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Train, Simply: Core strength training with a hangboard

Train, Simply: Core strength training with a hangboard

Aloha! The “Hawaii Five-Oh!” inspired during our stay on the Big Island is a versatile travel program that incorporates overall core strength that you can alternate or integrate with a pure finger strength program using your Pullboard Travel wood hangboard.

A new tool for your travel workout

Our photos were shot on our lanai (pronounced la-nai, the Hawaiian word for patio). It’s a great program for wherever your travels take you. We all like to mix up our training routines and try something new. Staying true to our Train Simply mantra, the Pullboard portable hangboard is flexible with its smooth top to entertain a whole host of core fitness training exercises that go beyond climbing finger strength. Close your eyes and envision the call of tropical birds and rustling palms (or maybe the theme song to Hawaii Five-0 - depending on your mood)...

Hangboard training

This program is not for finger strength, but gives you ideas on other ways that you can use the Pullboard. We love straightforward core strength programs using simple tools and body weight.

For a longer training session, you can combine this core program with our beginner or regular hangboard finger strength programs. Or, you can alternate this program on rest days from finger strength workouts.

Location and equipment

A lanai is good. But for most of us, it’s not our everyday. Find a secure beam, tree branch or bar to sling your Pullboard Travel over. You’ll also need these simple pieces of equipment:

- 120cm and a 240cm sling (for adjusting heights)
- 2 carabiners
- Resistance band
- Chalk (we like Sattva Grip Cream)
- Papaya (kidding but hey while in Hawaii…)

 Hangboard training equipment

Before you get started

We have to say the obvious - don’t start any program if you’re currently sustaining hand, arm, shoulder or other injuries. As always, perform a full body warm up and wrap up your session with a warm down.

Sets and Repetitions

Sets are a group of consecutive repetitions. It is recommended to take a few minutes to rest between sets and exercises. Most of the exercises in this program are done with three sets and ten repetitions.

Core Strength Program Summary

Core training exercises on Pull Climbing hangboard

One: Hangboard Assisted Lock-off

Let’s start off with an assisted lock-off. Grab a resistance band and sling over the top of the hangboard. Grab the band for assistance with one hand while placing the other over the top of the Pullboard. Engage core then lift legs and hold for five seconds. Switch arms and repeat.

Hangboard training assisted lock-off

Two: Hangboard Push-out

The second exercise in the “Hawaii Five-Oh!” series is the push-out. Do this one on Hawaiian time - slow and steady and you’re sure to get there. Kneeling down, position both hands on the top of the Pullboard. Make sure your back is straight. Adjust your angle accordingly - the lower your profile, the farther you’ll push out. Bend elbows and slowly begin to push board out and away. Once you reach the full extension, bring it back while maintaining control. Repeat.

Hangboard training push-out 1Hangboard training push-out 1

Three: Hangboard Tuck and Kick

The third exercise in the “Hawaii Five-Oh!” series is the tuck and kick. We do most of these exercises in this training series with three sets of ten reps, by the way! Place hands over the Pullboard evenly for balance. This will be an underhand grip. Engage core and shoulders. Lift up legs into a slight curl and then kick out. Bring legs in and repeat the kick out.

Hangboard training tuck-and-kick 1

Hangboard training tuck-and-kick 2

Four: Hangboard Drops

The fourth exercise in the “Hawaiian Five-Oh!” series are the drops. Adjust the board to waist height while kneeling. Place hands over the top of the Pullboard. Push out to where you have good control and stability and then lower to begin the repetitions. Don’t hang loose on this one - keep back and shoulders engaged.

Hangboard training drops

Five: Hangboard Touch and Twist

We’ve saved the best training challenge for last! The final exercise in the “Hawaii Five-Oh!” series is the touch and twist. Don’t be fooled - you won’t be needing your dancing shoes for this one. Stay tuned, the final post in this series will provide a link to our blog with photos and videos. I could have sworn we had a blooper reel (the lanai floor was a bit polished) but mysteriously those videos have disappeared.

Adjust your sling and move up so that you’ll be able to partially plank with bent knees. Place one hand in the centre of the Pullboard to get set up. Make sure feet are about shoulder width and flat to help brace and balance; bend knees slightly. The other hand starts touching the board and in an arc, while twisting back and opening your chest, touches the ground. In one fluid controlled motion arc arm and reach up with pointed fingers to touch the sling above. That’s one rep. Now, finish your reps and then repeat on the other side.

Hangboard training touch and twist 1

Hangboard training touch and twist 1


And there you have it - five exercises from this Hawaiian inspired session! Have any other favourite training exercises on your Pullboard hangboard? Write to us as we’d love to hear your ideas!

More hangboard training ideas

New to hangboard training? Looking to try a hangboard session? Check out these other blog links for finger strengthening programs:

Train, Simply: Hangboarding for Beginners

Train, Simply: Finger Strength Program for Beginners 

Train, Simply: Finger Strength Routines

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