Training open grip

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Shamis
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Training open grip

Post by Shamis » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:43 pm

So, now that I've finally returned to climbing after my pulley injury I'm trying to refocus my open grip climbing efforts, and I'm finding it difficult. I used to do it quite a bit, but now I'm realizing that as I started bouldering more last year I started doing more and more crimping.

So for those of you that do it, how do you manage the lack of leverage when doing an open grip on small edges? I find the open grip to work very well when I'm reaching up to a hold, but as I pull down the grip gets worse and worse particularly if I'm pulling at a level below my shoulder. Is there a way to improve this other than just doing it all the time? Is it a wrist flexibility issue or do you somehow just not pull on holds at that height?

Do you do a lot of hangboard workouts to improve your open grip strength?

I'm just trying to figure out a way to speed this process up, because it appears right now that open gripping is going to drop my bouldering down a solid 2 grades and I can't figure out how to remedy it, and I'm terrified of crimping my way to another 3-4 months of sitting around injured.

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One-Fall
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Re: Training open grip

Post by One-Fall » Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:08 pm

I only full crimp outside (and then only when it is forced). ALL my training is using the open position. Hangboard drasticly speeds up the process. Just follow all the normal precautions.
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Josephine
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Re: Training open grip

Post by Josephine » Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:22 pm

Contact tutugirl for her hang board specs & routine. It's a great workout for open hand grip strength.
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Re: Training open grip

Post by @@@ » Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:55 pm

I injured three pulleys split between both hands last year and ended up climbing exclusively open handed for roughly 11 months. It took four months to get to the point where I could climb even close to the pre-injury level, and I was never able to get up to full speed. That was for sport climbing, so I would imagine there will be more drastic consequences for bouldering. I would focus more on the long term rather than the short term. For example I felt at least 20% more secure on small holds about a month after being able to crimp again as compared to my pre-injury state, so in the long run getting injured actually helped, and now I am a much better open hand climber too. Had I let the stress of getting "weaker" get to me and over trained to compensate then I might still be injured. I would say accept your fate, knock it down a few grades, and eventually you will work you way back up. I usually train on a hangboard at least once a week, but while I was injured I pretty much cut the hangboard out. I tried it a few times but it really made my injures worse/reappear, even though I wasn't crimping. Who knows, it might be fine for you though, only one way to find out. If you can then yes it will most certainly increase your open hand strength, quickly. During this time I increased other activities like biking, running, swimming and maybe that helped some. If nothing else the increased blood flow might help speed recovery. Re-injury is not worth getting stronger.

Shamis
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Re: Training open grip

Post by Shamis » Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:24 pm

I'm not too worried about getting re-injured while open gripping. I just want to get stronger. I have no intention of going back to crimping unless I lose 25 pounds.

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Re: Training open grip

Post by @@@ » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:50 pm

This is the idea of what I usually do with the hangboard, seems to work well for me, maybe not for anyone else though, just an idea. I use the old style metolius simulator and always hang with arms bent at 90 degrees. You can hang less than 90 degrees, just not on skeletal structure. I try and mix it in with my climbing week somehow, usually on a day I can't make it to the gym or outside.
Example:
Prerequisite: can hang with arms @ 90 degrees or whatever angle you want for at least 20 seconds
1)Find the smallest hold you can hang on with both arms for 10 seconds.
-assume this is the medium rung
2)Start working on the small rung
-hang as long as possible on small rung, rest, hang as long as possible again, rest, repeat until you notice a drastic decrease, could be 3X, could be 20X
-move to medium rung and do the same
3)Repeat step 2 until you are able to hang on the small rung for 10 seconds, once achieved move to step 4
4)Determine amount of weight needed to decrease time able to hang on small rung from 10+ seconds to 3-5 seconds
5)Start working on small rung + X amount of weight, same idea as number 2
-once you are able to hang for 10 seconds with x amount of weight on small rung, add more weight and keep repeating until you can hang with ~70% of your weight, then move to one arm, then start adding weight with one arm, could keep going forever

I think it would be hard to find something more simple, just weight lifting for the forearms. I've tried a bunch of recommended workouts, but for me they get pretty annoying, pretty fast. Too many steps, I just want to get to the point, pumped, but they do work well for some people.

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pigsteak
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Re: Training open grip

Post by pigsteak » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:03 pm

lose the weight, the holds will feel better..this is coming from experience.
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JR
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Re: Training open grip

Post by JR » Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:40 pm

Shamis wrote:So, now that I've finally returned to climbing after my pulley injury I'm trying to refocus my open grip climbing efforts, and I'm finding it difficult. I used to do it quite a bit, but now I'm realizing that as I started bouldering more last year I started doing more and more crimping.

So for those of you that do it, how do you manage the lack of leverage when doing an open grip on small edges? I find the open grip to work very well when I'm reaching up to a hold, but as I pull down the grip gets worse and worse particularly if I'm pulling at a level below my shoulder. Is there a way to improve this other than just doing it all the time? Is it a wrist flexibility issue or do you somehow just not pull on holds at that height?

Do you do a lot of hangboard workouts to improve your open grip strength?

I'm just trying to figure out a way to speed this process up, because it appears right now that open gripping is going to drop my bouldering down a solid 2 grades and I can't figure out how to remedy it, and I'm terrified of crimping my way to another 3-4 months of sitting around injured.



I feel you Shamis. Not about the 25 pounds overweight thing, but this crimping conundrum. I have been working on a very similar problem for about two years. I have seen pretty good results but they were slow to come by.

First off I don't think it is wrist flexibility issue. It a issue that you are weak when your fingers are at certain angles. That is why you crimp fine and can hold holds open handed while really low on them. But then you start yarding, that angle changes and your grip becomes weak.

You could fix this by just not crimping while you boulder and/or climb routes. EVER. This was next to impossible for me. I just wasn't happy climbing at such a low level. I just couldn't do moves. It sucked.

I started to correct my problem with a hangboard. The hangboard really helped because I could really separate training from performing. I was training the grip I was weakest at. Easy enough. Quantifiable progress. Great. Fine. Here is the catch. It still was leaving gaps in my finger strength when it came to full speed bouldering. I would be yarding on a hold and my hands would just open up. Sucky.

So the next step in my quest to beat my weakness down was basically a system board. I did a HIT system workout ( http://www.nicros.com/training/articles ... t-details/ ) open handed and that involved using weighted pulls through the fuller range of movement. And low and behold 2 years later I have done about 3 or 4 boudering moves open handed without even thinking about it that were near my full crimp strength. Ta Daaa!!! Doesn't sound like much but I was pleased.

Hope this helps.

P.S. I didn't use the nicros strips. Just some plain jane would strips with sanded edges.

Shamis
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Re: Training open grip

Post by Shamis » Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:56 pm

I've been forcing myself to do the open grip thing for almost 3 months now, and I'm starting to get there. I still can't really do all the same boulder moves I used to do, but I'm getting close.

I'll have to try that workout after my trip. My main goal right now is not to get injured since there should be no need for me to pull any moves harder than about v3 on my target route.

However, I have lost 20 pounds in the last 2 months, so now everything is easier ;) It's nice being what some might even call skinny while still having the forearms forged from hauling 215 pounds up the rock for the last 6 years. 195 this morning. Shooting for 185 by mid October.

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tbwilsonky
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Re: Training open grip

Post by tbwilsonky » Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:52 pm

hard moves require tension from fingertip to toe. in addition to training open-hand strength through 'intentional' practice, I would also recommend brutalizing your core: l-sits, front-levers, etc.
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kato
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Re: Training open grip

Post by kato » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:37 am

One-Fall's got it- stop hooking your thumb over your fingers. Maybe to get you through a crux on a project, otherwise don't do it. All the strongest climbers I know climb this way. After watching countless climbers get into the sport and go through all stages of getting strong, I think crimping is one of the main contributors to getting tendonitis.

After awhile, you'll overcome that "lack of leverage" thing with strength. When you fire up and catch an edge with extended fingers, you'll develop the strength to just close them down on the crimp edge without needing the thumb. One important thing, don't rush it. Your muscles will get strong faster than your tendons. Give the tendons time to catch up.
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JR
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Re: Training open grip

Post by JR » Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:21 am

Crimping = tendinitis??? Can you explain that one???

All the strongest climbers that I have seen excel at one grip or another. However, for the most part the best climbers crimp crimps, pinch pinches, open hand open hand holds, etc......

I know of no way to "don't rush it". Any climber that is progressing is going to be trying hard and will most likely injure themselves in one way or the other. Learn from the injuries and move on. Any old climber that thinks that they know the way to avoid all climbing related injuries forever is the same old climber that will hold you back from reaching your potential. Listen to your own body.

One more thing about the "thumb". It is technique just like any other. If you never learn it you will never be able to leverage (no pun intended) its benefits.

Hell, as long as we are talking about not wrapping the thumb. How about this pro wrapping the pinkie also?

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tbwilsonky
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Re: Training open grip

Post by tbwilsonky » Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:57 am

yeah. tendonitis cause-effect analysis fail.

also thumb-hooking is just a way to get your thumb involved in the big win rather than having it watch while it's bros do all the work. it does load up the index finger pulleys something awful, but when the chips are down...
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Re: Training open grip

Post by hnoor0066 » Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:01 am

Is it a wrist flexibility issue or do you somehow just not pull on holds at that height??????>

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