Pinch Grip Training
Having a strong pinch grip can often make a previously impossible tufa climb into a jug haul. Then there are the host of times that you can get a thumb catch, and turn a sloper into a pinch. Plus at times there are just holds that you have to squeeze the sh#t out of if you intend to make it up the climb. Here are a couple shots of one such hold that we ran into when working Encore une fois down in Squish last summer. Bob was tall enough to go straight to the pinch where Steffi and I had to make a brutal thumb catch and pull it into a pinch (Any excuse to complain about tall people I will take and run with it). Now this foolish climb is one of the items that I intend to go back and crush some time this year. So with that in mind I have started climbing training back up as I put Worlds and back country behind me for the season. The following videos are a couple of the items that I have started coming back to for training the ol pinch grip. There are of course a couple other tools in the arsenal, but there is little point in breaking them all out at once.
The first item to look at would be pinch push-ups. These are a brutal mix of tricep and thumb strength. I find that most people find there first attempt ending with them lying on their face. So be careful if you decide to give them a try. All you will need for this will be:
1) Two pieces of 2×4 that are chopped down to a decent length
2) Some chalk
3) Self hate
Make sure to try these bad boys from your knees before starting off of your toes, and then once you have them down progress to your feet. Throughout this, focus on keeping the thumb straight when you are squeezing the board. Other than that, perhaps make a visit to the article on elbow rehab after you are done, as your triceps will be screaming at you.
The second item is a rather more specific device that I had built for the gym. Um… they are rafters. If you are lucky enough to have an unfinished basement or a garage you have all you need. The goal here is of course to do pull-ups straight off the boards, though having a jug for your other hand is a good place to start. In my case there is a cruel variation I like which involves pinching the board and bar with one hand, while just squeezing the grains out of the wood on the other side. See what you can find to try these on. If you can’t find something like this, get a classic fat pinch climbing hold, run some cord through the bolt hole. Knot it, and tie the other end to some weight. Lift.