Rock Climbing For Beginners Part 1 – The Importance of Grips

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August 21, 2019 / Comments Off on Rock Climbing For Beginners Part 1 – The Importance of Grips


Rock climbing for beginners is fun but like any other sport, it also requires discipline and proper execution.  Seasoned climbers make it look quite easy though most of them took months or even years to master their craft.  To start with, you have to know the importance and the right way to position your fingers in gripping.  Bear in mind that you won't simply be hanging from a monkey bar.  Your fingers will most likely be in an awkward position so there's always the risk of getting injured if you're doing it the wrong way.

Rock Climbing For Beginners Part 1 – The Importance of Grips

You're gonna use your hands a lot in rock climbing which makes gripping a very important technique to learn.  Skinny guys have more advantage for being able to move their body easily with less pressure on the grip.  More weight also means putting more pressure on your grip that leads to exhaustion, thus, affecting the success of the climb.  This is where the correct positioning of your fingers come in handy.  Rock climbers have to be physically fit with arms and legs in great condition.  Different holds require different types of grip techniques.  Let's take a look at some of the basic grip types and how to properly execute them in rock climbing for beginners.

1. 3 Fingers Open Grip

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This type of grip forms no more than a 90-degree angle.  Your tendons should have a nice smooth curve going down.  Make sure your tendons are not forming a sharp curve to avoid straining them.  Use your thumb at the bottom of the hold if possible.

2. 4 Fingers Open Grip

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4 Fingers open grip is basically executed the same way with the first grip type.  If all four fingers can fit a wide surface to hold, this grip is more suitable for better support going up.

3. Half Crimp

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Half crimp is another open grip type best used for small holds and narrow edges.   It's similar to a full crimp only your thumb is not positioned near the index finger.  This applies less stress on the joints of your fingers.

4. Full Crimp

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This type of grip is one of the best in rock climbing and also used for narrow edges.  The full crimp is a powerful grip type yet it has more potential for injury.  I suggest you only use full crimp in certain situations, and when all the other grip types are not possible.

5. Pinch

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Your fingers are positioned like a normal pinch with the thumb pinching at the side.  Avoid being directly underneath when using this type of grip to prevent putting a lot of stress on your fingers.  Use this when you're off to one side or to the other.

Watch this short indoor rock climbing video by Howcast.

Rock climbing can put you in a lot of crazy body positions.  That is why it's essential to know the different types of grips so as not to stress your fingers too much or worse, get injured.  I see professional rock climbers masterfully combine grip types to put them in a good position.  This takes years of practice to qualify as a pro, so try to utilize the basics for the time being.

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