I have been climbing over 4 years, have been strength training for a while, but am relatively new to hangboarding (super inconsistent with it over the years). I started up again a couple weeks ago doing repeaters on 20mm edge and 3 finger pockets. But I notice when I’m hanging from an edge and pull up slightly to proper form I feel tension (weakness?) in my scapular area/upper lat. Actually I think I feel that more than in my fingers and it’s holding my hangboarding back.
I feel this same thing when I hang on jugs above the hangboard at my own bodyweight. For reference, I can do about 10 pullups at my own bodyweight and max single rep pullup would be like +35lbs. So I don’t necessarily think it’s a pulling weakness.
Would there be a benefit to doing some light weighted hangs on jugs to build up strength in that area? Or just continue hangboarding and maybe that will feel stronger with time too?
Have you tried this exercise? The Best Climbing Exercise You're Not Doing! - YouTube
Do you feel strong doing this, or not so much?
I do these during my hangboard warmup but actually after watching that video I don’t think I do them correctly. My body stays pretty straight but it looks like he’s lifting his core/more of his body when he does them. I’ll have to try this form
today and see how it feels.
So I do them like this
Which seems very different from the other video
Hmm well if you can do them, then I don’t know what’s going on and if you have a weakness there.
I found a really good climbing physio that I visit frequently, and that’s always a good moment to bring up questions like these. Do you know of a climbing physio? If not, you could always try and do some exams yourself (I did this before I found a good physio, with mixed results :P) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB2E91E9C20E30B25
The scapular pull ups in those videos have been good for me.
It can be good to start even easier, instead of hanging from a board you can grab a heavy rubber band and go through some scapular protraction/retraction movement while pulling on the band.
I also find that doing some pushups or presses of some kind before hanging can help
Is hangboarding the goal or is climbing the goal?
If hanging on an edge with weight is hard, then great. No matter how it’s hard, it’s going to be good for your climbing. If you want to isolate your fingers and take many of the other components out of the system, you can do that, but you’ll need the system for climbing.
Put simply, if you’re feeling “tension or weakness” you’re probably already working on it.
To go further though, scapular pull-ups at bodyweight are really low load, particularly for climbers, and there is almost never a time when you need to hold that position with two arms while climbing. It’s a nice start, but should absolutely be progressed like any other exercise.
Or this more recent video might be the better one.
Active Hang Progressions