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Forcing yourself to use an open grip.
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By Jon Frisby
From New York, NY
Mar 17, 2013

Hey guys, I'm a fairly inexperienced climber, so this might be a bit of a "duh" thing to most people around here, but I have been trying to work on ways to engrain into my brain using an open grip on crimpy shitty holds.
If you tape the second knuckle of your middle finger, it can force you not to hypertension the first knuckle, and since that finger (at least for me) leads what the other three do, helps force an open grip even on pretty tiny ledges.
Obviously not going to be the best move when you're actually out there climbing, but I think for training purposes, it can be quite useful.


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By S Denny
From Carbondale, CO
Mar 17, 2013

Just remember to strengthen the full crimp too when training

The jury is out on taping to support pulleys... though in my opinion it must help!


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By Jon Frisby
From New York, NY
Mar 17, 2013

S Denny wrote:
Just remember to strengthen the full crimp too when training The jury is out on taping to support pulleys... though in my opinion it must help!

yeah, this isn't as much about lessening an effect of an injury as forcing myself to grip the hold a certain way.


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By Ryan Nevius
From The Range of Light
Mar 17, 2013
Mt. Agassiz

Why "force" yourself to open-hand a hold that warrants a crimp (and vice versa), if not for reducing the risk of injury?


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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Mar 17, 2013
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV

Ryan, I think Jon IS doing this as a preventative measure. He is just clarifying that it is not a reaction to an injury, but a way to promote good habits to avoid injury.

I personally don't tape unless I have a sprain, but I could see this working. I prefer to just train myself to automatically form my hand open-grip on everything. Enough repetition on a hang board, and it will become second-nature. But when you're pumped, instincts tend to take over if you aren't careful and focused. Be deliberate with every move you make and the tendency to close grip & lock up your knuckles will eventually fade.


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By Jon Frisby
From New York, NY
Mar 17, 2013

Ryan Nevius wrote:
Why "force" yourself to open-hand a hold that warrants a crimp (and vice versa), if not for reducing the risk of injury?

It's more for when training holds that could/should be open-handed but your first reaction is to crimp.

Jon Zucco, I'll mess around with this and what you do - mentally forcing myself to use the proper grip - and see what my results are.


Thanks guys


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By Craig T
From Chicago, IL
Mar 19, 2013

I like it. I'm in the camp, after reading some papers and other 'expert' opinion that pulley support taping doesn't do much to reinforce the mechanical structure, but it would give you that constant reminder of "oh, can't bend that knuckle".


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By GhaMby
From Heaven
Mar 19, 2013
Are you Chicken, or fishy?

I would highly recomend a hangboard, this is what I used to "force" myself to use an open grip after popping several pulleys over the years. Mostly it seems to help me feel comfortable with an open grip on small holds. I also find now that I am more used to using an open grip I can take advantage of small thumb catches that aren't useable on crimp grips.

If you don't have the money to drop on a hanboard go find a piece of wood about a half inch by 1-2 inches and screw it onto a rafter in the garage, or elsewhere. These are the best hangboards around according to Bill Ramsey, especially since you can adjust the size by adding something to the back. Bill Ramsey glues emory boards on (those things women use to file down their nails) to reduce the hold size. After a few weeks of this you'll feel a lot more comfortable on small holds without the fear of popping pulleys. I stil crimp on really small holds, but more often than not I am able to find a small thumb catch and pinch.


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