/ Help On Improving Lock Off Reach

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afx22 - on 08 Jan 2019

I’ve identified a specific weakness in my climbing (mainly bouldering) that I’d like to improve;

I tend to lock off with my fingers at about the same height as my shoulder.  My static reach is then limited by my shoulder width and the reach of the arm that I’m reaching with.  Friends with a similar span to me seem to be able to lock off with their hands in a lower position, meaning they can often reach a bit further.

I figure that if I can lock off with my locking hand an inch lower, then I can reach an inch further.

Is there a specific way I can train this?  (Ideally using my fingerboard.)  Is this just a strength thing or could flexibility also be a factor?  Any advice?

Thanks in advance.


petegunn on 08 Jan 2019
In reply to afx22:

Doing "rung touches" on a campus board is good for lock off strength.

Start matched on a rung, pull up to a full lock then reach up and touch a rung above, drop back down to matched position, reach up again but to the next higher rung.

1, 2, 1, 3, 1, 4, 1, 5

Repeat with other arm.

Try and hold form whilst doing these. I. e don't squirm about to much and stay in the locked off position.

You can also try and hold different positions I. E. Full lock , 90°lock and 120°. With these you can just touch the rung above 5 times then swap arms.

Post edited at 22:47
MischaHY - on 09 Jan 2019
In reply to afx22:

Offset pull-ups is a good way - hang a rope down 18-30cm below your board or bar and tie a knot in the end - 3 reps on each side at max effort, increase the offset if you get through all the reps without some serious gurning. 

Improving overall scapula engagement is also helpful, so scap pulls if you're not on them already. 

1poundSOCKS - on 09 Jan 2019
In reply to afx22:

Like Mischa said, offset pull ups are good (although I use the campus board rungs 1 and 3). And I had some success improving lockoff doing sets of 10 second regular pull ups on a bar. I wonder if slow offsets are worthwhile?

afx22 - on 09 Jan 2019
In reply to petegunn:

I'll give this a go tonight, at one of my local indoor bouldering venues.  I'd love a campus setup at home but don't have room.

afx22 - on 09 Jan 2019
In reply to MischaHY:

This sounds interesting.  Does the offset work in a similar way to the assisted one arm pull ups (with a pulley system and weights)?

MischaHY - on 09 Jan 2019
In reply to afx22:

Yeah similar but just a little more in reach for most people and requires way less 'set-up'. 

The goal is obviously to isolate more and more on one arm and eventually build into a one-armer. For this reason it's also beneficial to do super slow one arm lower-offs to help work that whole muscle range. 

Keep the effort and quality as high as possible and reps to a minimum. 

petegunn on 09 Jan 2019
In reply to afx22:

Here is a video of another variation of touches, this time stay high and touch between the two highest rungs whilst staying in the locked position. 

Again you could vary this to full, 90°, 120°.

If the guy was stronger he would be better off just touching the rungs rather than holding them ;)

On your board at home you might be able to lock off,and then reach up and touch the ceiling or a mark on the wall depending how you have your finger board set up.

Post edited at 13:57

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