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How to Improve Grip Strength for Climbing

how to improve grip strength for climbing

Back in the days, climbing was synonymous with mountain climbing, tree climbing, and other climbing activities related to the outdoors. Now, climbing can also be done indoors such as gyms where enthusiasts can do any type of climbing activities under the roof. The training has also changed a bit with climbers can now learn how to improve grip strength for climbing even in the gym. All they need is to do some routine exercises to help them develop their grip strength.

In this article, our team will try to help climbing enthusiasts in improving their grip strength. This can be done through proper training and doing some exercises that will help climbers elevate their grip strength and improved climbing performance.

Developing Grip Strength For Climbing

It was said that some 40 years ago, climbers started mixing their training routine with exercises such as doing dumbbell work, climbing on the rope, among other things. Then, new training devices were invented to help climbers improved their stamina and performance apart from the regular training. Now, climbing as a sport becomes more difficult physically and the need to be prepared in all aspects is needed when doing any climbing activities especially for competition.

This is the same situation in improving grip strength in relation to climbing. Since having a set of strong fingers and excellent grip strength can endure smaller holds a little longer. Having a good grip can also rest and recover small holds while having more stamina during the climb.

For these reasons, we have compiled different exercises to improve grip strength for climbing. Please see the list below:

The Crushing Technique

The crushing technique will need you to use equipment that provides hard resistance to your fingers. A good tool to use is those spring-loaded grippers that provide the best resistance and will challenge your fingers to work. There are several companies that are making high-quality grippers and you need to choose the best one that will be fit for you.

To have an excellent crushing technique, you will need to use a gripper that has a resistance that is enough to be closed by your hand. Closing the hands means that it should touch the handles. And you can do this for 5 to 10 repetitions and alternating each hand. Once you can do the normal 5 to 10 repetitions with the said gripper, I would suggest moving on a much harder gripper and take it from there.

The Wrist Rotation Technique

This method will require the climber to use a sledgehammer weighing around 3 to 6 lbs. When doing the wrist rotation, the elbow should be on your side while rotating the hammer internally until it is parallel to the flooring. I would suggest to wrapped tape on the handle of the hammer so that you can adjust the position in holding the hammer while increasing the resistance.

The right number for this exercise is 5 repetitions in each direction for it to be more effective. However, please be gradual in increasing the repetitions per set since it might cause some elbow pain if the increase is done quickly.

The Finger Extension Technique

developing grip strength for climbing

In this method, you are going to use an elastic device to improve the strength of your finger and eventually your grip. A 1-cm rubber band can be used in this exercise by placing all of the fingers inside including the thumb. Then try to extend outward, spreading the finger in full to improve the strength. The ideal situation for this exercise is 10 repetitions while adding an additional rubber band will add more challenge that eventually improved your grip strength.

The Barbell Finger Curls

In this exercise, you will need a barbell to improved performance specifically on your grip strength. Kneeling down on the floor is the first thing to do while holding the barbell with both hands. Please take note that your palms should face up and should have a distance of a shoulder apart from each other.

In doing this exercise, the best way is to use around 15 to 30 kg of weight and do 10 to 15 repetitions per set. A set of 3 is ideal but if you can do more, it will be better in terms of improving your grip strength. An alternative is to use dumbbells using one pc. for each hand.

The Hang Board Technique

If you are not familiar, a hang board is a climbing apparatus that can be installed in any walls found in your house. You can put it anywhere you want to as long as it is comfortable to you in terms of doing the exercise. Once installed, you can do different types of hanging or pulling exercises depending on your preference.

For example, you can use one hand to grad the hang board while the other hand will try to reach upward. You can do this for 10 moves at a time for a maximum of 30 to 40 minutes depending on your strength and stamina. This type of exercise on the hand board will develop the muscle fibers once it is done consistently.

The Climbing Technique

There is no better way to improve grip strength but to do a lot of climbing exercises consistently. Spending a lot of time in climbing gyms while doing different types of climbing exercises will improve your grip strength quickly. For me, this is the fastest way to gain more grip strength compared to the other exercises I have mention.


If you know how to improve grip strength for climbing, then you will a good chance to improve your climbing performance. Any exercise mention above can help develop the strength of your finger and eventually improve the grip strength for any climbing activities.

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