You may be concerned that you will overwork your fingers on a hangboard or not use it enough to strengthen them properly. Making sure you use the tool effectively, without overworking your fingers and joints, is a balancing act. We provide information about what hangboards are and how to use them safely in this article.
What is the recommended hangboard frequency? Climbers who are intermediate and advanced should consider hangboards as excellent tools. The hangboard should be used two or three times a week, except when you are training for sports competitions. Even with minimal training sessions per week, scientific research shows it is an effective way to improve finger and hand strength.
Do You Need to Hangboard Every Day?
Overstressing tendons, pulleys, and bones would result in injuries to your fingers and hands when you hangboard every day. Climbers with advanced sports training should not exceed five hangboard sessions per week and you can hangboard up to three times a week, as long as you stop at the first sign of finger pain. For intermediate and beginner hangboarders, two times per week is plenty, but you can do up to three. Pain indicates that you are overworking your fingers and hands. Attempting to exercise despite the discomfort may result in pulley tears, microfractures, or tendinitis. Make sure that you remain aware of your body’s signals, and do not push it past its limit
Hangboard how many times per week?
Is it possible for you to hangboard a number of days a week? Unfortunately, the answer is no. It is possible to develop osteoarthritis from overworking your hands. The Department of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee studied how excessive training affects experienced climbers and the results of the study can be found here and a recent study found that intensive finger training (e.g., campus board training) can lead to early-onset osteoarthritis of the hand.
According to a study conducted at Castilla La Mancha University in Spain, even a few weeks of hangboarding substantially increases the strength of fingernails. Furthermore, they compared maximum dead-hangs, in which weight was added, with intermediate dead-hangs, in which a minimal edge depth was used, and both combined. Researchers found intermittent dead-hangs to be more effective for grip endurance development in advanced sport climbers after eight weeks of application. To know more about it read more about that study here.
According to the study listed above, the results were obtained after just three hangboarding sessions a week for eight weeks. For the advanced sports climbers who took part in the study, “grip endurance gains and effect size were 34%.”. The bottom line is that hangboarding works great, but it needs to be done moderately. It is enough to see significant improvements with two sessions a week for four weeks.
How does Hangboarding work?
Our following article points out the different types of rock climbers‘ hangboards and explains what they are used for.
History and design of hangboarding
When the first modern-looking hangboards were created in the late 1900s, experienced climbers were discovering new ways to train their upper forearms, fingers, and hands. They were made from boards with drilled out finger holes and edges. As early as the early 2000s, wooden and plastic hangboards could be purchased and sold by workout gurus.
By gripping the ledged areas with your fingertips, you can hang from the board at a deadlift. They are designed to strengthen the tendon and muscles. They have also been reported to thicken the bones in a routine routine.
With ledges and handholds in a variety of shapes and sizes, the boards are highly versatile with specific climbing positions they can help you develop. Open-handed and closed-handed holds are available in a variety of sizes on any hangboard you purchase.
Materials for modern hangboards
Hangboards can be made from a variety of materials and designs, but wood and plastic are the two most popular options.
Climbers also construct their own hangboards using hand tools and wood, or buy them in kits. Climbers can design boards and grips that will train the weakest part of their hands or fingers with this information. The market will have a hangboard available for purchase for any finger training you might need.
Which is better, plastic or wood?
Wood and plastic are the two primary materials for hangboards. When working out, people who tend to have sweaty fingers might prefer plastic versions with texture. Climbers who intend to use additional weight during training should opt for wood as it has a little give, so it will not bite into their fingers like plastic would. Wood and plastic work just as well, but they both have their benefits and disadvantages.
You can now find patterns for 3D printers that you can adjust to your desired size to make sure it contains everything you want and will fit your hands perfectly. In lieu of buying a custom board, you can find plenty of them online and at fitness stores. Plastic and polyurethane are generally the materials used for these boards. The materials are essentially the same, though there has been some argument that polyurethane is lighter. Plastic is more readily available and cheaper.
They are more expensive unless you make your own wooden hangboard at home. They are usually made of high-quality wood and are much easier on your skin than hard plastics. A wooden hangboard can be made at home with a board and some power tools if you are confident in your carpentry skills. Wood boards are more expensive, but they are also more comfortable.
Hangboards: Are they worth it?
If you follow proper hangboard guidelines, you’ll notice an improvement in your grip strength within a short time and hangboarding is a relatively low-stress exercise that yields significant results. However, you should always consult with your doctor before starting any new workout routine.
Hangboards and Science
Jerry Medernach, Heinz Kleinöder and Helmut H H Lötzerich found that after having 23 advanced bouldering men use a hangboard for four weeks, the results were positive. “[Fingerboarding] is a highly effective technique to improve grip strength and endurance in competitive bouldering.” You can read the entire study’s findings here.
The Benefits of Hangboards
You can use hangboarding to improve your climbing skills in several ways.
- Due to its high level of control, you can strengthen your weakest grip positions.
- Resistance training can be precise using the added or subtracted weights.
- With this type of exercise, you don’t have to worry about accidents or injuries occurring during workouts.
- Due to the ease of use and portability of the boards, they are accessible to almost everyone who needs one.
What Are the Safest Ways to Hangboard?
If you experience any pain in your finger or hand while you are hangboarding, stop immediately. Additionally, the board should not be used when injured or when professional medical advice is sought. Rest after training to allow your body to gain strength from the exercise you just completed.
A thirty-minute warm-up should be done before you begin to avoid any possible injury. You can start by jogging or doing jumping jacks to work your whole body. Next, warm up your upper body with pull-ups and rotator cuff exercises. Start by stretching your fingers and forearms completely. Once you are ready, try out a few rounds of the hold you plan to practice. This will prevent cramps and help you stay in your position for a longer period of time. When you are finished, stretch your muscles lightly to prevent cramps.
According to which part of your hand you want to strengthen, there are different hand positions. Basic boarding exercises involve using four fingers to create an open and grip on matching holds on both sides of the board. Professional climbers can demonstrate how to build strength in specific areas of the hand in video tutorials online. The board should never be used in full-handed crimp.
Position of the shoulders and body
You should always keep your shoulders relaxed rather than high and bunched up. As you engage your core, your chest should be out and your knees should only be slightly bent.
When lowering yourself to the floor, always do so slowly. If you drop suddenly, your tendons can be damaged.
Hangboarding as a Beginner
You may wonder when you should start hangboarding if you are new to the sport. You should not start immediately. After six months of rock climbing training as a beginner, you should be able to use a hangboard. Your forearms will become stronger and your form will become more accurate as you get used to hangboarding so that you don’t injure yourself later. Complete guide on Hangboard can be found here.
When should you start fingerboarding?
After you stop improving steadily by just climbing, you can start increasing your finger strength. This usually happens after 1-2 years of regular climbing training.
How often should I max hang?
A session per week will suffice if you want to maintain your finger strength and possibly improve it. Upon completing a full cycle of max hangs (3 weeks if you’re doing two sessions per week, 6 weeks if you’re doing one), take a “rest and reassess” week.
Should you climb after Hangboarding?
The day after a hangboarding session, we would not recommend doing an intense bouldering session. During a hangboard workout, it is best to completely rest your fingers or do a very low-intensity endurance training session to promote recovery.
How much rest is needed after Hangboarding?
It is very hard on your fingers when you hangboard, so take two days off between each workout to allow your fingers to recover. You should hangboard every 3-4 days for 3-4 weeks. Don’t forget to stay consistent, set clear goals, and enjoy the process. You can now move on to training for power after four weeks.
What muscles does Hangboarding work?
By holding it in different positions, a hangboard allows you to exercise specific muscles. Hangboarding is a great exercise for strengthening your fingers, hands, upper body, and core.