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Open crimp (drag) or half crimp fingerboarding

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 Wooj 09 Nov 2021

Hey everyone. 
move started fingerboarding again and I wanted to ask a question. 
In the past I have exclusively done open handed open crimp or drag what ever it’s called, basically no bend in the fingers. I got pretty strong doing this and was happy. 
But this time round I see a lot of half crimping done and wondered which type is best? Should I be doing a set of each or just one or the other? My crimp strength isn’t lacking compared to everything else. 
Thanks for any advice. 

In reply to Wooj:

I’m not sure I really understand what either of these terms really means.

I don’t do that silly crimping where all your weight is driving your fingernails back in, whatever that’s called.

34
 TomD89 09 Nov 2021
In reply to Wooj:

If your strong enough to drag every small edge on any angle of wall then it really would be personal choice. If not then it'd be whatever crimp gives you the best purchase and allows you to generate the most power from a given hold.

I tend to use half or sometimes full crimps for 'hard' edges and positions, then go open drag to rest or do easier moves. 

Post edited at 14:24
 1poundSOCKS 09 Nov 2021
In reply to Wooj:

> But this time round I see a lot of half crimping done and wondered which type is best?

I've seen the half-crimp recommended by quite a few online training articles as the best one to train because it'll give you the best gains overall. So that's what I mostly use for max hangs. If I'm going to use a drag I use middle 3 fingers only.

In reply to Dave Garnett:

> I don’t do that silly crimping where all your weight is driving your fingernails back in, whatever that’s called.

I believe it's called the full crimp. Why anyone does such a weird, unnatural thing is beyond me!

17
In reply to Robert Durran:

Some holds require it.

 JLS 09 Nov 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

>"Why anyone does such a weird, unnatural thing is beyond me!"

I suspect to decrease the lever arm of the force acting to open the fingers and to transfer some load off the finger tendons on to the thumb tendons.

I reckon half crimp has the worst/longest lever arm and is therefore the most inefficient grip which perversely makes it the most effective grip to train. Sadly, my ego is too weak to even contemplate trying to hang on a half-crimp.

Post edited at 15:30
In reply to JLS:

> Sadly, my ego is too weak to even contemplate trying to hang on a half-crimp.

I can do a half crimp, but it just feels weak and weird. A full crimp feels like it will just break my fingers - no chance. Everything open handed for me.

 DaveHK 09 Nov 2021
In reply to Wooj:

Funnily enough I was going to post a very similar question.

The Crimpd app says that most of the deadhanging should be done in a half crimp. I started doing what I thought was a half crimp but it turned out it is a chisel or campus grip. When I tried the half crimp I was bloody useless with it i.e. I could hang for less than half the time I did with the chisel grip.

Should I train the half crimp proper or go with what feels comfortable?

See here for illustrations of the different positions: https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/skills/series/neil_gresham_technique_and_training/handholds_and_grip_technique_-_part_1-11848

Post edited at 15:52
 JLS 09 Nov 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

My previous answer assumed you were talking about the full crimp.

 C Witter 09 Nov 2021
In reply to Wooj:

I think the received wisdom these days would be to train both. I think a half-crimp allows you to control more outward force than an open-handed grip once you're gripping a hold between your shoulder and waist height, whereas, when you throw for a high hold you're more likely to end up catching it in an open-handed way. But, that's just me speculating.

 JLS 09 Nov 2021
In reply to DaveHK:

>"When I tried the half crimp I was bloody useless with it"

Likewise.  On the 20mm edge I'm on the chisel too. It seems to be effective.

I'm sceptical that going half-crimp with the necessary weight assistance will be anymore effective.

 Andrew Wells 09 Nov 2021
In reply to Wooj:

Dave Mac says that you should train both half crimp and the 3-finger drag (and I guess the 4-finger drag) on the fingerboard. Everything I've researched has seemed to back that up. Also Dave Mac is Dave Mac so.

From what I can also tell dropping edge size also seems to make friction a more important factor, which is to be avoided. Personally I focus on sticking with the 20mm edge and increasing weight (currently I can do around 40kgs added weight for about 5-7 seconds on the 20mm with the half crimp, when I bother hangboarding)

Post edited at 16:29
1
OP Wooj 09 Nov 2021

Thanks everyone, great input. It seems training half crimp and drag is a good option. I’ll factor that in and do a session on each once a week. Thankyou all again. 

 Iamgregp 09 Nov 2021
In reply to Wooj:

It's worth investing the time and energy in.  At the start of lockdown 1 I could barely hold my bodyweight half crimping a 20mm edge.  I followed a training plan and can probably hang for over 12 seconds now, this year I've really started to feel the difference in my climbing. 

My confidence on small holds is worlds away from what it used to be - in the past I'd reach up, feel that the hold was a bit small and start searching round for an alternative wasting energy etc.... This year I'm really feeling the benefit of the training and have the confidence to just go ahead and use the hold.

Not saying I'm any kind of great climber mind, just not as weak in this one particular area anymore!

 UKB Shark 09 Nov 2021
In reply to Iamgregp:

Yes. Half crimp is a weird one if you’re not used to it. I couldn’t hold body weight when I first tried it. Mina L-W was the same. Now I guess I could hold it BW+50% and is equal to my full crimp. Demonstrates that you should train all the joint angles because even if you have the latent potential that’s useless when it counts if you can’t unleash it.  

In reply to Alkis:

> Some holds require it.

Such as? How have I avoided coming across them for forty years?

Genuine question: do some people find the crimp a natural thing to do without being told or is it a learnt technique a bit like, say, hand jamming? I climbed for at least a decade before discovering that people did it (I just thought the word referred to a small finger hold).

5
In reply to JLS:

> Likewise.  On the 20mm edge I'm on the chisel too. It seems to be effective.

Isn't the chisel what just naturally happens when you push all your finger tips to the back of a hold to make maximum use of it when basically climbing open handed? The longest finger ends up a bit bent.

 JLS 09 Nov 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

Yes, that’s my understanding. I’m sure I’ve seen Steve McClure chiselling about on the fingerboard.

Post edited at 21:50
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Such as? How have I avoided coming across them for forty years?

I can't imagine dragging on quite a lot of stupendously small and positive slate crimps, the first holds just past the crux of Heading the Shot (E5 6b) come to mind. Unless force is coming down at a rather sharp angle your skin rolls off the holds. 


> Genuine question: do some people find the crimp a natural thing to do without being told or is it a learnt technique a bit like, say, hand jamming? I climbed for at least a decade before discovering that people did it (I just thought the word referred to a small finger hold).

It came pretty intuitively to me, and I had to unlearn defaulting to it unnecessarily after my first pulley injury.

 TomD89 10 Nov 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Genuine question: do some people find the crimp a natural thing to do without being told or is it a learnt technique a bit like, say, hand jamming? I climbed for at least a decade before discovering that people did it (I just thought the word referred to a small finger hold).

Yes. Half crimp seemed the totally natural way to grab small edges, I had to practice 3 finger drag to give my fingers a break on longer fingery routes/problems. I'll echo Alkis that tendon overuse injuries do wonders for encouraging your drag usage.

Full crimp is less natural, but if the hold is small enough, the angle steep enough and 4 digits aren't cutting it, then it's not like you have that many options beyond introducing a thumb.

 Jono.r23 10 Nov 2021
In reply to Wooj: whether you ever crimp might depend on what rocktype you’re most used to. Those who say they never do, possibly don’t fare so well on steep limestone for instance. I had to learn to do it for that reason. There is an adage: “train your weaknesses”. Whether you feel you need/want to is up to you of course.. you might just never need it

 UKB Shark 10 Nov 2021

It’s more efficient to hold some holds dragged rather than crimped (assuming you are equally strong across the grip range) and also drags are often good for getting an edge but then a crimp or half crimp is more stable for pulling on it which is why on videos of hard problems you’ll sometimes see a wad turn a drag into a crimp before cranking off it.

In reply to TomD89:

> Yes. Half crimp seemed the totally natural way to grab small edges, I had to practice 3 finger drag to give my fingers a break on longer fingery routes/problems. I'll echo Alkis that tendon overuse injuries do wonders for encouraging your drag usage.

I have never had more than the odd mild finger niggle in 40 years climbing and I like to put this down to climbing entirely open handed. I seem to remember reading about a top climbed having to relearn to climb open handed to avoid repeated injuries.

> Full crimp is less natural, but if the hold is small enough, the angle steep enough and 4 digits aren't cutting it, then it's not like you have that many options beyond introducing a thumb.

A thumb?!

8
In reply to Jono.r23:

> whether you ever crimp might depend on what rocktype you’re most used to. Those who say they never do, possibly don’t fare so well on steep limestone for instance.

I really don't think that is true. 

11
Andy Gamisou 10 Nov 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Such as? How have I avoided coming across them for forty years?

I've certainly come across a few, typically tiny limestone edges (I prefer open handed where possible, so it's not that I crimp-biased as such).  Not much point posting which routes as you won't have climbed there.

Oh OK, I will anyway.  I defy anyone climbing below 8c to do the crux moves on this route open-hearted: https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/dhiarizos_diarizos-8708/hydraulics-432404

> Genuine question: do some people find the crimp a natural thing to do without being told or is it a learnt technique a bit like, say, hand jamming? I climbed for at least a decade before discovering that people did it (I just thought the word referred to a small finger hold).

I certainly find crimps come naturally, in fact had to learn how to do open handed to stop crimping everything that was crimpable.  Now prefer going open-handed where it works for me.

Post edited at 08:59
Andy Gamisou 10 Nov 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I really don't think that is true. 

I do like the way you assume your specific world view is always correct, and anything different just *has* to be wrong.  Even in something as subjective as what sort of hold gripping techniques work for different people.  

Just an observation from down the years   I could of course be wrong.

Post edited at 09:03
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Such as? How have I avoided coming across them for forty years?

> Genuine question: do some people find the crimp a natural thing to do without being told or is it a learnt technique a bit like, say, hand jamming? I climbed for at least a decade before discovering that people did it (I just thought the word referred to a small finger hold).

This is an interesting question. I started climbing around 1980, with a bunch of people who were already climbing quite hard, and used full and half crimps as default. I didn’t even realise open handed was a general thing rather than just for slopers. Step forward in time to getting my first Beastmaker and failing miserably to open hand on the easiest programmes. All sorted now, and as UKBShark says, it’s better to have worked on all the grip types. 
edit.. I open hand as default now as I find it the most efficient grip for me in terms of power usage, and I’ve had less tweaky fingers as a result.

Post edited at 09:07
In reply to Andy Gamisou:

> I do like the way you assume your specific world view is always correct.

Glad you like it🙂

> ..... anything different just *has* to be wrong. 

No, not wrong. Just that it seems different things work for different people. From this discussion it is clear that some people naturally climb open handed and others naturally crimp. Which is interesting.

> Even in something as subjective as what sort of hold gripping techniques work for different people.  

So we agree then.

4
In reply to Wooj:

My default was always to open hand everything.  Then, about 3 years ago, I went for a Lattice Assessment.  Their main recommendation was that I train a half crimp.  At the I could hang about 130% bodyweight open handed but not be able to hold 100% bodyweight at half crimp.

Fast forward to now and I can hang around 140% using either grip type.  I've found I'm more comfortable on a greater variety of holds than I used to be. 

While I'm not going to threaten Ondra any time soon, I am finding I can climb things that I previous couldn't.

I'd definitely recommend training different grip types, especially if you run into a plateau in strength gains in the open hand position.

In reply to afx22:

> Fast forward to now and I can hang around 140% using either grip type.  I've found I'm more comfortable on a greater variety of holds than I used to be. 

On what type of holds do you find a half crimp more comfortable than open handed?

In reply to Robert Durran:

Just to add some more uncertainty to the mix, what "open hand" and what "half crimp" means varies from person to person because of finger length differences.

For example, I can only truly open hand a 3-finger drag. My 4-finger drag is very close to a half crimp, with the pinkie straight and all other three fingers bent and that tends to be my default goto hand position. Bending my pinky would turn this to a half crimp.

My pinkies are only as long as just past the first knuckle of the index and middle fingers and, very atypically, my ring finger is shorter than the index.

In reply to Robert Durran:

> Such as? How have I avoided coming across them for forty years?

Full crimp is necessary for pulling very hard on very small edges. I consider myself relatively strong on open hand from almost two decades of Moonboarding. But there's no way in hell I'd be able to hang 6mm beastmaker edges open hand... or even half crimped.

Following on from that... If you want a specific example of a real world hold where a 6mm beastmaker edge comes close to reality ... the left hand hold on the set up for the Evolution crux. There's lots of footage about at the mo given Bosi's Mutation ascent. Have a watch. At a more reasonable grade... things like Hurricane on a Millpond on Portland. I doubt many could climb it open hand. And then there are all the grade 7 and up slate slabs... 

Post edited at 13:49
In reply to Alkis:

Is what you are describing a chisel then - slightly bending longer fingers so that shorter ones fit onto the hold? I think that is naturally what I do on all holds - bend the fingers no more than I have to in order to make full use of the hold. I would certainly do the full drag if the hold wasn't wide enough for all 4 fingers. Does anyone in fact crimp with just 3 fingers?

4
In reply to Alkis:

I'm not sure I'd ever consider a drag to include pinky. Interesting. 

In reply to Robert Durran:

Not "slightly" bending, bending a lot, the difference in length is too great to "slightly" bend the other fingers.

 AJM 10 Nov 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Isn't the chisel what just naturally happens when you push all your finger tips to the back of a hold to make maximum use of it when basically climbing open handed? The longest finger ends up a bit bent.

Do you include "chisel" within your definition of "always climbing open handed"? 

Edit: from other people's posts it sounds like maybe so. If I do a chisel grip then my middle finger is at about 100 degrees, so some slight engagement takes it to 90. It's more like a lazy half crimp the way I would define it. Conversely if I have my index and ring fingers at say 160-170 degrees i.e. as open as possible, my pinkie is making no contact. It's not possible for me to do what I would define a proper 4 finger drag to be (4 fingers engaged and all beyond say 135 degrees).

Post edited at 14:02
In reply to AJM:

> Do you include "chisel" within your definition of "always climbing open handed"? 

Well I am climbing as open handed as possible in order to get as much of all my fingers on the hold. If that is a chisel then yes I am.

5
In reply to ChrisBrooke:

I'd love to see a photo of Neil's hands, because the concept of having a straight index and bent middle, ring and pinky seems actually impossible on my hands.

Edit: Oh, I see. It takes a weird wrist orientation, I think I may be doing this on campus rungs without realising, as the weird wrist position seems a bit familiar.

Post edited at 14:59
In reply to ChrisBrooke:

> If only there was an article to help clear up some of this mess......

Looking at those photos, what I am doing is closest to what he calls a half crimp, though my fingers are more bent at the knuckles. This does surprise me though, because I always understood that pretty much the definition of crimping was that the first knuckle would be above the finger tip.

Experimenting on different holds, I never put more than the end joint of my pinky on the hold if it means going into more of a crimpy position with other fingers.

2
 AJM 10 Nov 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

I did wonder if this was a definition thing. 

What angle is your middle finger at (at the joint nearest the hand, the PIP) to get your pinkie engaged on the hold but basically open (i.e. pip close to 180degrees)? 

In reply to ChrisBrooke:

> If only there was an article to help clear up some of this mess......

Interestingly he suggests that a full crimp is not needed even for micro-edges (contrary to what some on here are saying).

1
 AJM 10 Nov 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

Welcome to the world of the crimper!

Fwiw, I would have said PIP at 90 degrees is a half crimp. Less than 90 degrees (which is probably equivalent to your "knuckle above fingertip") is full crimp. For me this also involves hyperextension at the DIP, although I've been told it shouldn't!

In reply to AJM:

> I did wonder if this was a definition thing.

I suspect it is. 

> What angle is your middle finger at (at the joint nearest the hand, the PIP) to get your pinkie engaged on the hold but basically open (i.e. pip close to 180degrees)? 

Here is a photo of my natural grip with my pinky on about an 8mm or so edge and another of what I understood to be a half crimp (making an effort to raise the knuckles rather than letting my fingers adopt a "natural" position).

Edit: I think my fingers bend a bit more at the knuckles when loaded in the "natural" grip photo.

Post edited at 15:34

2
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> I've seen the half-crimp recommended by quite a few online training articles as the best one to train because it'll give you the best gains overall.

I think that’s what I’ve always used,  starting with sets of pull ups on thin door frames.  Actually, my fingers have always hyperextended at the last joint, so it feels easiest for me

I think I’ve had to do ‘full crimps’ maybe half a dozen times ever in anger (slate and culm)

 AJM 10 Nov 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

Id probably have said that looks like a chisel on the left myself given your index finger looks reasonably open, but there's a fuzzy grey area there.

I wonder more widely how many of the people who say they only ever open hand things are in the same position and are using a "4-finger drag" that's effectively a chisel grip. Certainly with my finger lengths a proper open hand drag can only be 3 finger or less, which has always felt like an odd place to naturally gravitate to (why wouldn't you get as many fingers on the hold as possible?!)

OP Wooj 10 Nov 2021
In reply to ChrisBrooke:

Thanks for that article. It looks like I do the chisel a lot. I never half crimp when fingerbording so I’ll try it and get that strong. 

OP Wooj 10 Nov 2021
In reply to AJM:

I think you are correct. 

In reply to AJM:

> I wonder more widely how many of the people who say they only ever open hand things are in the same position and are using a "4-finger drag" that's effectively a chisel grip. 

I suspect most.

As you say it's probably about definitions. 

I wonder of a good general definition is that if you are actively working to keep your knuckles straight then you are crimping, but if you are not then you are open handed.

I can't get into anything like Neil's chisel grip - my index finger just seems far too long!

Post edited at 17:04
In reply to Robert Durran:

“> On what type of holds do you find a half crimp more comfortable than open handed?”

Reading through the comments below, this may be a definition thing but let’s gloss over that.

Imagine you you have hold of a one pad rail.  You’ve matched it open handed but the next hold you want to move to is a far ‘lock off and reach up’ type of move.  As you move up, your lower hand will not be able to maintain the open hand position and will change shape.  When with depend  on wrist mobility.

I found training the half crimp helped me maintain strength right the way through a fuller range of motion.  This allowed me to reach more holds.

 TomD89 11 Nov 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

That's a half crimp. I thought it super unlikely anyone would be strong enough to be pulling up overhangs on small edges with an open 3 finger drag grip.

I've seen top end boulderers use full crimps (engaging thumb over fingers), if they need it at times and are stronger than I'll ever be I think it's silly to do the dismiss the technique outright. Neil is probably doing his part to prevent people over-relying on it and injuring themselves needlessly.

Post edited at 07:23
Andy Gamisou 11 Nov 2021
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

> This is an interesting question. I started climbing around 1980, with a bunch of people who were already climbing quite hard, and used full and half crimps as default. I didn’t even realise open handed was a general thing rather than just for slopers. Step forward in time to getting my first Beastmaker and failing miserably to open hand on the easiest programmes. All sorted now, and as UKBShark says, it’s better to have worked on all the grip types. 

> edit.. I open hand as default now as I find it the most efficient grip for me in terms of power usage, and I’ve had less tweaky fingers as a result.

If you'd said you started climbing 1990 then I'd be worried that you are some sort of sci-fi doppelganger of mine, as (apart from the year) this all exactly matches my own experience.

In my case I think it's also because the indoor training wall we had was the "Berghaus" bouldering wall in Newcastle, much of which was modeled (surprisingly well) on steep limestone.

Post edited at 07:58
Andy Gamisou 11 Nov 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Interestingly he suggests that a full crimp is not needed even for micro-edges (contrary to what some on here are saying).

Well, perhaps they aren't for him.  Doesn't mean he can extrapolate to everyone else, no matter how much a training guru he thinks he is (I've read a fair few of his articles, and have my doubts).  Why exactly do you think other people aren't capable of working out what works best for them?

In reply to Andy Gamisou:

> Why exactly do you think other people aren't capable of working out what works best for them?

I didn't say that. I just said it was interesting that there are differing opinions on whether a full crimp is worth bothering with at all.

1
In reply to afx22:

> Imagine you you have hold of a one pad rail.  You’ve matched it open handed but the next hold you want to move to is a far ‘lock off and reach up’ type of move.  As you move up, your lower hand will not be able to maintain the open hand position and will change shape.  When with depend  on wrist mobility.

> I found training the half crimp helped me maintain strength right the way through a fuller range of motion.  This allowed me to reach more holds.

Are you talking about the difference between a chisel and a half crimp or between a drag (presumably 3 fingered because there seems to be a consensus that if is impossible with 4 fingers).

1
In reply to Wooj:

Beastmaking book talks through this. Ned Findlay???? I think.

Quite interesting book.

He says practice crimp on finger board so that when u need it on a route, your better at it. If avoid training crimp and just use when climbing routes, more prone to injury. 

I think he said each angle of holding on only trains 15 degrees either side. So a full crimp training won't strengthen an open handed grip well and vise versa. So train open, half and full crimp grip. 

Or just go climb8n and have fun.

Good book I thought. 

1
 Iamgregp 11 Nov 2021
In reply to im off:

> Beastmaking book talks through this. Ned Findlay???? I think.

Feehally.  

Unless he's divorced Shauna, married Hazel and taken her name in the last week or so

In reply to Robert Durran:

I was avoiding the definitions factor.  Various people have different names for things, for instance I seem to remember Neil Gresham and Lattice have different naming protocols.

I think in simple terms.  Open hand is where my finger joints are at a fairly low angle.  Half crimp would be where the PIP joint is somewhere around 90 degrees - but this depends on the hold shape and then there's the factor of different finger lengths.  I prefer not to over complicate things.

 Ian Patterson 11 Nov 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I didn't say that. I just said it was interesting that there are differing opinions on whether a full crimp is worth bothering with at all.

I started climbing in the 80s and used old school climbing walls in Manchester (Macdougal and Armitage centres at the Uni) where crimping was the default grip for many problems.  More than 35 years later I've suffered hardly any finger injuries and am still crimping when the holds get small.  So I'm not really sure that the current fashion against crimping is as clear cut as some seem to think - I'm still climbing regularly, and despite my knuckles looking a bit 'middle aged climber' I managed probably my hardest sport redpoint aged 51.  

And for another view this guy is quite useful and seems to like a crimp (1:00 to 1:30 for excellent series of full crimps, 2:20 to 2:30 for particularly heinous close up).

youtube.com/watch?v=8f3WGYc6bXM&

And Ste still seems to cranking (very!) hard into his 50s.

In reply to Iamgregp:

Yeah. I get mixed up😂

In reply to afx22:

> I think in simple terms.  Open hand is where my finger joints are at a fairly low angle. 

I'm surprised you are defining things in terms of the angle of the finger joint nearest the hand (unless I have misunderstood you). Ever since I came across the term as a kind of grip, to me crimping is when the joint nearer the end of the finger is held straight (so with the other joint at least level with the finger tip, or above it in a fuller crimp.

2
In reply to TomD89:

> That's a half crimp.

Which one? Or both? the two grips feel very different to me, so kind of need different terms. The left hand photo is how I have always gripped almost every hold I can get four fingers on and which I have always considered open handed because I am making no effort to keep the end joint of my fingers straight. I started training the right hand one (end joint straight) when I decided to do some proper finger boarding during the lockdowns on the understanding it was a half crimp, but abandoned it because it was so much weaker than the other grip that I couldn't realistically see myself ever using it and so worth the risk of injury.

1
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I'm surprised you are defining things in terms of the angle of the finger joint nearest the hand (unless I have misunderstood you). Ever since I came across the term as a kind of grip, to me crimping is when the joint nearer the end of the finger is held straight (so with the other joint at least level with the finger tip, or above it in a fuller crimp.

That’s how I define it (PIP) based on what I’ve learned from others (including a couple Lattice coaches).  If I can paraphrase correctly, they class a half crimp as when the PIP on at least one of the fingers is at 90 degrees.  As an example, when doing a Lattice Assessment, when testing a Max Hang, it’s counted as failure when the climber cannot maintain the 90 degrees in the PIP joint - I.e. their hand opens out.

But, as I said previously, different experts have different definitions, so what I’m saying is just my reflection what I’ve absorbed from others.  And I’m not expert, nor an especially good climber.  However, I’m am climbing better than I ever expected possible and some of that is because I’ve been doing max hangs with the PIP joint around 90 degrees (most of the time).

In reply to afx22:

> That’s how I define it (PIP) based on what I’ve learned from others (including a couple Lattice coaches).  If I can paraphrase correctly, they class a half crimp as when the PIP on at least one of the fingers is at 90 degrees.  As an example, when doing a Lattice Assessment, when testing a Max Hang, it’s counted as failure when the climber cannot maintain the 90 degrees in the PIP joint - I.e. their hand opens out.

Thanks. I would have thought this angle would be affected by the degree to which the wrist is "cocked" as well. So you seem to be saying that, in principle I could be crimping with the joint nearest the end of my fingers bent. I'm still not sure whether I am half crimping under any definition - I'll have another play on my fingerboard this evening to see how the angles work.

In reply to Robert Durran:

> So you seem to be saying that, in principle I could be crimping with the joint nearest the end of my fingers bent.

No, that’s the DIP joint.  That would be fairly straight.  It’s the PIP that I aim to have around 90 degrees - when I’m doing what I think of as a half crimp.

In reply to afx22:

So, under your definition, do you think that it is possible to do anything other than crimp with four fingers on a hold. And that, thetefore, those of us who have always considered ourselves to climb open handed are not actually doing so? If so, that is fine, but it leaves a gap in terms for the two very different feeling grips in my photos (though maybe the right hand one is something nobody else apart from me ever does - I've only done it believing, possibly mistakenly, that it was a half crimp - which would explain why it feels so unnatural and weak!)

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In reply to afx22:

Maybe we do agree then. It looks like my assumed definition of DIP joint being straight when crimping is consistent with your photos - perhaps it is not really possible to keep the DIP straight without the PIP being 90 degrees or so and vice versa. Your "open hand" photo is certainly more or less what I use on all 4 finger holds anyway.

In reply to Robert Durran:

Good stuff.

have think about your open hand position.  As you reach up, what shape does your lower hand move to?


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