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over or under hand grip for heavy finger roll


Original Post
reboot · · . · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 125

Yeah yeah yeah, I've heard plenty one way or another on whether heavy finger roll helps with climbing. But I got time/energy to explore. For those who actually do them, do you use over or under hand (Horst's blog has him doing under handed) and do you do both concentric and eccentric or only eccentric. And why?

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 569

When I use a bar for heavy finger rolls I face my hands backwards (fully pronated.)

But that's primarily because I have limited external rotation in my shoulders and it's more comfortable that way.

I always do a full isotonic movement, concentric and eccentric, but that's because it never occurred to me to do otherwise. Not sure how you'd easily isolate one direction of movement.

That being said, I currently do something I saw JStar doing.

Take a loading pin. Put one of the metal weight plates on the pin. The first plate can't be solid, it needs to be one of the ones with three holes. Add more weights as desired, then use one of the bar clamps to keep everything in place. I like the red ones, but it doesn't matter really. Tip the weights sideways, then use one of the holes as your grip. 

I find I can get a more full ROM with this setup than with a bar. You can get the weight almost up on your tips, which I couldn't ever do with a bar.

But it takes twice as long, since you work each hand separately.

I think an Ivanko gripper is even better. I borrow my son's when I can.

But I can't see spending $45 for another one!

Joshua1979 · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 15

Way back when I used to do these I would place the bar behind my back and grip it with palms facing backwards. Easiest way is to use the spotter bars in a power cage or a bench to rest the bar on. That was the most comfortable way for me to do max weight.

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 577
reboot wrote:

Yeah yeah yeah, I've heard plenty one way or another on whether heavy finger roll helps with climbing. But I got time/energy to explore. For those who actually do them, do you use over or under hand (Horst's blog has him doing under handed) and do you do both concentric and eccentric or only eccentric. And why?

I wrote to Eric about this years ago.  His response  was that underhanded was preferred because it produced better training-effect.  In other words, bigger bang for you buck.  If you have more questions, write him.  He doesn't bite.

reboot · · . · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 125
Mark E Dixon wrote:

When I use a bar for heavy finger rolls I face my hands backwards (fully pronated.)

But that's primarily because I have limited external rotation in my shoulders and it's more comfortable that way.

That makes sense. Have you tried Tom Randall's stretch? Either way, I tried both grips at home (albeit on more warm up weight of ~120lb) and I don't quite understand the underhand grip. Yes it felt easier, but also much less specific unless you are training under-cling. 

I always do a full isotonic movement, concentric and eccentric, but that's because it never occurred to me to do otherwise. Not sure how you'd easily isolate one direction of movement.

I think if you had spotter bars in a lifting cage like Joshua said, where you can easily pick up/put down the barbell w/o bending over, then it'd be feasible. But, I'm not convinced I need to isolate one direction.

That being said, I currently do something I saw JStar doing.

Take a loading pin. Put one of the metal weight plates on the pin. The first plate can't be solid, it needs to be one of the ones with three holes. Add more weights as desired, then use one of the bar clamps to keep everything in place. I like the red ones, but it doesn't matter really. Tip the weights sideways, then use one of the holes as your grip. 

Anything JStar does is at least worth trying :) I think I get what you are describing, but I need to visit BRC to be sure. 

I find I can get a more full ROM with this setup than with a bar. You can get the weight almost up on your tips, which I couldn't ever do with a bar.

So, my objective for the finger roll is, besides forearm hypertrophy, developing hand closing strength. In a climbing specific way, from open crimp to closed crimp. In that sense, not being able to completely open to my finger tips isn't as much of a concern. I've tried "finger pullup" on a hangboard before, but I just end up cheating w/ my shoulders. In either case, even the large edge on the beastmaker 2k is too difficult for me for a full closing motion. I'll experiment w/ a deeper edge, but it either case, finger roll seems more ergonomic on the joints and would allow me to train after a day of small crimps.

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 569

I'll try to get a picture of the JStar setup today.

I hadn't seen the Tom Randall stretch. Will give it a try.

I am also interested in the finger rolls primarily for the open to crimp transition. So far I think it works well for this, but you are starting at a much higher strength level than me, so don't know if my experience will generalize to you.

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 569

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 13,579

Very nice + creative, Mark.

Looks like the half-bar thing from IronMind, which I already own - but turned sideways.
And by choosing different elevations of the non-weighted end, can control the "positivity" of the edge-grip.

Perhaps more motivating to keep doing it because seems more obviously climbing-specific than HFR with barbell.

Not to mention quicker to get the equipment out of its storage spot (for those of us who don't have space for a barbell-lifting station at home).

Ken

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 13,579
reboot wrote:

For those who actually do them, do you use over or under hand?

There's yet another option:
Use a dumbbell (instead of a barbell), and grip the bar of the dumbell with the palm aimed inward sideways.

Advantages:
* more ergonomic "neutral" elbow position - (unless you think a medially-rotated elbow is a training advantage -- as in the Tom Randall stretch).

* use the other hand to assist with starting the rolling motion a bit lower from a more extended finger position.

Disadvantage:

* as get very strong, could exceed the weight capacity of the dumbbell.

Ken

reboot · · . · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 125
kenr wrote:

There's yet another option:
Use a dumbbell (instead of a barbell), and grip the bar of the dumbell with the palm aimed inward sideways.

Advantages:
* more ergonomic "neutral" elbow position - (unless you think a medially-rotated elbow is a training advantage -- as in the Tom Randall stretch).

* use the other hand to assist with starting the rolling motion a bit lower from a more extended finger position.

Disadvantage:

* as get very strong, could exceed the weight capacity of the dumbbell.

Ken

One thing with dumbbell vs Olympic style barbell is the latter has bearings so that the weight plates rotate minimally. I tried HFR w/ both over hand (palm facing back) and under hand (palm facing forward) and I felt over hand grip stresses the extensors in ways closer to actual climbing. The Tom Randall stretch is purely a side remark to Mark on his lack of mobility. I'm pretty strong open handed, so being able to open to the tip of the finger isn't nearly of a concern for me as being able to fully close.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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