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Train, Simply: Finger strength program for beginners

Train, Simply: Finger strength program for beginners

So, you’re ready to add hangboard training into the mix. We’re excited for you. We've asked Helmut Becker of Redpoint Physiotherapy to put together an introductory approach for a 4-week cycle that can be repeated twice before modification.


It’s advisable to have at least a day or two a part between hangboard sessions in order to minimize risks of injury. Consecutive days may overload tissues that have not yet had time to recover from strains of the previous session (particularly if you’re starting out). Try your workout when you’re fresh, that is, not after three hours at the gym.

Before you get started

We have to say the obvious - don’t start any program if you’re currently sustaining hand or other arm and shoulder injuries. It is advisable to consult with a health professional such as a physiotherapist before commencing hangboard training. If you experience pain at any point during your hang program, stop. If you feel a stretch, think twice about continuing.


As always, perform a full body warm up between 15 to 20 minutes to prepare the shoulders, arms and hands for a hangboarding session. Use your own body weight or assistance if necessary and proper form. Wrap up your session with a warm down.

Sets and Repetitions

Sets are a group of consecutive repetitions. It is recommended to take a 1.5 minute to 2 minute break between each set and 15 to 20 seconds between repetitions.

For example:

Set 1

- Hang 5 seconds (assistance if needed) with half crimp, rest 20 seconds; repeat 5 times

- Rest 2 minutes then begin Set #2, same as above

- Complete up to five sets

Hangboard finger strength training program for beginners

*If at Week 3 you find you’re not able to hang without assistance for the hang time recommended, then take another week with assistance.

It is important to note that these are suggested numbers based on a progressive fashion and a period to promote some stabilization of gains followed by a recovery time to allow overall recovery. A common mistake made by beginners engaging in a training program is to progress workload too rapidly, which increases high chances of injury.

Remember that training is a summation that needs to compound overtime and incrementally.

Beginner Hangboard Program Using Pullboard Travel

The wall-mount Pullboards offer the best stability for those just introducing the hangboard into their climbing training program. If you are starting this program with a travel board, we suggest the following modifications:

- Test out proper form using the top of the Pullboard Travel and adjust the height of your slings so that you can use your toes on the ground for assistance

- Once you feel comfortable with form and the height is set-up, use the 23mm depth which is the deepest of the three rails. Start on the low end of the repetitions, hangs and sets but adjust accordingly. For example, if you feel finger failure before the end of the rep then keep your hang times shorter for your first few weeks. It can happen, but blowing off the hangboard is suboptimal and you'll want to avoid that if you can.

- Don't get discouraged! Keeping the core stable with the travel board definitely makes the travel board more challenging. Don't believe us? Read the "how to hangboard" journey for some laughs.

Let us know how your introductory training program goes. If you haven't already, read the complementary blog article Train, Simply: Hangboarding for Beginners for more info on assistance, grips and proper form.

Train simply and safely!

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