Supporting training for climbers

I made this very easy exercise to warm up your mobility, improve finger strength and decrease risk of injuries when done before intense climbing session. It should take about 10 minutes to proceed. To get start all you need is some floor space and place to hang your board.


Start by circulating your shoulders and hips. Make the moves as big as possible and make 10-15 rounds per limb.

Advance to deep squat and hold there for a while. Open your hips laterally with your hands. From squat position rotate your upper body from side to side.

Squat is ultimately best position to open hips


After hips and spine are warm move to prone position. Lay on your palms against the floor fingers apart. Raise your palms up keeping your fingers on the ground. Here you can add resistance by moving your body more over your hands or raise your knees loose from the ground. Change knuckles against the ground and push your wrists straight so that you are raising your upper body.

Keep core tight and push with your forearms Make it easier by pushing one arm at the time


Move to board and start by hanging over the top of board with a good grip. Make some scapular activation and try to improve your shoulders mobility by retracting your scapulas and “dive” between your arms.

Hang scapulas slightly activated Retract scapulas and shoulder to "dive" between arms


Ready to meet the edges - start with following instructions:

  1. Hang from the top of the board for 5-10 seconds with only fingertips over the top. Repeat this 3 times with 10-15 sec rest between sets.
  2. Move to the lowest hold and repeat the same set.
  3. Eventually move to middle hold and repeat same set once.
Top of the board
Lowest edge (20mm)
Middle edge (15mm)

If you feel strong, make the session starting from lowest hold and moving eventually to smallest hold.

As independent exercise session without climbing you can repeat last hanging part as many time as you are able to hang the last section desired amount of time - between 5 to 10 seconds.

Remember that depending on your starting level of strength you may not be able to hang from the smallest or either the second smallest hold of the board. If so, start only with hanging from the top edge of the board or deepest cut until you are able to firmly secure a good grip from the harder hold. With persistent training you are improving your absolute grip strength. Eventually you are able to achieve firm grip from the smallest edge of the board and smallest holds in the rocks and walls (and heaviest luggages and shopping bag as well).

You can also use your board for pull-ups and other exercises from hanging position (leg raises, scapular pull-ups, planches etc). While hanging and exercising with unstable hangboard it is demanding more control over your body. This forces your body for a greater demand of neuromuscular system and leading in better training effect.

Hanging is also a great exercise for improving shoulder mobility and functionality. With good technique It activates your abdominal muscles giving endurance and core strength.

For training with hangboard you can try different grips shown below. Easiest and most safe grips to start training are open hand grip and half crimp.

Open hand Half crimp Closed crimp