Rock climbing takes an insane amount of grip strength, you may be holding your entire body up for extending periods of time with only your fingers. First and foremost the best way to strengthen your grip for rock climbing is more rock climbing, but you can do additional things to help.
A lot of times your life depends on your grip strength and holding on to the rock face. If you are just starting with climbing or curious about getting into it as a hobby, then grip training will help your grip and forearms get strong quicker.
Below are some recommendations for rock climbing grip training equipment including, hand grip trainers, finger strength trainers, forearm strengtheners, and even some suggestions for things you can do at your house to build your grip.
How to improve grip strength for climbing
According to Gripmaster John Brookfield there are several types of grip strength. John has a couple of grip training books published and available on Amazon, Mastery of Hand Strength and Grip Master’s Manual. Brookfield is highly regarded in the fitness community for his expertise of grip training and I recommend you check out his books.
According to this article which is based on Brookfield’s books and advice, there are 4 main categories of grip strength. Crushing grip, which is squeezing a hand gripper or when you shake someone’s hand. Pinch Grip, which emphasizes power in the fingers and requires strong thumb grip. Pinch grip would be squeezing 2 plates together at the gym. Supportive Grip would be what you use if you are doing farmer’s walks. This is holding weight for extended periods of time, also beneficial to climbing. Finally, wrist strength which is going to help you in pulling you up to that next handhold.
In addition to reading John Brookfield’s books, there are a few pieces of grip training equipment that you can use to help strengthen your grip for climbing. Here are 3 options:
Hand Grip Trainer
IronMind Captains of Crush Hand Gripper
This is one of the popular pieces of grip training equipment on Amazon. It comes in 11 different strengths, ranging from 60 pounds of resistance all the way to 365. You can can really blast your grip and forearms with this little guy.
If you don’t want to read any further on this list and are just looking for the best gripper, get this one. Over 1400 reviews and 4.7 stars, everyone agrees it’s the best. With a strength rating to fit anyone, the Captains of Crush can be used by beginners and strongmen alike.
Finger Strength Trainer
Gripmaster Hand Exerciser
The Grip Master lets you focus on individual fingers if you want and will help you develop that strong pinching grip. It’s also a wildly popular option on Amazon. Make your hand, wrist and forearm muscles scream with this one. It comes in several different colors with each color being a different strength level. The lowest level is green one with just 1.5 pounds per finger, the highest is 9 pounds per finger being black.
The Grip Master is inexpensive at around $11 at the time of writing this. It’s made of plastic so it isn’t going to be as heavy duty and durable as the Captains Crush, but at the low price point it’s good if you just want to spend a few bucks.
Marcy Wrist and Forearm Developer
This option from Marcy targets specifically the wrist and forearm. It allows you to curl your wrist with varying tension levels and can really build up your forearm if you use it regularly.
I occasionally do wrist curls with a small curl bar, this piece of grip training equipment hits the same muscles as do that that. You can really feel it in your forearm after doing a few sets. You can go low reps and higher tension or high reps low tension.