Need convincing to put time into training your fingers? Here are two:
- Climb harder: As the grades get more challenging, the holds typically get smaller or more slopey. So at a certain point, you’ll stop progressing if your fingers are not strong enough to grip the holds.
- Prevent injuries: Just consider the number of bones, ligaments, tendons, and joints in your hands and fingers. Strengthening your digits can help prevent damage that causes chronic pain.
As with any training regimen, start conservatively and slowly increase the number of repetitions in a set as your training progresses.
Finger Strength Exercises: Beginner and Intermediate
Warm-up: Get the blood flowing to the extremities. Five to 10 minutes of easy aerobic exercise like walking or running will improve circulation. Then target the hands and fingers with a few minutes of rotation and gentle dynamic stretching.
Gripping: Using a soft squeeze ball, grip and release the ball with the entire hand using all of your fingers. Repeat this motion continuously for one minute. That’s one rep. Rest for one minute, then start again; do three repetitions total.
Crimping: Start with self-resistance pinching exercises that will help develop strength for crimping small holds. Rotate each finger through the thumb, pinching and releasing five times. Repeat five to 10 times. Then, move the pinching exercises to the squeeze ball, using each finger one at a time with the thumb. Pinch and release the ball five times each. Repeat five to 10 times.
Finger Extensions: Place a finger-strength resistance band around all fingers at the knuckles. Extend and release fingers continuously for one minute, then rest for one minute; repeat for a set of three repetitions.