When hiking or climbing, you might need to scramble over rocks to get your destination. A hangboard is a perfect way to train for this. It will allow you to improve grip strength in your fingers. This is essential when climbing, allowing you to maintain a tight hold, even on slim edges. For this reason, the best rock climbers in the world use hangboards as a regular part of their training routine.
The truth is, there are so many hangboards available on the market. If you’re intending to get one, it can be easy to get confused about which model will best suit your needs. If this is the case, here is an article with the most remarkable hangboard models compilation, so you can easily compare the features and choose the best design.
- Using A Hangboard
- Shape Of The Hangboard
- Material Used To Make The Hangboard
- Size Of The Hangboard
- Ergonomics Of The Hangboard
- Returns Policy
- Thinking about hangboarding? Here’s what you need to know!
- 4 ways to make your hangboard training more fun
- Before you go away
Using A Hangboard
First, let’s look at what a hangboard is and how you can use it to increase your grip strength. A hangboard has multiple tight holds, which you will only be able to grip with your fingers. To avoid injury, there are a few simple techniques that you should use during your training session. The first thing to do is to make sure that the hangboard is mounted at the correct height. Ideally, you should be able to reach it from the ground. This will ensure that you will be able to step down to take the weight off, preventing you from getting an ankle injury.
When using your hangboard, you should make sure to avoid clenching your fingers, keeping an open-handed grip. You should also keep your elbows bent and your shoulders back. To prepare for each session you might want to try stretching. You can also prepare with physical activity, like skipping, which will help warm up the muscles. To advance your skills, keep trying to use harder and harder holds. This will continue to challenge your body, ensuring that you can build grip strength.
Shape Of The Hangboard
There is a range of hangboards available on the market. By choosing the right one, you will be able to choose which areas you focus on in each training session. The best way to do this is by looking at the shape of the holds available on the hangboard. Ideally, you should be able to find a wide variety of holds. If you’re a beginner, look for some longer, thinner slots. This will allow you to use multiple fingers or even a whole hand. More advanced climbers should try to find a range of finger holds, which will let you test your grip strength. The shape of the board will also allow you to select which areas you want to work on. For example, you can choose whether you want to focus on holds, crimp strength, or both.
Material Used To Make The Hangboard
Another crucial factor to consider is the materials that have been used to make the hangboard. Generally, there are two types of materials that are widely available. These are wood and plastic. Each of them has different pros and cons. For example, wood tends to have a more pleasant texture. However, these hangboards also tend to be very expensive. On the other hand, plastic tends to slightly more abrasive on your fingers. However, it is lighter and tends to be the most commonly available type of hangboard.
Size Of The Hangboard
Another important thing that you might want to think about is the size of the hangboard. Usually, you will have limited space available to install the board. To avoid having something too large, you should measure the mounting area, then start shopping. If you have very limited space, there are a range of solutions that you might want to consider. For example, you can get a hangboard that you can mount in the doorway. Alternatively, there might be some that you can hang in hooks from the ceiling. These options are also a great idea if you want a portable board.
Ergonomics Of The Hangboard
Each hangboard will have a slightly different effect on your body. The ergonomics of the board may have an impact on how pleasant it feels to train on it. It may also have an impact on your risk of injury. If you need to move into an unnatural position you will be placing more strain on your back and shoulders. This will increase the risk of pulling a muscle, which can be very painful and take weeks to recover from. You can get a sense of how ergonomic a hangboard is by watching videos of people training on it. Look at the way that they need to hold their body during the workout. Also, you might want to read online reviews. This will let you know how many people found it uncomfortable to train with.
Finally, you should try to find a product that features a strong returns policy. Often, the only way to know whether you will like a hangboard is by training with it. Though some climbing stores will have testing areas, not all products will be available for you to try. By checking the returns policy, you will know that you can send it back if you don’t like the way it feels during your training sessions.
Hangboards remain one of the best ways for rock climbers or hikers to train. They will be able to give you the skills that you need to improve your climbing, helping you build more grip strength. To make sure that you choose the best possible model, we looked at several different attributes to consider when you start shopping. Hopefully, this article has helped clarify what to look for in each of these areas. So, start incorporating hangboards into your training routine today and start to improve your climbing skills.
Thinking about hangboarding? Here’s what you need to know!
Before you start to hangboard, we recommend you think about why you want to improve your finger strength. If you’re new to climbing, you might need to hold on to the hangboarding. However, if you’re going to expand your climbing experiences and develop excellent techniques, hangboarding is the way to go. Additionally, suppose you’re an experienced climber and have reached a plateau. In that case, you might want to boost your energy and productivity by strengthening your fingers—it’s something you achieve through hang boarding.
What do you need for hang board training?
If you know nothing about hangboard training, we should start by listing what you need for it:
- A hangboard
You can buy a fingerboard, make your own, or buy one at the local climbing gym.
- A stopwatch/timer on your smartphone
- A chair
In the beginning, you might not be able to hold your weight while hanging. You should use a chair to put a foot on to help with the training.
- A log to keep an eye on your progress
Tips for starting hangboard training
Regardless of the purpose of your hangboard training, you should check out your health condition at your physician or a certified training professional.
We remind you that hangboard training gives the best results when it’s part of a complex training program that includes climbing, endurance exercise, and general fitness. Remember the following tips before you start your hangboarding routine:
- Keep it simple at the beginning
- Have a goal in mind or a project you intend to send. Please think about the hand positions and grips you have problems with.
- Avoid straining your hands and tendons and take a full day or even two to rest between training sessions.
- Listen to your body and give yourself a break when it feels weird.
- Even if you do hangboard training, you work on your finger strength also when you climb at the crag or the gym. Don’t do hangboard training for more than a month or until you’ve accomplished your purpose.
How to have correct hangboard technique
As with any physical exercise, you have to do it correctly to achieve your goal. Here are some essential tips to remember:
- Don’t shrug your shoulders and don’t lock your elbows
- Use the correct form when hanging to reduce the risk of injuries. You don’t want to jump on it.
- Keep your shoulders away from the ears and use your shoulder blades.
- Ideally, you want to reach the hangboard without jumping to it
- As you advance in your training, you can increase the hang time and decrease the rest time.
What are the main hangboard grip positions?
One of the best parts about hangboard training is that you can adjust it to your weak points and goals you want to achieve. We recommend you focus on holds you need to improve. For instance, you won’t need to practice many pinches and slopers if you mainly climb limestone pockets. With these grips, you need to keep your hand open and not hang with a full-closed crimp where the thumb closes around the index fingers—otherwise, you risk more injuries. Here are the main grip positions to practice:
You have to get as much of your hand on the hold as you can; push down on it.
It’s the most effortless hold and it’s excellent to warm up. You get the hand around them and hang it in a comfortable position.
If you use a hangboard with pinch holds, you need to grip the hold with your thumb on one side and your fingers on the other. You will see that wide pinches are somewhat tricky. Instead, you can use a pinch block—it’s a basic block from which you hang weights. The basic block can be polyurethane, wood, or other materials. Use various widths to train your pinch grip.
Use one to four fingers in the holes to vary the intensity. You can also use various sets of fingers out of the hold. For instance, you may use your middle, pointer, and ring fingers in the hold or practice with your ring, pinky, and middle in the hold. Don’t forget that the middle finger is always the strongest. Keep your hand open so that you don’t curl your fingers into a crimp.
You can try edges of various complexity degrees, from deep to really shallow. You have to have an open hand position, similar to slapping your hand against the window and slowly dragging it down. Your fingertips should be on edge, though. Remember not to close your thumb over your index fingers, as you do with a complete crimp.
4 ways to make your hangboard training more fun
Hangboard training is demanding and challenging, but that doesn’t mean it should be painful and a drag. You can make it as fun and efficient as possible and still reach your goals. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind when you do your hangboard training routine:
1. Select the proper hangboard
Some hangboards are too complex or challenging for a beginner to try. Look for one withholds of all shapes and sizes and not just the razor-sharp 1/8 pad crimps. We recommend you buy a board that you can use without bleeding. Your goal is to strengthen your fingers and keep on training. If the board is too difficult for your skills or too easy, you won’t make the progress you want.
2. Use a pulley system
When you take the weight off during your training, you increase your chances of finishing the workout. You also get more systematic and it’s easier for you to keep an eye on your progress. If you only use a rubber band a rope to take the weight off, you won’t be able to know how much weight you take off. Additionally, you will want to take more weight off as you get tired.
3. Clean it with a boar’s hairbrush
In time, the hangboard will get chalky and slimy and you will find it difficult to hang on the little grips. You should use a boar hair brush to clean the board from time to time. It will efficiently remove sweat, grease, and chalk. After each training, you should clean it so the board is ready for the next session.
4. Use acupressure rings
Once you’re done with the practice, your fingers will be hot, swollen, and sore. You can use some acupressure rings to alleviate the pain. Each ring has a specific amount of giving to it and it will put a particular amount of pressure on your fingers.
Before you go away
You can always play some music in the background while you do your hangboard training if you like music. It will make the whole session a lot more fun!