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How to train knee bar strength / endurance?


Original Post
Brandon Gottung · · currently Las Cruces, NM · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,497

I shattered my dominant thumb recently, so it's a couple months off of all activities that keep me fit, especially climbing. Well, one week out after surgery I did TR a 5.7 corner one armed and had a blast, but that was just good for the spirits.

One thing I could train is knee bar strength / stamina! Any of you have ideas? I have a decently equipped gym at my disposal with a small bouldering wall, not sure if they'll let me set holds to get into knee bars, so looking for other options.

Jon Frisby · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 120

If you climb under 5.15, this isn't a really useful training tactic. Just do some general core work and maybe pull ups with straps

Brandon Gottung · · currently Las Cruces, NM · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,497

I disagree. I knee bar my way out 5.10 roofs, up 5.8 squeeze chimneys, 5.12 sport and all over on steep corners. My beta for the crux of one of my proudest sends was double bars up a seamed-out 90-degree corner, and that was merely 5.12. I'll be getting back into climbing with very weak hands, so I'll only benefit from strength elsewhere.

I'm sure you can understand how doing casual knee bars or silly exercises that could be comparable would be more fun than leg-lifts when you can't climb.

Peter Brown-Whale · · Randallstown, MD · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 20

I know that Ondra trained heavily for knee bars on Silence.  Mostly calf exercises.

trevor stuart · · Aurora, Colorado · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 105
Jon Frisby wrote: If you climb under 5.15, this isn't a really useful training tactic. Just do some general core work and maybe pull ups with straps

There are knee bars on climbs easier than 5.15. 


I think the best way would be to get the gym to allow you to set knee bars and then to make them progressively harder to stay in or add a weight vest while in the knee bar once you can hold it easily for ten minutes or something like that. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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