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Lockdown Hangboarding: Week 1

Weighted hangs are the name of this hangboarding game. As the country shuts down once more, our fingers will become stronger than before

As much of the country enters another lockdown, climbing gyms once more shut their doors and cragging locals again question the morality of pursuing their sport at their favourite local spots. Although things might feel desperate for many Canadian climbers, the almost country-wide lockdown comes with it increased vaccination efforts and a viable chance at getting climbers back to business come May.

For many, these words might feel empty. It can feel like this cycle will never end, but, of course, it will. The struggle to remain fit over another lockdown remains one of the more challenging aspects of the pandemic when even something as simple as a run carries with it inherent risk.

Everything is not lost. Although this next month will take a forced and directed effort to come out the otherside in good shape, through improving our abilities, we might find the next weeks of stay-at-home orders a little more bearable. Exercises releases endorphins that, in themselves, should allow the climber a little bit more peace of mind.

In an effort to remain positive, let us consider training. Let us think ourselves the athletes that we want to be and work toward bettering our mental health. These next four weeks of training will improve your ability if you climb less than V8 and will help you maintain strength if you climb V9+. Let us begin.

Week 1

We have broken this program into two segments. You will find the strength and conditioning side of the work out here, while this article will cover your next four weeks of fingerboarding. The focus of these four weeks will be weighted hangs. If you do not have weights, then minimum edge training will suffice.

The reason we are focusing on weighted hangs as they are taxing, low volume, and ideal for strengthening your tendons. Naturally, oscillating between different types of fingerboarding over the course of a year provides the greatest opportunity for success, and the least opportunity for injury. Keep that in mind if you have completed weighted hangs for these last two months.


Day 1 – Hangboard

Day 2 – Rest

Day 3 – Hangboard

Day 4 – Rest

Day 5 – Hangboard

Day 6 – Rest

Day 7 – Rest

The Warm Up:

With your feet on the ground, slowly load your fingers through the largest edge of your hangboard. As your fingers warm, increase the load until you can hang on this edge. Once your fingers have become warm, then pick your training edge. You will use this edge for all four weeks, unless your strength increases beyond the amount of eight that you have in your house. If you do not have any weights, consider the objects in your house that have weight and then add them to your regimen.

The Exercise:

Once warm, add weight incrementally with each hang. You do not need to reach your max on day one. Hangboarding is a strength exercise. Increasing the load too rapidly, and then failing may over-stress your fingers.

Each of the days this week will have the following structure:

  • 5 sets of 10 second hangs in the half-crimp position.
  • Increase weight with each set until you find your max. If you do not find your max, then take not of your previous max-weight and, after warming up (with some lesser weight), begin with that previous max-weight in your next session. Continue increasing weight in that next session until you find your max. Unless you already have a gauge on your ability, do not increase weight by any more than five pounds per hang.
  • Rest three minutes between each hang

You can customize your finger-position to your goals. For one-handed hangs: