Is training on the fingerboard dangerous and risky for injuries? Christoph Völker from Target10a looks into this question in today's guest post.

A guest contribution by Christoph Völker - target10a.com

I have often been asked the question of the risk of fingerboard training and you often come across claims of this kind in discussions or on the Internet. In a discussion on Youtube, it was almost formulated as a threat: "If you absolutely want to do a fretboard training, then at least warm up properly before that!"

So what is it about the myth that "fingerboard training is dangerous for the fingers"? Of course, you should warm up before fingerboard training. There is already one on this topic own video! But otherwise I think the training on the fingerboard is an extremely gentle and injury-free form of training! At least if you follow a few simple rules.

Open hand - This type of grip is very friendly for tendons, ligaments and capsules.

These rules include that especially with the so-called "Open hand position" is trained on the fingerboard. But even with half-raised fingers the training is still relatively gentle and safe.

It can be critical when the fingers are fully up (Full Crimp) - this handle shape can be completely omitted for now. If necessary, this shape of the handle can later be included in the training. But there are also voices that say that with your fingers fully up, you shouldn't and shouldn't exercise at all. I would leave this decision to every advanced athlete with relevant experience on the training board.

With your fingers up, you should be careful on the training board!

Good reasons for training on the finger board

These are the reasons why I think fingerboard training is so safe:

  • The hanging in the deadhang (more precisely: active hang) is static. That means there are no immediate changes in strength or high strength peaks during training.
  • The fretboard training is therefore very easy to control and calculate.
  • With the right board (wood and strongly rounded edges), the fretboard training is also very gentle on the skin and can therefore be integrated into the training directly before or after a day of climbing. 
  • In comparison to this, during the campus board training there are quite different kinds of power peaks due to the dangling and reaching out!
  • Even when bouldering and climbing itself, depending on the situation, large changes in load and force peaks occur simply by simply continuing to grasp or step on. Especially when, for example, the foot slips from a step and the grip (and therefore fingers) has to be compensated for.
  • When climbing, it is sometimes enough just to shift the center of gravity of the body, if you are already holding a small grip to get over the limit in terms of stress. A fall is the result, although in the vast majority of cases without injury to the fingers.
If the foot slips away here, the force peaks can be guessed at the fingers.

It also applies to fretboard training, of course: You can injure yourself here too with violence. There is a risk if:

  • you don't warm up or don't warm up enough 
  • is trained without adequate regeneration
  • is gripped with completely raised fingers, but is prone to injury or not ready for this grip shape
  • It exaggerates with extra weight
  • Exercised too often
  • If you slip out of the handles due to lack of concentration or because you don't use chalk

The sense and nonsense of training on the fingerboard

Another question is whether fretboard training makes any sense at all:

  • Athletics, body tension and agility should already be integrated into the weekly training
  • Otherwise, the training board can make sense for many from the 7th French degree, at the latest from the 8th degree
  • Exception: The grip strength is definitely not the personal weakness, then of course focus on the weaknesses! 

Summary

Training on the training board is anything but dangerous or particularly risky for finger injuries! So these arguments should CAN'T for pushing yourself before the fretboard training or to advise others against it!

That might interest you

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Credits: Cover picture Christoph Völker - target10a.com

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