Before you think of taking on more challenging and stressful routes in your climbing journey, you must, first of all, improve your hand position and climbing grips.
If you are properly equipped with some gripping strategies, you can tackle and find your way through every hold you’ll encounter on the rocks. Aside from that, it will enable you not to slip off the rocks or get injured.
Crimp gripping is one of the surest ways to hold onto the small handholds whenever you are trying to climb a rough crag. Most professionals who are experienced in rock climbing have picked the full crimp grip as the best hand and grip position in rock climbing.
Even when the edges are thin, this formidable hand position can secure, hold and prevent you from falling. Note that when you are crimp gripping, the whole tension builds on your tendons and the joints on your fingers. So, if you don’t do it right, this technique might give you a serious injury.
Now, when should you use the crimp gripping technique, and how do you use it?
Let’s find out!
Types Of Handholds
As a rock climber, you must have come across various types of handholds, and it is clear that the only way to climb rocks much easily is by using varying gripping techniques.
For most professional climbers or newbies in the skill, the most important technique to have in rock climbing is gripping. For you to stick to different types of handholds, you need to use varying hand positions and different grips to stick to them.
The two major ways to use your hands to stick on the rock edges are:
- Crimp gripping
- Closed grip
1. Crimp Gripping
Crimping is one of the best techniques used in rock climbing. Here, the climber holds on the small edges of the rock with their fingertips, with their fingertips kept flat on the rock surface, while the fingers bend slightly above their tips.
In this technique, the climbers place their fingers on the edges to enable them to have a firm grip while climbing. To enhance your pulling strength, you must place your thumb over your index finger for support.
This type of handhold is very helpful while climbing rocks that have small flakes and in-cut edges.
One disadvantage of this crimping grip is that there is a higher risk of damaging your finger tendons. Even though you feel comfortable with your hand position while using this technique, it can be harsh on your fingers if you crimp too hard. So apply caution while using this method.
How To Do Crimp Gripping
Before you go ahead to learn how to crimp grip, you must know that this technique is one of the most difficult techniques used in rock climbing. So, any mistake made while using it can lead to severe injuries to your muscles, finger joints, and tendons.
To properly crimp grip, you have to first place your fingertips pads on the hold. After placing it, curl all your fingers to enable you to flex the second joint. To lock your grip, cross your thumb over your index finger and lock it.
Always ensure that you lock the thumb to secure the grip. Locking the thumb makes the pulling strength and the grip more strong.
When To Use A Crimp Grip
Even though crimp grip is seen as one of the most reliable techniques used in rock climbing, it is not advisable to use it all the time. You should crimp grip only when it is necessary.
Crimp gripping should be used on rocks that have small holds; rocks like limestone cliffs and granite. Although you can use it on any holds, it gives the best result when used on fingertip holds. The handholds on the rock should have a slight in-cut that allows your fingertips to dig into the hold for an effective result.
It’s worthy to note that crimp gripping always can lead to the development of chronic finger injuries in the long run, and if good caution is not applied, the injuries can stop your climbing career. Therefore, it’s advisable to crimp grip only when you have tried out other techniques and they didn’t work out.
2. Closed Grip
The closed grip is seldom used in rock climbing. In this type, the climbers’ hands are naturally bent inwards. It demands that an upward push be applied on the fingertips to enable the knuckles to bend in the opposite direction.
The closed grip technique requires that you use your bone to hang on the handholds instead of your skin. Even though this technique is not always used in rock climbing, it is a must for small handholds that do not have a larger surface to use the open hand grip.
Like other grip techniques, ensure that you don’t overdo the closed grip technique. It is a hard technique to master, and it puts a lot of stress on your tendons and finger joints, so only use it when necessary.
When To Use Closed Grip
The closed grip is often used on smaller handholds that won’t allow the open hand grips to be nailed on it. Also, you can use it on regular slopes and edges.
Since it’s a difficult technique to use, only use it when it is needed.
How To Prevent Injuries While Crimp Gripping
Crimp gripping mounts a lot of stress on your tendons and finger joints, so it’s best to use it only when necessary. The continuous use of this technique might make you develop chronic finger injuries in the long run.
In worst cases, you might get an injury that can permanently end your climbing career, and you won’t love to have that experience. If you mistakenly twist your fingers while trying to crimp grip, you should pause for a while and allow your fingers to recover.
Taking a few days off may sound like it will deprive you of some fun, but it will pay off in the long run. Also, avoid using the crimp grip technique at the climbing gyms because the holds in the gyms are usually smaller, and that makes the game more challenging.
At this point, you must have gotten acquainted with the crimp grips climbing techniques and the guides that will help you master these techniques, and also prevent injuries while at it.
If you are a newbie in the climbing games, you must learn as many techniques as you can, and the crimp grip climbing technique is one of the best grip techniques to use in rock climbing.
Even though it’s very tough to master, its effectiveness during climbs cannot be overemphasized. Regardless, if you are willing to use this technique, always be aware of the fact that it has a high tendency of giving you injuries.
So, apply caution while at it.