/ how strong are your fingers?

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BolderLicious - on 11 Jan 2013
How strong are your fingers?
Can you do a one finger pull up in a limestone pocket with legs hanging free? Can you hang from 1cm wide holds with eight fingertips.
I'm interested to know because I see small holds on E climbs and wonder
how anyone clings to them.Do you need strong arm muscles too or just very strong bones and joints and tendons?
Cameron94 on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to BolderLicious: I used to do pull ups with one finger upto the first joint on 1cm edges at college on a hang board for no real reason, I didn't need to do that for my easy grades and it was probably destroying my tendons.
However my forearms looked "ripped" at the time which seemed useful at the time but I don't bother now.

I could only ever do a one armed pull up once before being totally knackered and only with my right arm.
PeterJuggler - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to BolderLicious: I can hang a 1.5cm edge one handed (the incut rail on the BM2000). For some reason only on my non-dominant left hand.

The consensus seems to be that good overall climbing strength comes mainly from finger strength and core strength. Not so much from arm strength - but you need to be able to at least lock off with one arm to climb some hard routes. Adam Ondra and Dave Graham can't do one arm pullups (Adam can maybe do one) but both have very strong fingers and core.
jkarran - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to BolderLicious:

Piss weak, probably my limiting factor in any season where I'm going well.

Strong fingers are obviously desirable and eventually essential but you can go a long way up the grades on your feet and stamina.

jk
PeteH - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to BolderLicious:
I'm pretty sure the correlation between what you can do as your most impressive feat on a fingerboard, which is the sort of thing you're talking about, correlates very poorly with the sort of grade you can actually climb. I've long been convinced that I must be just about the weakest climber possible for the grades that I have climbed, although I would love to have evidence to the contrary if someone wants to offer their record!

For example, I've climbed harder than PeterJuggler or Cameron94 (F7c sport and Font 7C/V8-9ish bouldering both in the last few months) but couldn't do what they can do - I'd need a jug to hang one-handed. (That's assuming, of course, they keep their profiles/logbooks up to date, which may not be true at all - they may climb much harder than their profiles say.) Of course, that's almost certainly because the harder routes/problems I've done haven't depended on absolute finger strength/power as much as technique/power endurance/lank.

Anyway, I'd love to hear from people who are "weaker" but have climbed "harder" :)

Pete.
AJM - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to PeteH:

I'm sure there was an extensive discussion on weaker but harder on ukb a while back. Shark might pop along to confirm but I thought the winner was moonlighting 8a whilst bouldering 7A.

Personally I've topped out currently at 7c+ and V6. Not sure on tricks - I know on my stronger arm I can just about hold a one arm lock on the biggest hold of a bm2000. I can't hang the monos but have managed to get my feet off the floor on the sloping pockets for about 3 seconds once.
AJM - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to AJM:

Moonlighting!? Try onsighting...
PeterJuggler - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to PeteH:
> (In reply to BolderLicious)
> I'm pretty sure the correlation between what you can do as your most impressive feat on a fingerboard, which is the sort of thing you're talking about, correlates very poorly with the sort of grade you can actually climb. I've long been convinced that I must be just about the weakest climber possible for the grades that I have climbed, although I would love to have evidence to the contrary if someone wants to offer their record!
>
> For example, I've climbed harder than PeterJuggler or Cameron94 (F7c sport and Font 7C/V8-9ish bouldering both in the last few months) but couldn't do what they can do - I'd need a jug to hang one-handed. (That's assuming, of course, they keep their profiles/logbooks up to date, which may not be true at all - they may climb much harder than their profiles say.) Of course, that's almost certainly because the harder routes/problems I've done haven't depended on absolute finger strength/power as much as technique/power endurance/lank.
>
> Anyway, I'd love to hear from people who are "weaker" but have climbed "harder" :)
>
> Pete.

I'd agree with you. As I said, having the strength to climb a high grade requires finger strength AND core strength. I have a feeling I'm lacking in the core strength. The other reason I haven't climbed harder in my logbook is because I climb outside very rarely and have never worked a problem for long outdoors. I only boulder.
1poundSOCKS - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to PeteH: Don't you think there would be a correlation? If you took a group of 6a, 7a, 8a & 9a sport climbers, don't you think there'd be difference between the groups if you got them to do some exercises a fingerboard?
jkarran - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to AJM:

> Personally I've topped out currently at 7c+ and V6. Not sure on tricks - I know on my stronger arm I can just about hold a one arm lock on the biggest hold of a bm2000. I can't hang the monos but have managed to get my feet off the floor on the sloping pockets for about 3 seconds once.

Sounds pretty familiar, F7cish and V6ish, can't hang most of the holds on my BM for more than a couple of seconds, don't think I can one-arm any of them.

jk
jkarran - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> Don't you think there would be a correlation? If you took a group of 6a, 7a, 8a & 9a sport climbers, don't you think there'd be difference between the groups if you got them to do some exercises a fingerboard?

Not exactly. I suspect there'll be a reasonable correlation between finger strength (choose your measure) in the F8-9 range. In the F6-8 range there'll be a much stronger correlation between experience/grade, fitness/grade and annual route volume/grade than there is between finger strength and grade. That's not to say there won't be a fingers/grade correlation, just that there are other more important factors for most mid-grade climbers.

jk
1poundSOCKS - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to jkarran: If it was just down to finger strength, I'd definitely own a fingerboard by now!
misterb - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to BolderLicious:
not very strong compared to my weight so im rubbish at hanging on a finger board.on anything other than overhanging stuff they are not usually the limiting factor in success especially sport redpointing
Jack_F - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to AJM: I've hit a wall where you are about as well (except bouldering v8). But I can pretty much do a pull up off of everything on the BM2000, however I can barely lock the mouth jug at all!


In reply to OP: I think It comes down to how committed you are to the route your on at the time and how well you use everything to your advantage.
A few months back in climb Steve Mac spoke about how he'd find kids at the gym with stronger fingers than most 9a climbers! Something to consider.
AJM - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Jack_F:

If you can do a pullup off almost anything on a beastmaker, and can boulder V8, that doesn't sound very similar to my situation at all!

I'd love to be able to boulder V8 because it would probably get me a couple of sport grades very quickly - starting to work 8a (this year, fingers crossed!) whilst bouldering V6 tops means I think that increased boulder power is definitely something that I need to invest the time in to progress further.
Jack_F - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to AJM: Sorry typo V7 I meant! How I meant is not being able to do anything above 7c/+ at the moment. But even though I can do pull ups I cant really lock the mouth jug!

I considered this as the routes I was trying we getting the better of me because of boulder moves at cruxs which I just wasn't strong enough to do. After a lot of bouldering I thought that I would be able to do these moves but still found that I would be redlining at them! I found that taking time and care through easier parts and throwing in some cheeky tekkers now and again was what made the difference. Although I still find myself staring at at the Beastmaker most evenings :0)
shark - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to AJM:
> (In reply to PeteH)
>
> I'm sure there was an extensive discussion on weaker but harder on ukb a while back. Shark might pop along to confirm but I thought the winner was moonlighting 8a whilst bouldering 7A.
>


Keefe probably, but underachievement at bouldering is most likely lack of application rather than capability. One well known coach noted his steely finger strength recently.
Goucho on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to BolderLicious: Not as strong as they used to be :-)

Personally, I think it's more about finger stamina, rather than pure finger strength when it comes to harder routes.
shark - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Jack_F:
> (In reply to AJM) Sorry typo V7 I meant! How I meant is not being able to do anything above 7c/+ at the moment. But even though I can do pull ups I cant really lock the mouth jug!
>


Are you talking about a 45 degree lock or full lock? The former is easier especially if done side on.
shark - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Goucho:
> (In reply to BolderLicious) Not as strong as they used to be :-)
>
> Personally, I think it's more about finger stamina, rather than pure finger strength when it comes to harder routes.


Depends on the route. In general both attributes are important. Given the choice I would have finger strength as it has more crossover to finger stamina than the other way round.
Jack_F - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to shark: Both, I can kinda lock for about a second at a 45 angle.
shark - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Jack_F:

Sometimes the issue is more to do with shoulder stabilisation than lock strength per se. When you have even a marginal foot on this is negated. The best way advice I have come across so far to work this is to hang a bar and slowly rotate forward and back trying to control the movement. Whether it is useful to work it is another question.
I like climbing - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to BolderLicious:
You wouldn't do a one finger pull up with legs hanging free - you would at least smear or rock over. The more you climb the stronger you get and everything tends to get stronger proportionately especially if you work on your weaknesses.

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