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Training to crimp harder

Original Post
seth hamel · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2007 · Points: 510

Hey everyone... Now that I'm bouldering a lot more, I'm realizing that the moves that are hardest for me are sticking/moving off of crimpers. Any ideas on how to train to get stronger on them?


half-pad-mini-jug · · crauschville · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 1,740

Campus board, you will be ripping crimpers off the wall before you know it. Be careful though, do some tendon strengthening, otherwise you stand a very good chance of tearing/pulling a tendon in your hand.

redlude97 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 5

only train open hand, and reserve closed hand crimping for sends outside

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,107

darth, quick question... do you latch the hold open hand and then move into a crimp, or do you latch the hold with the crimp?

tscupp · · Englewood, CO · Joined May 2007 · Points: 1,425

Just thought I'd add my 2 cents, but I'm not really sure I know what I'm talking about :)

Since you have the goal in mind that you are particularly interested in improving crimp strength, figuring out what your true weak point is can be helpful in tailoring the training more. Latching a hold in any dynamic process vs. one you can grab statically and move off of are slightly different. Latching a hold requires coordination and power (force/time dependent). Campusing can do wonders (to a point) for improving coordination and power via recruitment. That being said, it is best to work campusing openhanded or possibly half crimped. Key is, work it when fresh and not to failure (I'll avoid explanation here). A lot of people will recommend against campusing half crimped - I try to avoid it myself but campusing when done fresh and not to failure I find is generally safer than doing dynamic moves at your limit ie when you are trying to boulder harder. Also, think hard about whether you latch open hand and then spin into a crimp to move or just go into the move full crimp.

Now if the more noticeable problem is just being able to hang onto small holds - Hangboarding aimed at both hypertrophy and recruitment ought to be a more of a focus. Hangboarding with say 7 reps of 7sec hang, 3 sec rest for a given hold (1 or 2 sets) - hypertrophic and mixing that with a harder set of 3-4 reps with same hang/rest schema is more recruitment oriented.

Simplest, easiest, most fun way - train via bouldering. Most haphazard as it is less planned but will be the least likely to bore you. Just make sure you are TRAINING, not performing. By that I mean, find moves/problems that mimic what you want to improve and either do repetitions or analyze them heavily.

I guess I should add too that don't view these exercises or goals as black and white. Combinations of all three will probably have the best overall yield but focus a little bit more on your specific goal within the framework of your willingness to put time aside to train vs. just climb.

Let me know if there is anything you want me to elaborate/clarify.

Lanky · · Tired · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 255
redlude97 wrote:only train open hand, and reserve closed hand crimping for sends outside
I'm not a true expert, but my understanding of the principle of specificity in training is that if you want to be good/strong at something you need to train that specific movement. There is definitely some benefit to your crimp strength in training open handed grip positions, but it's not as simple as you make it sound here. The rule of thumb I've heard is that if you want to be strong in a particular grip position you have to train that position specifically. Of course, it really pays to be careful when training on crimps - listen to your body, stop when you start to get sloppy, and ease into it so you know what your body can handle.

Dave MacLeod's take on it (he's smarter than I am): onlineclimbingcoach.blogspo…
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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