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Hang board advice for a novice?

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Hang board advice for a novice?

Postby TimB » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:44 pm

I am considering purchasing a small hang board for my climbing fitness program and have a few questions:

1) is it even advisable for a beginner to work a hang board?

2) what sort of holds would be best for a novice that top-ropes ~5.8? I am assuming hand-width size jugs and such?

3) Is there a fairly high risk of muscle/tendon injury for someone new to the sport on a hang board?

I realize that 3) may be a bit tough to answer, but any help is appreciated.
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Re: Hang board advice for a novice?

Postby fatdad » Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:13 pm

1. No.
2. Not applicable. Just climb more.
3. Yes.
If you're toproping 5.8s, just climb more. Your fitness will improve and, even better, so will your technique. That will get you MUCH further than strength alone. If you enjoy climbing, then just climb. Training is boring and will likely just leave you injured.
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Re: Hang board advice for a novice?

Postby Marcsoltan » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:34 pm

Tim, I would have to agree with all the answers by fatdad. As the owner of two fingerboards, a campus board, a climbing wall and a Bachar Ladder, I can testify that I have sustained injuries from all of those devices/apparatuses/apparati. But, that was over some 25 years of use. I would wait till you are confidently leading 5.10s before considering using plastic of any kind. I know that getting out and climbing on regular basis may not be feasible. That's always a problem, but saving your fingers and body for LIFE may be more important than climbing 5.12s.
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Re: Hang board advice for a novice?

Postby TimB » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:58 pm

fatdad and Marc,
I appreciate the input, fellas.
:cool:


EDIT: I do have a problem getting out as much as I would like to climb, simply for lack of partners-but I would rather make a somewhat slower progression in climbing than suffer any permanent injury.
That's not counting brain damage(drain bamage?), of course. :lol:
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Re: Hang board advice for a novice?

Postby Wastral » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:39 am

TimB wrote:I am considering purchasing a small hang board for my climbing fitness program and have a few questions:

1) is it even advisable for a beginner to work a hang board?

2) what sort of holds would be best for a novice that top-ropes ~5.8? I am assuming hand-width size jugs and such?

3) Is there a fairly high risk of muscle/tendon injury for someone new to the sport on a hang board?

I realize that 3) may be a bit tough to answer, but any help is appreciated.


1) Yes/No No as in need to develop judgement on how to maneuver your body/transfer weight from hold to hold all of which is impossible to do on a board.
2) Jug, 1 1/2 knuckle depth
3) YES I have seen someone injure themselves the very first try at the recommended below "holds" as they thought they were "BUFF" and "IN SHAPE" and tried the smaller bottom hold to be macho. They pulled their middle finger and it wasn't ok until 2-3 months later.

I would not recommend a finger board as the temptation to try the small holds is frankly overwhelming. I would recommend a Meteolus Chock pair of jug hold and pull up pieces. Yes, all you do is "hang", but it gets the job done. These holds have a rope that goes through the top portion. Hang in the garage and FOLLOW THEIR WRITE UP INSTRUCTIONS! The "work outs" frankly seem absurdly easy on the "easy" portion until you wake up 2 days later and observe, that you actually ache. NEVER, do this back to back days when starting out. Day on, DAY OFF, day on... etc. Maybe you are in better shape and can do the beginning medium workouts(probably can). Off days you can still do pull ups, Iron man "T", "ring" work outs using the jug holds. Highly recommended actually as it works muscles in different motions that free weights just never do, especially building up your neck muscles and rotator cuff muscles. Tendons cartilage require a LOT of time to strengthen. Your muscles will buff up far quicker than your tendons. DO NOT DO any DYNAMIC MOVES especially when starting out.

Work your core muscles while hanging and being bored while hanging. Get those legs straight out and buff up your back muscles and abs.

A nice big 2" rope is great training as well for upper body strength training. Always humorous when your buddies come over and try it...

Of course nothing beats climbing even on a climbing wall. Once again if you have access to a climbing wall DO NOT DO THIS but every other day to give time for your tendons to strengthen. Once your tendons begin to ache, STOP, otherwise you won't be able to do it for 3 days maybe 4 if you push to where it hurts. KNOW YOUR BODY. Once you build your tendons up a bit you can begin to do light work between main finger strengthening days or if have access to a climbing wall, LAPS on the easy sections.
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Re: Hang board advice for a novice?

Postby Kahuna » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:02 pm

No hangboard!

Simple Tim, as stated above just go out and climb, climb and climb.

Best thing I can recommend to strengthen your digits and forearms is to get a 10-15lb dumb bell and do rev curls, wrist curls and finger rollers. Another thing I do is I have a 10lb plate weight and I do pinch curls vertically and laterlly. You can also get a door jam pull up bar and do a couple of PU's each time you walk by the bar.


A very important issue I see today is that far too many folks are focused on upper body strength and they totally forget that good and proper footwork is the key to being a well balanced climber. You can be the strongest mofo on the crag but if your footwork sucks, you will definitely be the most embarassed flailing turd out there, guaranteed.
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Re: Hang board advice for a novice?

Postby TimB » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:04 pm

Wastral and Rick,
Thanks for the feedback!
I think that for now I will just stick with my pull-up bar I have on my door, and try some of those other exercises you mention, Rick.
As far as the feet go, I am starting to learn to concentrate on them instead of my hands. That was something I had a hard time with the first few times I climbed, but I am starting(starting) to think and say to myself, 'climb with your feet, Tim!'

Thanks again, folks.
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Re: Hang board advice for a novice?

Postby Kahuna » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:15 pm

TimB wrote:"climb with your feet, Tim!"



Good on you Tim.

I gaurantee that if you focus on your footwork, your confidence and climbing will improve tenfold.
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Re: Hang board advice for a novice?

Postby Vitaliy M. » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:03 pm

I agree with what others mentioned above. Try to get out and climb more. Also would like to add that a healthy diet and loss of excessive weight could also help with your strength. Boulder more for strength gains. And mix up your work outs to include days of hard bouldering, and days of cardio climbing (lapping climbs several times till failure). Aside from that, just enjoy the movement, work on your technique/footwork, and have a lot of fun. Concentrating on the grades is a lot less fun than getting out enjoying your time out.
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Re: Hang board advice for a novice?

Postby TimB » Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:46 pm

Vitaliy M. wrote:I agree with what others mentioned above. Try to get out and climb more. Also would like to add that a healthy diet and loss of excessive weight could also help with your strength. Boulder more for strength gains. And mix up your work outs to include days of hard bouldering, and days of cardio climbing (lapping climbs several times till failure). Aside from that, just enjoy the movement, work on your technique/footwork, and have a lot of fun. Concentrating on the grades is a lot less fun than getting out enjoying your time out.



Vitaliy,
+1000 on the weight loss. I am working on losing like crazy and I realize it is of critical importance.
As far as getting out and climbing more, I am thinking of ways to accomplish same.
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Re: Hang board advice for a novice?

Postby Kahuna » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:27 pm

So when can I expect you down here in my neck of the rocks there TimB?
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Re: Hang board advice for a novice?

Postby TimB » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:30 pm

A5RP wrote:So when can I expect you down here in my neck of the rocks there TimB?



Rick,
As soon as I can! I am looking forward to it. I may have to borrow one of my dad's fly rods to bring along, also. 8)
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Re: Hang board advice for a novice?

Postby Kahuna » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:11 pm

No need to do that Tim, I have plenty and you are more than welcome to use any of them except my two favorites.

Just get your ass down here.
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Re: Hang board advice for a novice?

Postby TimB » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:42 pm

A5RP wrote:
Just get your ass down here.


OK, OK! I will get a move-on, A5RP. :D
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Re: Hang board advice for a novice?

Postby CClaude » Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:54 pm

I propose that unless you are looking to climb 5.13 sport or upper 5.13 trad or harder, there is no reason to use a hangboard. The only reason that I use them this summer and fall is I missed most of the summer with knee surgery and am looking on getting back onto "Learning to Fly" to train for Zion.

At this stage of the game, get out and work on technique. Technique will get you the farthest at this point.

Excessive weight isn't good ince it will put extra stress on tendons. A healthy diet and working out, and just getting out climbing will do wonders with this.

Don't get injuried! Allow yourself to progress at a reasonable rate, allowing the tendons and ligaments to accomadate he new stresses. Don't climb hard everyday. Take rest days!

On top of the excers izes that rick recommended, work on both internal and external rotator cuff excersizes. Google Aimee Roseborrough and stonewear designs. She had a vide o of the excersizes on one of there Friday afternoon tips. She gives some advise about training for climbing from the perspective of a physical therapist who is also a 5.13 sports climber ( also a reasonable trad climber, Iknow this since she used to be my neighbor)
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