• The Truth About Caffeine and Climbing
  • Five Strategies to Sharpen Concentration and Climb Better
  • Five Ways to Get Better Without Training
  • Beat the Burnout: Only Ondra Should Train Like Ondra
  • Effective Gym Training Strategies (for Route Climbing)
  • Should You Add Weight or Use Smaller Holds on a Hangboard
  • Map Out a Plan with the Radar System
  • Managing the Fear of Falling
  • Projecting 101 – 6 Tips For Sending
  • Slowing the Pump Clock
  • Training on the Go
  • How to Train for Compression
  • Nutrition: Eating Your Way to Better Climbing
  • How to Dyno
  • General Conditioning for Climbers
  • Transitioning from Gym to Crag
  • How to Keep Your Job and Family and Still Climb at Your Limit
  • Staying Strong to Perform Your Best All Season
  • How to Lose Weight for Climbing
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 7
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 6
  • Building a Better Climber: Final Part
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 5 - Strength Phase II
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 4 - Power Endurance
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 3 - Strength Training
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 2 - Low-Intensity Endurance Phase
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 1 - Conditioning Phase
  • Gain Confidence by Learning Not to Fear Falling
  • The Unnatural Way to Climb
  • Get Better When You Are Scared and Pumped
  • Never Get Pumped Again
  • Pushing Past Your Training Plateau
  • How to Power Train for Climbing
  • How to Mentally Train
  • Boost Power With Eccentric Training
  • Tips for Better Onsighting
  • Should You Lose Weight or Get Stronger?
  • Is Protein Important?
  • Getting Strong After a Layoff
  • Does Running or Biking Improve Your Climbing?
  • Training While Hungry
  • How To Use Microcycles
  • Improving Slab Technique
  • How to Unlock a Crux
  • Using Your Hangboard the Right Way
  • Using a Weight Belt For Training
  • Training During Pregnancy
  • Maximizing a Small Home Wall
  • How to Stay Psyched
  • How to Prevent Bonking
  • Best Ratio of Resting to Bouldering
  • The Importance of Finger Strength
  • Regaining Confidence After a Fall
  • Overcome Anxiety and Send!
  • Maximum Training in Minimum Time
  • Dynamic vs. Static Stretching
  • Do Forearm Trainers Work?
  • Ultimate Strength
  • The Secrets of Warming Up
  • Periodized Training For the Year-round Approach
  • Resting the Perfect Amount
  • How To Recover On Route
  • Does Creatine Work?
  • Recovery Supplement Truths
  • Euro Training Secrets
  • Can Old Guys Get Stronger?
  • Training With an Injury
  • How to Beat Fear
  • How Often Should You Rest?
  • Warming Up Without Warm-Ups
  • How to Develop Sloper Strength
  • Beating the Lactic Acid Pump
  • Video Spotlight
    Rock and Ice Interview: Reinhold ...
    Rock and Ice Interview: Reinhold ...

    Rock Climbing Training: How to Develop Sloper Strength


    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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