Samuel McCue, USAW SPC-L1, CF-L1
Researchers from the Institute of Outdoor Sports and Environmental Science at the German Sport University in Cologne, Germany recently conducted a study implementing supplemental fingerboard training in a group of competitive boulderers.
- The athletes who participated in the fingerboard training increased their grip strength on a dynamometer by nearly 2.5kg, while those who focused on bouldering only increased 1.5kg.
- The athletes who participated in the fingerboard training nearly doubled all of their dead hang times, from 6 seconds to 12 seconds, while those who focused on bouldering only increase an 3 seconds.
This particular study was done using two groups of experienced rock climbers. One group trained using only bouldering sessions and the second implemented fingerboard grip progressions over the course of four weeks. The intent was to determine the effects of training on grip strength. To measure this, the athletes conducted tests using a handheld dynamometer without the use of the thumb, and dead hangs from various grips, including a half crimp, pinch grip, sloper grip, and fingerboard.
Fingerboard training significantly increases grip strength. Simply relying on sport specific training such as bouldering is not nearly as effective in doing so.