grip strength.

When climbing a steep and complex rock-formed crag, you’ll thank yourself later for being able to reach the peak and conquer the mountain like it was nothing. And that’s all because you spent more time working on building grip strength for rock climbing.

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About the author 

Bernice

Bernice often jokes that she is better at climbing than walking. With avid parents of climbing, her first encounter with the high vertical rock walls was at the age of one. Her favorite style of climbing is bouldering.

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