Keeping Finger Strength in Off-Season

keep-finger-strength-by-mariachilyGround temperatures are dropping, which means the outdoor bouldering and climbing season is really at its end for all but the most hardcore of climbers. Frozen fingers can be very dangerous for climbers who stay out on the rock well past sanity. Don’t let your strength atrophy, however, during the off-season. Try these exercises to keep your strength up:

Gym climbing

If you can’t get outdoors, do indoor climbs at your local gym. La Casa Pollo is one near Fayetteville to try out when you’re itching for a climb but can’t get outdoors due to weather conditions. If you want a change, you can always drive the few hours to another area gym to get something different on a weekend trip.

Finger Boards

These tools are a great way to get a workout for your fingers and actually improve your strength during the off-season so you return to the rock in spring with even more strength. Remember to keep crimping out of the equation with finger boards — otherwise you might cause damage to your fingers. Don’t overdo it either and keep your hang times short and rest periods longer.

Wrist exercises

There are plenty of exercises for fingers but wrists are often ignored—without strong wrists, your fingers won’t matter. Try using a sledge hammer and rotating your wrist slowly while holding on with different finger commissions for a quick workout.

Finger curls

Tie a weight to a piece of webbing and use your fingers to do finger curls, just like you would a bicep curl, but flexing your fingers and bringing the weight up. Take it easy at first to get your fingers used to the exercise and take it slow with weight—don’t use your whole bodyweight!

Give these few exercises a try to keep your finger strength up while you’re stuck indoors throughout the winter.

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