How to Hold on Tight – Part 2

Claw Stretch

Similar to the way your fist stretch worked, this easy to perform movement can add some variation to your finger workouts. By putting your fingers into a completely different series of positions this move helps to once again get the tendons in them to get settled in awkward positions. To do this move, simply bend all your fingers until your fingertips touch the edge of your palm. If done successfully your hand will look similar to a claw, hence the name. Hold this position for half a minute again and repeat, it won’t be long until you feel some resistance in your fingers and wrists. Though it may seem counterintuitive to be practicing such a strange position, getting your fingers to be comfortable in any situation is key, as no two rocks are the same size and shape, but you will still need to grab them.

Thumb Flex

Probably the most noticeable muscle in your hand is the one underneath your thumb. Keeping this muscle well trained will certainly help your grip strength and of course training your thumb is essential because without it you don’t really have a grip (see all animals without opposable thumbs). To flex your thumb simply keep it straight and move it across your palm until it touches the bottom of your little finger. Hold and repeat like the other exercises. As this muscle grows you will notice the bulge underneath your thumb becoming larger.

Finger Stretchers

This series of rubberised loops slip over your fingers and allow you to pull them outward with increased resistance. This move works different areas of the muscles that you would use to grip assuring you hands and fingers are ready for any situation. These same inexpensive items have been used to help the healing process for hand and wrist injuries and can alleviate the muscular stress of actions that would usually cause impairments such as carpel tunnel.


This is what climbers commonly do to improve their finger strength, mainly because it applies great resistance and gives fantastic results in a short time. This however shouldn’t be taken up by complete beginners, so be warned. Without having some previous training on your fingers, you could cause serious injury which isn’t going to get you climbing anywhere fast. This exercise is so demanding that it really needs a good warm up beforehand, even the pros don’t go in unprepared. Once you are ready however hangboarding is literally the practice of hanging while being supported only by only your fingers. The equipment used can range from simply a piece of wood secured in place above you, though there are many (increasingly expensive) variations you can buy. You may have seen something screwed to a wall that has several small indentations on it, these narrow little holes are for your fingers making sure that you simply can’t use your hand to secure your grip. Placing your fingers here and dangling yourself in the correct manner will quickly increase how capable you are replicating this out in the field.