When to begin Hangboarding

  • Creator
  • #19260

    Hello All!

    Nice tight knit community I see here. I’m still trying to gather objectives in order to determine what training plan I’m going to get most benefit out of.

    Just moved to Germany for a job in December, after leaving my Colorado close knit community of climbing i’m starting over…again. Local gym could use some help so I’m hoping to barter some time there for some free gym time also!

    Anywho, I was seeing a coach in Boulder up until I left. Progressing solidly in the rock realm I made a comment about buying a hangboard and he abruptly cut me off with I’m not letting you get a hangboard until you’re flashing 12’s and then you may need it. Until then, the rest of you needs to catch up and your fingers aren’t your limit and arent strong enough for hangboarding.

    I’ve listened but now my curiosity has gotten to me since I have the opportunity to train at home with tons of extra time, i’ve considered buying one. Thoughts?

Posted In: Climbing

  • Keymaster
    Steve House on #19288

    I personally don’t think it’s ever too early to start with a hangboard and here is the reason: The fingers are very slow to adapt. So starting off slowly, and building slowly, ideally over years is the best way to get strong fingers AND (most importantly) stay injury free. The best way to loose finger strength is to get injured…so start with the hangs early and progress slowly.

    Here is an article that will help you get started

    Endurance Hangboard Routine for Any Training Board

    A few more tips:
    If you’ve never done hangboarding before, then start easy! Way easier than you think. Easy enough that it doesn’t really feel like you’re doing much.

    Be consistent. Start with 2x/week, this doesn’t sound like much but it is enough as the rest-spacing between is important for recovery).

    Never climb and hangboard in the same day. After a few years, when you’re sending those 5.12s, then those tendons will be a lot stronger and that maybe okay.

    Avoid pockets. They tend to be responsible for most injuries. So stick to edges and slopers for now.

    There is tons of info on the web about fingerboards, not all of it is good and not all of it will apply to you. Do not ever imitate advanced climbers unless you yourself have become an advanced climber. That’s a sure way to get injured.

    Hope this helps get you started. Good luck find the community there in Germany.

    Seth Keena-Levin on #19656

    I agree with everything Steve said. Additionally keeping quality notes on workouts is key to injury free progression. Because fingers and hands are particularly vulnerable to injury with this training modality, notes become important: you know what resistance was used for what hold when. It only takes a moment to overload tendons. Further when you return to using a hangboard dialing back resistance for each hold is more controlled.

    Diligent warm-up, finger and hand massage, dynamic stretching and the focus to try hard will make sessions more safe and quality. This tool is really about trying hard for relatively short time periods. Much like quick sprints or heavy lifts for 2 reps – warm tendons and optimized blood flow, via dynamic stretching, is crucial to execute as such.

    Be intentional about joint angles and don’t let friction become the dominate force keeping you on the hold. If you are training a two-pad flat edge grip keep 90 degree bend at the knuckle the whole time. If you are failing to hold the joint angle before the last several seconds of the final rep then back the resistance down.

    Enjoy the progress,

    cam.kelley04 on #19845

    Much appreciated by both of you!

    The little bit that I have done, was in the gym during my first 6 months of climbing or so.. Saw them, looked cool, but didn’t know what I was doing. Something my coach taught me was working out my hands/wrists in a bucket of rice was super beneficial and I noted big improvements there so it’s on my list when I get back into it. I’ve found some English speaking climbers close to me in the Frankenjura (about 20 mins away) so I’m looking forward to getting out some soon.

    I’m still on the fence with my goals, as I’m ALSO applying to grad school. Likely, that’ll leave me less employed with more school but still may have some flexiblity to get out some this fall/winter so I need to pick some projects and go. Living at 1300 ft instead of 5,000 has me a little worried about getting back to 15k+.

    thomaszamora8715 on #29013

    Hi everyone,
    So, and what about hangboards, after all?… I have almost the same problem. Moving soon, and considering buying a hangboard, and I have no idea if there is any difference between options on the market. Thought I could replace bouldering with this board for a while, at least to keep my fingers strong.

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