Fingerboard Training Part #3 of 4

This is the third in a four-part series on the fingerboard, a staple training tool of many climbers. While the large “bucket” holds found along the top of most good training boards can be used for pull-up training, the genius of a good fingerboard is the multitude of finger positions and grips that it enables you to train. This is invaluable if you are unable to regularly boulder or climb—install a fingerboard in your house and you suddenly have a small piece of “rock” to hang on! Of course, a fingerboard is also a useful tool for supplementing outdoor or wall climbing, since it enables you to target specific grip positions in order to develop more finger strength.

One caveat of fingerboard training: this apparatus is not appropriate for a true novice or anyone with recent incidence of a finger, elbow, or shoulder injury. As a guideline, you can begin fingerboard training if you’ve been climbing for more than six months, you are not more than twenty pounds overweight, and you have no ongoing pain in the fingers, arms, or shoulders. A final rule of fingerboard training is to never use the board more than three days per week.

Forearm Endurance Training with “Moving Hangs”
Moving hangs involve working your hands around the board continuously for several minutes, much like climbing a long sustained sequence on the rock. Doing this requires somewhere to place your feet while your hands switch holds on the board. The best way to do this is to mount your fingerboard so that it’s set out a foot or two from a wall onto which you have mounted a few small footholds or other foot support. Another possibility is to mount the board above a doorway, then position a chair or stool a couple of feet behind the board. Either way, you will be able to use your toes for support as you circulate your hands around the fingerboard.

1. Perform a twenty to thirty-minute warm-up comprising some aerobic activity, stretching, and some pull-ups and easy hangs on the fingerboard. You should break a light sweat and feel a slight pump in your arms.

2. Mount the board, then place your feet on footholds or on the edge of a chair.

3. Begin moving your hands around the fingerboard, changing hand positions every three to five seconds.

4. After a minute or two, you will begin to develop a pump in your forearms. Move both hands onto the largest handholds on the board, and shake out each arm for about thirty seconds in an attempt to recover a little.

5. After this brief shakeout, continue moving your hands around the board for another minute or two. Once again, move to the large holds if you need to shake out and rest your muscles a little.

6. Continue in this fashion with the goal of staying on the board for a total of five to ten minutes.

7. Dismount the board, and rest for about ten minutes before proceeding with a second and third set.

Featured Fingerboard:

V10 hangboard
This hangboard is lean and mean-just like you’ll want to be when you head out to ascend your hardest-ever project! Wider than our NexGen™, the Eric Horst designed V10 Training Board™ is ergonomic and will mount in any home or apartment. It features a dozen finger pockets, a comfy medium-sized edge, a pair of slopers, pinches, and an incut jug. Train a couple days per week on the V10, and you’ll be shredding like never before. Mounting hardware and installation instructions are included, as well as Eric Horst’s training guide. Please Note: The hangboard pictured has been colored solid blue so that you can better see all of the features, pockets, divots, etc. on the hangboard. The actual color of blue will be a much brighter, more vivid blue.


Purchase the V10 Board and other hangboards and training tools.

Copyright 2011 Eric J. Hörst. All rights reserved.