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Variability in contact strength at various arm angles.

Original Post
jakobi · · moab, utah · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 1,105

Maybe this has been discussed elsewhere but I'm too lazy to dig into old forum posts to check for myself.

We all know that in hangboarding to make strength gains in various grips we need to specifically train those grips. Is there any reason to train contact strength at different arm angles? That is, do strength gains in say a half crimp position with a straight arm hang transfer to a half crimp gains where the arms are in flexion such as a lock-off?

evan h · · Denver, CO · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 320

Hey jakobi,

So when I think of contact strength, I think of power. Power is dynamic, so by the very nature of that sort of training, are you not already seeing a range of arm angles? Say for example you are campusing: Your arms angles will vary at least 45 degrees (probably more) as you move from rung to rung. I can't imagine a scenario where you would be constantly locked off and training contact strength at the same time. Is there something you're having difficulty with specifically?

Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,122

Also, to add to what evan said, contact strength is a finger strength issue, it is not an arm issue, so the angle of your arm shouldn't have anything to do with it. Similar to hangboarding, I'm sure it is important to train various grips to be able to build contact strength for those individual grips, but it really has nothing to do with arm angle.

Just so that you are aware of what contact strength actually is in case you are trying to ask a different question, contact strength is the ability to quickly generate force in your fingers so that you are able to latch a hold during a dynamic move.

Nivel Egres · · New York, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 130
Ken Noyce wrote:Also, to add to what evan said, contact strength is a finger strength issue, it is not an arm issue
Actually, I think creatively contact strength as defined by most climbers (stick it, bro) is very much a full body strength issue on many marginal holds. I am pretty sure, for example, that my inability to stick foot-free dynos is due to my weak shoulders and core, not lack of finger power.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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