This episode provides critical framework and guidelines for effective hangboard finger training. Based on 30+ years of hangboard training experience—and the latest research—you’ll learn the importance of a proper warm up, why you must train different finger grip positions, how to maintain forearm muscle balance and lower injury risk, as well as valuable tips on organizing your hangboard training for optimal results and continued gains in the long-term!


0:22 – Introduction and sponsored product info.

2:00 – The “business” starts here!

3:20 – Who should hangboard train? Guidelines for beginner, intermediate, advanced, and elite climbers.

8:30 – The value of hangboard training for intermittent year-round…and the importance of finding your “best” personalized program.

9:45 – Get compliant! Learn the “120-move” rule for warming up.

15:45 – Why elite level climbers need to do some two-a-day workouts.

16:55 – Beginner guidelines. To hang or not to hang?

17:35 – How proper training (and rest) can make your tendons stronger, stiffer, and slightly thicker given long-term, prudent hangboard training.

18:10 – Which grip positions you should train? How grip position effects forces placed on the flexor tendons and pulleys. Important stuff!

21:00 – Biomechanics of the full crimp grip.

22:12 – Biomechanics of the open-hand grip.

23:18 – What about the “open-crimp” grip?

25:15 – Importance of targeting a specific grip position.

26:50 – Research findings on the forces places on the FDP and FDS flexor tendons with different grip positions.

31:50 – Forces placed on A2 and A4 pulleys…and how to train around a minor annular pulley injury. Click here to learn how to support stronger, healthier tendons with daily use of Supercharged Collagen by PhysiVantage.

33:32 – Finger extensor muscle imbalances…and how to train to combat them.

39:45 – Pinch grip training—Eric’s “two birds with one stone” training recommendation.

42:08 – Why every serious climbing much do two brief antagonist exercise sessions per week.

42:55 – Reminder that specific hangboard training protocols are detailed in Podcast #10.

43:08 – Tips on exercise programming.

46:50 – Tips for advanced climbers.

48:00 – Elite climber advice: The importance of doing periods of high volume training for Central Governor recalibration–one of the keys to breaking new performance barriers! Learn more on this in my book, Training for Climbing.

50:30 – Keys to long-term gains over decades. Yes, you can do it with dedicated & smart training—if you stay uninjured!

51:35 – Teaser on the next few podcasts…which will break some new ground. Don’t miss them!

52:40 – Closing comments about the transcending spirit of climbing…and Eric’s good wishes to you for the holidays and New Year!

  • To learn more about all things training, climbing, and performance…pick up a copy of the latest edition of the best-selling Training for Climbing!

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Music by: Misty Murphy

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