/ Finger & Wrist Strength - Minimal/no equipment?

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
lewys-edwards - on 22 Nov 2012
Hi guys, i'm looking for some help on ways to build finger and wrist strength with minimal/ no equipment. I havn,t got a finger board so i'd like to here other ways you guys have been able to strengthen your fingers and wrists at home.
I'm a strong believer in the benefits of calisthenic training (only using ones own body weight to build strength and fitness i.e pushups, pull ups, squats etc) so ideally im looking to do the same for my fingers.

I've done abit of research into this but it's often hard to find any definitive exrcises online as the finger and wrist strength doesn't really come into mind for a great deal of other sports bar climbing. (so it seems anyway)

I have tried using those grip strengtheners where its like two handles with a thin coiled metal bar between them so as you squeeze them together they spring back out but the pump i experience from this doesn't feel like the kind of pump i experience climbing so i'm not sure if it's targetting the right muscles/tendons or not.

If anybody knows some home exercises that they have found to work please leave a comment with what they are or explaining how to do them, it would be very much appreciated.
Thanks alot,
Lewys
dave frost - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to lewys-edwards: If you want stronger hands for climbing, theres no other way than either a finger board, campus board, or climbing board. Those hand strengtheners don't work that well for climbing. Plus, strong hands are no good without strong shoulders, or you'll just pull your arms off :)

Seriously, strengthening body parts in isolation wont work.

As for wrists, press-ups, crawling and handstand-pushups.

Have fun.
Dave
lewys-edwards - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to dave frost: I've found something in a book wrote by Charles Atlas about things like clinching your fists tight moving them in circles, also back of your palm down curling your fingers up which both feel like they're working your and muscles but are hard to maintain.

And what did you mean by 'crawling' if you don't mind me asking, i'm already doing things like the press ups and hand stand press ups but i cant say i've heard of crawling?
Big Z on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to lewys-edwards: I know you said you don't want equipment but i find powerballs are brilliant for strengthening and conditioning your forearms/wrists. They're fairly cheap as well!

http://tinyurl.com/d8bs96z
edinburgh_man on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to lewys-edwards:

If you don't have access to a climbing wall (or fingerboard / door ledge for deadhangs / repeaters):

Put a towel over a pull up bar. Grab towel with both hands and lift yourself off floor. Hold for as long as possible. Repeat.

Good Judo practitioners can do around 4-5 minutes per set. If you can do longer than a minute you'll be doing OK.
efrance24234 - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to lewys-edwards: have you tried masturbation?
JayPee630 - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to lewys-edwards:

Buy a broadsheet newspaper. Open it up. Pick up a sheet and screw it one handed into a tight ball. Repeat until the whole paper is gone.
lewys-edwards - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to JayPee630: That was one of the exercises mentioned in that Charles Atlas book, i've not yet tried it though. Is it very effective or?
Sebastian Fontleroy - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to lewys-edwards:

There's loads of progressions you can do on the exercises you've already mentioned and you are only really limited by your imagination. If you've got a chin up bar you can train particularly effectively. Here's some suggestions.

Push ups on fingertips. Progress to remove little fingers, then third finger and so on if possible. Progress to one armed if possible. Used to do this one in karate years ago.

Push ups on back of hand to strengthen wrists.

One armed Hindu push ups

Chinups/pull ups with a towel wrapped around to make thicker grip.

Lock off chin up/pull up at top and try and grab door frame above.

Weighted hangs.

Use slings to do pullups on. Chris Sharma does a lot of this.

Wring out a wet towel.

Pistol squats.

Just a few suggestions mate.

Seb


tom_in_edinburgh - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to efrance24234:
> (In reply to lewys-edwards) have you tried masturbation?

Not sufficient in itself for climbing strength. To train power endurance try it while looking at a picture of a senior Tory politician. You'll need really strong wrists and fingers for success under those conditions.

dave frost - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to lewys-edwards: also, you may want to google/youyube 'primal move' it will explain the crawing and more other stuff.

Cheers
Dave
edinburgh_man on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Genius. Will try it tonight and report back.
AJM - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Sebastian Fontleroy:

> Push ups on fingertips. Progress to remove little fingers, then third finger and so on if possible. Progress to one armed if possible. Used to do this one in karate years ago.

What training benefit does this give? I'm genuinely curious, because I'm reading it and my first impression is that it would do nothing to improve my climbing and would massively increase my risk of finger injury?
krank - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to lewys-edwards:

Mr Mcleod did quite well with just a campus rung
shark - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to AJM:
> (In reply to Sebastian Fontleroy)
>
> [...]
>
> What training benefit does this give? I'm genuinely curious, because I'm reading it and my first impression is that it would do nothing to improve my climbing and would massively increase my risk of finger injury?


It helps you cheat at campusing :-)
AJM - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to shark:

As in the transition from pull to push with the lower arm? Or are you just joking?
shark - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to AJM:

Yes, pushing on the lower arm helps with locking the upper arm before reaching through.

I had considered doing fingertip push-ups to help but it really defeats the point, assuming the point is to get better at climbing.
Tom Hartland - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to lewys-edwards:
I've been swinging a kettle-bell around for shits and gigs and my fingers have doubled in size/strength. Can't keep the girlfriend away.
AJM - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to shark:

Yes, I've definitely noticed that I'm stronger camp using when my dominant left arm is on the lower rung because it generates the "flick" far better than my right arm, so I can hit higher top rungs with my left hand than with my right.

I just wasn't sure (the smiley threw me) whether you were suggesting that fingertip pullups helped with generating that flick.
Sebastian Fontleroy - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to AJM:

It strengthens and conditions the hands, which while not sports specific to climbing will help with jamming etc. I'm not saying its a magical exercise to replace hangs, campusing, finger board etc but the OP said he had no equipment. I've never injured myself doing this but i have been doing them since i was 6! Maybe not so good advice in hindsight.
brices - on 23 Nov 2012
Just get a strip of wood sand down the esge a bit and mount it above your door frame. Or sand down the edge of the door frame and hang/ do chin-ups on it.
leg raises / L-hang chinups on a chinup bar are good
do the chinups with palms away from you. And wide grip ones pulling the bar behind your head is good.
Sebastian Fontleroy - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to brices:

> And wide grip ones pulling the bar behind your head is good.

I'd have to disagree with you on that one. Only from personal experience as i popped a muscle in my lat doing that very exercise and it wasn't pleasant. Took ages to heal.

Paul Crusher R - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to lewys-edwards: Here's an interesting concept for wrist exercising and under a tenner...

http://crusherholds.co.uk/forearm-and-wrist-exerciser
I like climbing - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to lewys-edwards:
I'm assuming you have no access to modern bouldering, which would do everything you want. Do you have brick edges you can use ? That's what a lot of people used before climbing walls and other artificial means had.
Canal brickwork could be worth checking out if you have any nearby.
Good luck !
Stone Idol - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to I like climbing:

> Canal brickwork could be worth checking out if you have any nearby.

Or an old railway bridge!

In reply to lewys-edwards:

If you fill a large (2 litre +) bottle with water and hold this in a pinch grip in one hand, with your knuckles parallel with the ceiling, flex the wrist to 90 degrees and lower again, repeating till failure. If you find it too easy or that it's taking too long, fill the bottle/a similar container with something heavier.

Also, get a stick, a brick and some string, tie the string around the brick and the rope so the brick hangs from the stick when you hold it in both hands out front, wind the stick round with your fingers so the brick rises, and unwind again.

Both of these exercises really help with wrist stabilisation, and doing reps of them will affect how quickly you're forearms recover from being pumped.

Also, in day to day life, try using your fingers to carry things, so that your forearm muscles are engaged. even when carrying things like shopping bags, people usually let them hang from the fingers, using the skeleton rather than forearm muscles. This way you can incorporate teeny weeny bits of finger training into your day to day life. Also it's interesting to see when someone starts moving furniture around open handed...

Hope these help!
Cameron94 on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to 65m moderate millington:
> (In reply to lewys-edwards)
>
> If you fill a large (2 litre +) bottle with water and hold this in a pinch grip in one hand, with your knuckles parallel with the ceiling, flex the wrist to 90 degrees and lower again, repeating till failure. If you find it too easy or that it's taking too long, fill the bottle/a similar container with something heavier.
>
> Also, get a stick, a brick and some string, tie the string around the brick and the rope so the brick hangs from the stick when you hold it in both hands out front, wind the stick round with your fingers so the brick rises, and unwind again.

This!


In reply to lewys-edwards:

Both those things are good ways to encourage kids to finger strength train as well (when they want to fingerboard or campus but don't have fully grown fngers yet), or for grown ups to rehabilitate/build up to using a fingerboard.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.