Hangboard Training


Hey y’all, it’s Phil with Climbmax Climbing. I wanted to talk with you guys today about a couple of simple hangboard routines you can practice while you are at home and unable to make it to the gym. I want to suggest that before you begin your hangboard routine that you warm up effectively, whether this means doing 50 to 100 jumping jacks, going for a short jog, or doing sets of pull-ups. Whichever way you choose to warm-up is fine, but please warm up before embarking on these exercises.


The first hangboard routine I want to talk about today is a 5-10-5 repeater. The 5-10-5 repeater requires you to find a climbing hold on your hangboard that is difficult for you to maintain contact on for 20 seconds at a time. Once you find that hold you need to chalk up, then you will engage that hold for 5 seconds. You will then rest for 5 seconds. Immediately following your 5-second rest you will hang for 6 seconds, and then rest for 5 seconds again. Then hang for 7 seconds, then rest for 5 seconds. Then hang for 8 seconds, then rest for 5 seconds. Hang 9 seconds, rest 5 seconds. Hang 10 seconds, rest 5 seconds, then back down.


It is critical that when you do a hangboard exercise like this that you rest 3 to 5 minutes after every set. You should not do more than 5 repetitions of this in a single workout.


The second exercise I want to talk with you about today is a density hang. In order to execute a density hang you need to find a hold on your hangboard that is easy for you to engage 30 seconds at a time. One you’ve found your hand hold on the hangboard, you’ll engage the hold for 30 seconds at a time. The point of a density hang is to most closely simulate the forces you exert on your fingers during an active climb.


Density hangs should be executed in repetitions of 10 with 3 to 5 minutes of rest in between each repetition. It is critical that you take these 3 to 5 minutes of rest between your efforts. Density hangs are easy enough exercises physically that you can execute them 7 days a week if you wanted to.


Phil Whitlock, USA Climbing Coach

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