Fingerboard Training - 3 Common Mistakes

hi so in this video I'm going to go

through a number of typical mistakes

that I see or problem areas that people

have on their finger boarding now you've

seen from the content that we're

producing with finger boarding and the

methods were getting stronger or fitter

on them there's lots of good ways to do

things but I still think there's some

some really common things that people

are either ignoring or making mistakes

with and I want to run you through those

today and these apply interestingly to

both beginners a relatively advanced

climbers as well so they're being made

you know not just by five people 20

people it's hundreds if not thousands of

people that I've come across over the

last few years making these common

mistakes so I'm going to do some little

kind of examples of what we can do on

the fingerboard behind us

I'm going to talk you through what I've

learned over the years and we're going

to take three key sections that we're

gonna identify today and see what would

you do about them okay so number one and

this is a big one is that especially

amongst people who have just asked to do

some kind of fingerboard training and

that is training too fatigued so

typically this is when people ask me a

question they say ah could I do my

fingerboard session at the end of a

parent urine straining session or could

I do it after a bouldering session and

my answer 99% their time is no this is

not an appropriate time to be doing

fingerboarding and you know why it's

because we need to be training at

maximal intensity so we need to be

operating right up close to that hundred

percent intensity mark when we're doing

our fingerboarding session and if you're

pre fatigued and you've already been

doing some sort of form of training then

you're not going to be hitting that kind

of quality that kind of intensity in the

session so it's really important that

you get out of this habit and you start

focusing and prioritizing fingerboarding

at the beginnings of your session after

you're warmed up so there are a couple

of alternative exercises that we can do

to the traditional fingerboarding

exercise when you're pre fatigued and

tired at the end of the session

the key here is that we're moving away

from stimulating the forearm and we're

moving more towards the shoulder and the

back and those muscle groups are going

to be worked on this exercise so my

finger board here behind me and

typically I'd be doing my fingerboard

session on this mid size 20 mil edge for

any kind of strength improvements but

instead what I'm going to do is I'm

going to move to a big chunky rounded

edge so this is around a 40 mil edge

rounded off it's equivalent to a

medium-sized jug for example and what I

can do is rather than working the

forearms specifically and working at

very high intensity here because holding

on to my this hold here is probably 20

30 % of my maximum intensity I'm going

to work much more on the shoulders and

I'm going to do a shoulder engagement

exercise and the first one I'm going to

show you is one where I'm I'm working a

lot more on the ability to be able to

rotate my shoulder down so bringing it

down and rather than tucked up towards

the ear and I'm bringing it back into a

more open open chested position and I

see this a lot with fingerboarding that

when people are doing really hard hangs

they tend to roll and turn in on those

hangs and their body rotates underneath

and this is gonna really help with not

doing that when you're doing your

maximal fingerboard exercises especially

on single arms so what I'm going to do

is grab big hold on the top of the rung

and I'm gonna place my left hand on this

in this case on a relatively small hold

it could be on the fingerboard itself it

could be on some micro edges further on

and I'm just going to do a really light

essentially like a campus move but I'm

going to really concentrate on making

sure that my shoulders stays open and

I'm engaging that shoulder in that

exercise so I'm hanging here I'm coming

up and engaging the shoulder I'm coming

to match up on the top of the rung so a

smaller campus move it's barely anything

so it's like an active shoulder

engagement exercise I can swap it round

on to the other side so again rather

than turning inwards and twisting my

torso I'm staying much more square on

from here come up that top edge

I can swap down staying open top edge

staying open top edge you can make this

a little bit more advanced by dropping

the hand that assistants hand even lower

down so I might come around to these

micros here hands doing that top edge

I'm not turning in I'm staying really

square on and they're coming up I'm

really working the muscles around the

shoulder here on the back of the

shoulder blade to be able to bring it

back and rotate it down really good

exercise to do and it's kind of a more

advanced version of doing those shoulder

shrugs and shoulder engagement exercises

that we often do in warm up during our

fingerboard sessions so really good

option that and I do that a lot at the

end of my finger board sessions or at

the end of climbing sessions where I'm

pretty tired and I shouldn't be doing

any fingerboarding okay so number two in

terms of common mistakes that people

will make with their finger boarding is

the tendency to use relatively poor body

positions or using exactly the same body

position when they're doing those hangs

a hundred percent of the time so that

they're really overworking certain

muscle groups or they're setting

themselves up for potential and things

potential issues like nerve impingement

or fatigue and some of those really

small stabilizing muscles that might not

be readily conditioned for that

particular body position so first body

petition which I am not that keen on and

I see quite a few people do especially

when they're doing really hard Hanks is

they're really rotating their torso

forwards and bringing both their chest

and their stomach forwards underneath

the fingerboard

so when they're doing that hangs here so

I'm going to do it to arm hang in this

case is that there rather than hanging

straight with their torso in this

position here is their really rotating

up and bringing their chest and their

stomach forward to issues of that is

this very hard to work maximally on the

fingers when you're putting so much

stress and strain into the rest of your

torso and secondly it's quite a strain

on the lower back and this will become a

problem if you start doing a lot of

heavy weighted hang so be really careful

this one and even at body weight there

I could feel it in my lower back so I

don't really like that particular body

position I much prefer a straighter

torso position here where my hips are

directly below my shoulders and I'm not

overly exaggerating that forward

rotation of my torso next issue that I

see with the hangs as well is too much

unengaged hanging on a fingerboard so

this is where the shoulder is completely

relaxed and we have no engagement of the

shoulders at all so example here is that

you can see here this would be my

engaged position for a fingerboard hang

two arms this would be my totally

disengaged position so you can see that

distance between the shoulder and the

ear really drops down and I'm just

hanging on the skeleton in this position

here and a lot of people have asked me

gun well why can't I do that I mean

that's essentially a position that you

often find yourself when you're on a

root especially where you're really

hanging and resting and really relaxing

on the root and the issue isn't exactly

that hang itself it's more that if you

spend a lot of time doing that and your

hangs you tend to suffer from the issue

of not being able to engage properly

when you need to so a totally disengage

hang may not be a massive issue in

isolated incidences but it will become

an issue if you do it all the time so

there are circumstances where I might do

really quite a disengaged hang on my

finger boarding but it's really really

isolated and nowhere near more than

maybe 10% of the time it's just very

very limited I tend to really go for

that very engaged shoulder position

straight torso and a gap between my

shoulders and my ears third issue area

that I also have seen a lot over the

years with climbers who are doing

fingerboarding and this is very much in

the realm of the beginner climber and

the advanced climber

so it applies to both of those groups is

too much focus on very open dragged

positions on a fingerboard so what we're

talking about here is so that all three

or four fingers

a very open extended position and we're

hanging on the tendons a lot more than

soft tissue structures and their fingers

rather than using a little bit more

engagement and using the forearm muscles

to be able to close and create that half

crimp position so an example on this on

the fingerboard would be a totally open

three finger drag a four finger drag

position so you can see that I've got my

index finger in a drag position and my

little finger and drag position or two

finger pocket work

now these grip positions again like the

shoulder positions they're not a problem

you can very definitely do a certain

amount of your finger boarding in these

drag positions but the problem I see is

that when we climb really hard and

especially when terrain gets a little

bit steeper and the holes get smaller we

can't rely on these drag positions we

need to close up into either half crimp

and crimp or full crimp positions and

the issue with any kind of grip position

strength training is that when we're

doing that contraction we have an

isometric contraction so we have a fixed

position when we have that grip position

and the transfers strength in any

particular grip position is around ten

to fifteen degrees away from that angle

so if we're training here at 90 then we

have very low relevance in terms of

strength transfer all the way through to

that open position because you've gone

from 90 all the way through to close to

a hundred and eighty degrees so I'm a

much bigger fan of doing a variety of

repetitions which go from open half

crimped and at the right times of the

year and this is the really important

part some full crimp grip position

training and when you're going to be

doing that and again I'm going to overly

stress this it's got to be really

limited it's a short time of the year

and it is an advanced form of training

but I think it is appropriate for some

individuals in the right circumstances

at the right time of the year to be

putting some kind of full crimp grip

position training into their

fingerboarding ok so there you have it

those are my three biggest have

tips tricks problem areas that I see

around fingerboarding that the climbing

population often does and this is what

I've seen over the last 5-10 years of

training and coaching and I know some of

these may seem really simple and you

don't think that you would do this but

just really watch your habits really try

and get good at that self analysis and

see whether these things are cropping up

a little bit more commonly than you see

because if you get into the habit of

doing any of these three commonly in

your training I really think you're

opening yourself up to either one a

little bit more chance of having injury

or two plateauing out in terms of the

gains that you see from your

fingerboarding and not achieving your

true potential what you'll notice on our

YouTube channel is we actually have a

number of fingerboarding sessions and

videos and tips and things like that on

the channel so have a browse around

you'll see there's some already on the

channel there's more coming out as well

related to testing single arm training

different grip positions and of course

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