A Rock Climber's Guide to Improving Grip Strength
If you enjoy rock climbing then you'll need to improve your grip strength to perfect your performance. Check out this handy guide and get the ball rolling today. Click here for more info on this subject!
No matter your age or your current fitness level, you know that rock climbing is an awesome way to get your heart rate up -- and have a lot of fun in the process!
However, sometimes it can be tough to get to those higher rocks. And even if you wear gloves to prevent sweaty hands, sometimes, you still feel like your grip strength has a long way to go.
The good news?
There are tons of ways to learn how to improve grip strength!
Keep on reading this post to learn what you can do to get a bit stronger.
1. Start with a Stretch
Believe it or not, you can learn how to improve grip strength just by stretching in between calls and emails at your work desk.
You need to stretch out the muscles of your hand just as you would any other part of your body. Though fingers don't actually contain any muscles, the hand itself has 34 of them!
So, if you want to be able to reach for that high rock next time, make sure that you're stretching them out!
Start by standing in front of your desk, about one foot away from it to make sure you don't put pressure on your back. Turn your fingers towards your body as comfortably as you can, making a kind of "V shape." Then, press down gently and hold for about 15 seconds.
Next, slowly try to take the bottoms of your palms off the desk to intensify the stretch a bit, and hold for another ten seconds.
Finally, interlace the fingers on both of your hands, fingernails towards your body, and slowly push out. Hold for as long as you feel comfortable, and repeat if you can.
2. Grab a Rubber Band
One of the most effective hand strengthening exercises can also be accomplished by using things that you have sitting around the home or office.
Grab two elastic bands (one is enough if you're a beginner) and fit them over your four fingers and thumb.
You can do a finger extension and build up your grip strength by using your fingers and opening and closing them up to stretch out and then relax the rubber band.
As you get a bit stronger, you can keep on adding rubber bands. This will help to pump blood through your hands, and will even work to increase your dexterity.
This is also a wonderful alternative for those who would like to work up to using a traditional grip strengthening tool, but just don't have the level of strength needed quite yet.
3. Try a Battle Rope in Your Next Workout
It seems like you can't access a celebrity's Instagram account these days without coming across a video of them working out with battle ropes.
Sure, these ropes might remind you of your tug-of-war days on the playground, but they're also seriously awesome for building up agility and arm strength.
But what people don't usually realize about making these huge and heavy ropes a part of their routine?
They can also help you learn how to increase grip strength.
In general, if you want to see the benefits for climbing, look for a thick and heavy rope -- because they're tough to hold when you're swinging and thrashing them around (or just running with them behind you.)
For best results, start with the traditional wave.
All you need to do is put the ropes out in front of you, and tie the other end of them to another piece of equipment. Then, start shaking them up and down, until you create a wave-like pattern in the ropes.
It sounds easy, but trust us when we tell you that it gets seriously tough to maintain a grip about 30-45 seconds in!
Of course, nothing quite helps you to improve your grip strength like pull-ups.
Just be careful, and aim not to go too hard at the beginning. Plus, this will also help you to build up your arm and core strength!
If regular pull-ups are starting to get a little too easy for you? You could try using rings, which will also help you to improve your balance.
For even more of a challenge, grab a rolled up towel and put it underneath your hands while you do regular pull-ups.
You'll likely be surprised by just how much harder this can make things!
5. Sneaky Everyday Exercises
You don't have to hit the gym to boost your grip strength.
In fact, even carrying bags of groceries up the steps, unloading the dishwasher and stacking plates sky-high, and even walking an especially peppy dog are all awesome ways to get a little bit stronger.
Also, aim to avoid overly repetitive movements that use your wrists and hands.
For example, if you have to pick up and put down the phone all of the time at work?
Try investing in a headphone set, instead!
Use These Grip Strength Exercises before You Hit the Rock Climbing Gym
We hope that this post has helped you to better learn how to increase your grip strength.
Of course, remember that sometimes it will take a few weeks -- or even months -- for you to be able to see the kinds of results you want.
Just go slow and steady to prevent injury, and always make sure you're taking the time to do the exercises the right way.
When you're ready to connect with the perfect rock climbing gym in your area, be sure to come visit us at Prescott Rocks and Rec!