Ok, now that you know some great hangboard options, you want to make sure that you’re using it in a way that will benefit you to the max. Read on to make sure you’re avoiding these 5 common hangboard mistakes.
Mistake #1: No Warm Up
The ONLY time I don’t do a full warm up on a hangboard is if I’m doing a bit of training after a climbing session and I’m already warmed up. If you want to keep climbing then taking good care of your fingers is a must. Don’t start cranking on little edges and pockets from the very beginning. That’s just asking for tendon and pulley injuries. Instead, warm up with a couple hangs on super bomb holds and work your way to more difficult holds. I’d say do at least 5-10 minutes worth of hangs and easy pull ups before you get into the more intense stuff.
Mistake #2: Hang It Where You Won’t Use It
So many hangboard training’s fail because they are put up in places that we’ll never use them. I know it’s hard to find suitable places for these large boards (especially if you have roommates or parents that consider it more of an eye sore than an excellent piece of training equipment), but if you want to follow through on your training then make sure to put some thought into a good location. I, for one, have a couple hangboards in my basement, problem is I rarely go down there. My solution? I put up some rock rings in my family room so I can watch a couple episodes of Modern Family as i hang out (pun intended, obviously). Plus, one of the great things about this is that I can just unclip the rings from the anchors if I ever need to take them down.
Mistake #3: Don’t Practice Open Hand Grip Strength
Too many climbers have little skill when it comes to open hand strength. Not only is this grip strong but it is also MUCH safer on your fingers compared to closed hand grip. In my hangboard workouts, I make it a point to only (or mostly) use an open hand grip. Let’s face it, we train closed hand grip all the time while we climb because it feels stronger and more secure than open hand. So, in reality we are likely all ready strong enough in our closed grip position and it’s the open and grip that we need to focus on in our training.
Mistake #4: Use It As A Replacement For Climbing
Hangboards are NOT a replacement for climbing, they are a supplement. If you start using your hangboard to replace climbing then your climbing will not improve. Like I always say, climbing is the best training for climbing, so don’t sacrifice your climbing time for some kind of training that isn’t going to benefit you as much as climbing would. Hangboards are great for developing finger strength, but they aren’t going to help you with skills like movement and technique. Also, if you spend too much time on a hangboard then you’re putting your fingers at risk of getting injured. Hanging all your weight solely on your fingers is very strenuous on your tendons and pulleys. So, hangboards are perfect for climbers that can’t get out climbing as much as they would like to or for climbers that already have pretty good technique and are limited by their finger strength.
Mistake #5: Only Work What You’re Already Good At
You know how you avoid certain climbs because they aren’t your style? Well, if you want to improve as a climber than you can’t avoid climbs because they’re too pinchy, or slopey, or crimpy. The only reason you struggle on them is because you never train for them! Use your hangboard, in combination with climbing, to start developing your grip strength for a variety of holds, especially the ones you struggle with the most. Then before you know it you’ll be cruising up those climbs that you once used to avoid.
Got any more hangboard tips? Make sure to share your knowledge below!