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Fingerboard Training Part #4 of 4

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Training two-finger pocket grip on Nicros NEXGEN hangboard.

Since its advent in the mid-1980s, the fingerboard has become the standard apparatus for performing pull-ups and straight-armed hangs. What’s more, the fingerboard is economical (less than $100) and can mount in just about any apartment or home. So if you don’t have the space or resources for a home climbing wall, consider a fingerboard mandatory. In fact, even those with home walls find the fingerboard an excellent tool for warm-ups and the many pull-muscle exercises to be discussed later. (Click here to view NICROS five different fingerboards, all available for less than $100.)

Fingerboard Pyramids

Pyramid training simulates the way your forearm muscles might work in climbing a medium-length gym route. As shown in Table below, one run through the Fingerboard Training Pyramid involves seven hangs on the same pair of holds. After a brief rest, you will perform another pyramid cycle on a different set of holds. Continuing in this interval-training fashion, you can work all the primary grip positions over the course of seven to fifteen total sets. This is an excellent routine for developing local forearm endurance.

1. As with all finger-training exercises, it’s vital that you begin by engaging in a progressive warm-up of light exercise, mild stretching, and then moderate climbing or a few sets of hangs and pull-ups.

2. Begin your pyramid training by targeting your weakest grip position. For many people, this will be the sloper or pinch grip.

3. Follow the pyramid exactly with only a five-second rest (or less) between each hang. It’s best to subvocalize a slow count of one thousand one, one thousand two, and so on. The first full pyramid will take just under one and a half minutes.

4. Take a one-minute rest before performing another pyramid cycle on a different set of holds.

5. Repeat this cycle for a total of seven to fifteen sets. Work a different grip position with each set; however, do stick to a single grip for each pass through the pyramid cycle.

6. Add weight (a 10 or 20 pound weight belt or vest) to increase resistence, if needed to make the hangs on the better fingerboard holds more difficult. Reduce the weight used if you can not complete a given pyramid.

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Featured Fingerboard:

NICROS is proud to bring back the popular NEXGEN hangboard, originally released in 1998, and now fully revised and updated for this new release! Perhaps the best training board ever designed, the NEXGEN2 has an amazing variety of features and a sweet differential texture that your fingers will love. The board will work all your grip positions with small- and medium-sized pockets, crimps, slopers, and pinch holds, plus two killer zero-tex pull-up jugs! NEXGEN2 is the next best thing to having a climbing wall (see how the Moving Hangs exercise below can simulate climbing–ideal for people with no space for a home wall).

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Whether you need a hangboard for a warming-up before climbing, doing pull-ups and hypergravity training, or cranking out a full-on training-for-climbing workout, the new NEXGEN2 cannot be beat–we challenge you to find another hangboard with more useable features suitable for training!

Purchase the NEXGEN2 Hangboard.


Copyright 2011 Eric J. Hörst. All rights reserved.