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How to Strengthen Fingers for Climbing

how to strengthen fingers for climbing

If you are a climber, the most crucial part of your body that needs to be improved is the strength of your finger. Having a strong finger will allow you to climb harder by enabling you to grab onto smaller holds. It will help improve your performance by supporting your body weight or any part of the body not supported by the climber’s feet.

But how to strengthen fingers for climbing? You can do various exercises to strengthen your fingers for climbing, including squeezing, finger lifting, thumb touch, and many more. Check out the list below to learn more techniques on how to build finger strength for climbing.

Finger Lift Exercise

This exercise is simple and can be done without any tools. Furthermore, doing this exercise can help strengthen the tendons found in the fingers. In doing this exercise, start by keeping your hand flat and palm down on a table.

Then start lifting your finger one by one, holding them for a few seconds before putting them down slowly. After doing the lift a finger one by one, you can have the option to lift all the fingers all at once. Repeat the exercise 10 times before moving with the other hands.

Squeezing Exercise

finger lift exercise

This exercise is designed to develop and strengthen the tendons and muscles in the hands and fingers. You can use a soft foam ball that will be used for squeezing both of your hands and fingers. Doing this exercise also increases the strength of your grip.

In this exercise, start by putting the soft ball on the palm and start pinching on the thumb and fingers. Try to squeeze the ball for about one minute to complete the squeezing exercise. Repeat the same process ten times to maximize the result.

Thumb Touch Exercise

This exercise helps increase the motion of the fingers and thumb while increasing flexibility. To do the exercise, you can hold the hand straight at your front, then touch the tip of the thumb to the tip of the index finger to make an O shape.

This position must be maintained for about 30 seconds. Then, do the same process using the other fingers on your hands. To complete the exercise, you can repeat the exercise four times for each hand.

Bend and Fold Exercise

bend and fold fingers exercise

In this exercise, you will be training your fingers to handle resistance which will be needed when doing rock climbing. This exercise will develop finger independence, which is an essential rock climbing skill.

Begin this exercise by holding the hands straight while keeping the palm facing up. Then, you can bend each finger at the second knuckle while using the fingers of the other hand. It is essential to ensure that the other fingers are still while bending one finger at a time. Maintain the position for about 10 seconds before moving to the other finger.

Doing a Fist Exercise

This exercise improves finger strength and flexibility. In addition, you can also do this exercise in between climbs for you to relieve the tension in your hands. Start by holding your hands and extending your fingers. Then, slowly bend the fingers to a fist while keeping the thumb out.

After that, you can start releasing the fingers and returning to their original position. You can repeat the exercise 10 times before moving to the other hand.

Protective Training for your Finger for Climbing

squeezing fingers exercise

This finger-training exercise for climbing is designed to strengthen and nourish the finger flexor tendons and the many small ligament pulleys that hold the finger flexor tendons near the bone. Doing this exercise regularly will help in the strength and overall health of the finger structures. Check the step-by-step process below.

Step 1: Dumbbell Finger Rolls

Start the training with 30 seconds of dumbbell finger rolls using moderate weight. You can also use low-resistance spring-loaded grippers, tennis balls, or power putty. This exercise must be moderate in terms of intensity and should not cause significant fatigue or get you anywhere near muscular failure.

Step 2: Finger Extensions Exercise

The next step is to do a 30-second finger extension exercise using a power finger or using other equipment that can extend your fingers against a moderately thick rubber band and get the same training effect. Do the exercise for about 30 repetitions or until 30 seconds have passed.

Step 3: Hangboard Exercise

The next step is to do one minute of 10-5 repeaters on some of the larger holds on a hang board. Alternate hanging for 10 seconds and resting for 5 seconds, and repeat this step 4 times. You can use a large jug hold a deep slope of hold and the largest crimp edge of the fingerboard.

Repeat the exercise two more times to complete the training. Always remember that the goal in this training is not to train intensively nor to get pumped. So don’t grab any small crimps or pockets. In this protective training, the goal is repeatedly to load the tendon and pulleys with a moderate weight to strengthen the fingers.


Learning how to strengthen fingers for climbing is essential if you want to increase your performance during climbing. The fingers are one of the most essential parts of our body, and strengthening them will enhance your performance during your climbing activity.

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