Crimp Grips Climbing Technique: When and How to Use

Rock-Climbing

If you are an enthusiast for rock climbing, you may search for some practical gripping techniques on the internet. By understanding the appropriate gripping technique, you can confidently start your climbing journey; however, sitting down and researching for climbing might not be effective enough until you apply them practically but still knowing the good hold techniques help you to prevent injuries.

As a rock climber, you must understand that each type of rock-climbing gesture is based on using hands and feet properly. Climbers use multiple handholds as per their need, but here we would like to focus on Crimp grips. It is especially applicable for face climbing.   

The crimp grip is one of the toughest rock-climbing grips because a climber needs to balance himself at the small, narrow handhold during climbing. It is considered to be an aggressive and power-demanding hand hold position that is usually applicable on thin edges.  

# Full Crimp Grips

You will encounter different types of rock faces, including flat edges, blocks, slopes, and pockets, and you need to use various hand grips to handle each face. You will never get the same kind of rock faces at your climbing route. Crimping refers to holding small edges with your fingers bent at your central knuckle. You have to fold your thumb over the top of your index finger to maximize your pulling capacity. Climbers use crimping grips to cross small incut edges and flakes.

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When you use any handhold technique for rock climbing, you must know its risk and limitations to prevent accidents. 

Crimping helps you summit mountains, but it puts enough pressure on finger joints and tendons. Thus, crimping is considered very hard on fingers.

How to do it: To perform a full crimp grip, you have to place the fingertips on the trim edge, then stabilize the second joint by curling your fingers. Then ensure your crimp by pressing your thumb over the fingernail of your index finger to lock the place. This gesture of your hand maximizes the pulling power at sharp edges.

# Half Crimp Grip

The basic difference between the half and full crimp grip is that your thumb won’t lock to the top of your index finger when you place your hand at a sharp-edged handhold. However, half crimp grip is weaker than full crimp grip. But expert climbers reported that half crimp grip is more comfortable, ergonomic, and stressless for your forearm and finger joints. Therefore, to avoid unnecessary injury, climbers use half crimp grip instead of complete crimp as much as possible.

# Open Hand Grip

Rock climbers do open hand grip by stretching all fingers, and the middle section of fingers remains straight. This kind of finger gesture is less stressful for your bones and tendons as you keep most of your finger joints straight throughout the process.

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After knowing what an open hand grip is, your next question must be, which muscles are being used in this handhold gesture? Here the answer is…

When you use open hand crimps, your fingers have to experience more stress, and the pressure goes up to your shoulders. Consequently, When you take your next move, this movement puts a lot of pressure on your fingers and shoulder. 

In this handhold technique, there will be all possible injuries, and according to us, preventive measures are way more critical before taking any step. When you want to use a full crimp grip in your next rock climbing move, you must remember that the open hand grip may develop the chance of finger injuries which takes a very long time to recover completely. Thus we would suggest you use an open hand grip as little as possible or in a case where no other technique is fruitful.

#Closed Grip

This kind of gesture is defined by hyper-extension of the first knuckle of your hand. As our hands are themselves able to bend inwards, the closed grip is best for an upward push over the fingertips. Therefore, our finger knuckles are bound to bend in the opposite direction. Closed grip sometimes elucidates as to drop behind the fingertip bone instead of its skin.

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Now the next question would be where to use a closed grip. The answer is here.

It would help if you used a closed grip on small holds where you do not have enough surface area to use open hand grips. It is because open hand grips require enough space to execute. Thus, the closed grip is often suggested to use in sharp edges, small holds, and some slopes. However, this type of climbing gesture is stressful for your finger tendons and joints because there would be hardly a chance to maintain the contact of finger holds.

Here we have discussed all possible crimp grip climbing techniques. However, each of these crimp gestures puts a lot of pressure on your forearm and finger joints. Thus we always advise you to do hand exercises toimprove grip strength. A strong grip strength helps you to maximize the resilience power of your forearm muscles and finger tendons.

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