• Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Part 7
  • Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Part 6
  • Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Final Part
  • Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Part 5
  • Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Part 4
  • Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Part 3
  • Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Part 2
  • Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Part 1
  • Rock Climbing Training: Gain Confidence by Learning Not to Fear Falling
  • Rock Climbing Training: The Unnatural Way to Climb
  • Rock Climbing Training: Get Better When You Are Scared and Pumped
  • Rock Climbing Training: Never Get Pumped Again
  • Rock Climbing Training: Should You Add Weight or Use Smaller Holds on a Hangboard
  • Rock Climbing Training: Pushing Past Your Training Plateau
  • Rock Climbing Training: How to Power Train for Climbing
  • Rock Climbing Training: How to Mentally Train
  • Rock Climbing Training: Boost Power With Eccentric Training
  • Rock Climbing Training: Tips for Better Onsighting
  • Rock Climbing Training: Should You Lose Weight or Get Stronger?
  • Rock Climbing Training: Is Protein Important?
  • Rock Climbing Training: Getting Strong After a Layoff
  • Rock Climbing Training: Does Running or Biking Improve Your Climbing?
  • Rock Climbing Training: Training While Hungry
  • Rock Climbing Training: HowTo Use Microcycles
  • Rock Climbing Training: Improving Slab Technique
  • Rock Climbing Training: How to Unlock a Crux
  • Rock Climbing Training: Using Your Hangboard the Right Way
  • Rock Climbing Training: Using a Weight Belt For Training
  • Rock Climbing Training: Training During Pregnancy
  • Rock Climbing Training: Maximizing a Small Home Wall
  • Rock Climbing Training: How to Stay Psyched
  • Rock Climbing Training: How to Prevent Bonking
  • Rock Climbing Training: Best Ratio of Resting to Bouldering
  • Rock Climbing Training: The Importance of Finger Strength
  • Rock Climbing Training: Regaining Confidence After a Fall
  • Rock Climbing Training: Overcome Anxiety and Send!
  • Rock Climbing Training: Maximum Training in Minimum Time
  • Rock Climbing Training: Dynamic vs. Static Stretching
  • Rock Climbing Training: Do Forearm Trainers Work?
  • Rock Climbing Training: Ultimate Strength
  • Rock Climbing Training: The Secrets of Warming Up
  • Rock Climbing Training: Periodized Training For the Year-round Approach
  • Rock Climbing Training: Resting the Perfect Amount
  • Rock Climbing Training: How To Recover On Route
  • Rock Climbing Training: Does Creatine Work?
  • Rock Climbing Training: Recovery Supplement Truths
  • Rock Climbing Training: Euro Training Secrets
  • Rock Climbing Training: Can Old Guys Get Stronger?
  • Rock Climbing Training: Training With an Injury
  • Rock Climbing Training: How to Beat Fear
  • Rock Climbing Training: How Often Should You Rest?
  • Rock Climbing Training: Warming Up Without Warm-Ups
  • Rock Climbing Training: How to Develop Sloper Strength
  • Rock Climbing Training: Beating the Lactic Acid Pump
  • Video Spotlight
    Climb Like Sharma: Part 2 - Limits and Fears
    Climb Like Sharma: Part 2 - Limits and Fears

    Rock Climbing Training: How to Develop Sloper Strength

    20-Oct-2009
    By

    What’s the best and easiest way to develop crusher sloper strength, and what’s the best way to grip a sloper?—Duane Raleigh, Redstone, CO

    We naturally gravitate toward the most positive holds, which is why slopers are a weakness for so many of us. Technique and the strength required for using slopers are interlinked.

    Gripping slopers is about being confident and aggressive, and above all, practicing. The secrets are to get as much of your finger surface in contact with the hold as possible, and on larger holds, to use the pads on the upper part of your palm and your thumb as well. If pinching is possible, do so. In some cases you can almost smear your hand into place. Most slopers have a sweet spot that is rarely evident from below. Feel for it. If there is a small incut or crease at the back then it may be preferable to crimp this (if you are a strong crimper), and sacrifice contact with your fingers on the rest of hold. Your ability to use a sloper has more to do with how you move the rest of your body than specific muscle strength. Be stealthy and avoid sudden changes of position. Keep your center of gravity below the hold—too far in and you may swing out, and too far out and you’ll skid off the sloper. On steeper walls, press your feet hard into the footholds and contract both your abs and your lower back to prevent your center of gravity from sagging. Keep your eyes peeled for heel- and toe-hooks, which are crucial tricks for lightening the load.

    Systems boards can be good for developing specific sloper strength and skill, although they only emphasize linear movement. Hang boards will do little for your technique, but they can help build strength, especially if you do pull-ups or hangs on the slopers with your feet held out in front of you to train body tension. If your hang board doesn’t have slopers, a half-crimp grip on the flat edges is a close alternative. Some additional dumbbell training can be worthwhile here, like holding static contraction wrist curls with heavy weights for three sets of four reps for eight seconds at three different wrist angles. The best method of all is to simply look for the slopiest problems you can find, and roll up your sleeves!

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