Most women probably don't consider their fingers when they put together a strength-training routine, but if you're a rock climber, you know how important strong fingers are for your sport. Changing up your workout routine keeps it from getting boring and makes your muscles work in different ways. If you have your heart set on trying out the climbing wall, exercise your fingers to make it easier and more beneficial, but always talk to your doctor first.
Some finger strengthening exercises work each of your digits individually while others work them together, making sure each gets a good workout. You might think this will take forever added on top of your regular routine, but you don't have to focus on each finger for a long time. Making your fingers stronger allows you to grip the rock better, which is great if you don't want to take a fall on the mountain or climbing wall.
A set of spring hand grippers is an inexpensive piece of equipment that does wonders for your finger strength. Hold the handles and squeeze with your thumb and fingers to increase the strength in each. Functional Hand Strength recommends using weights with wider than average bars or handles, which works your thumb muscles and makes them stronger. This is a great way for busy women to fit finger strengthening into their regular routine. Another great way to strengthen your digits is to practice your climbing techniques. Wear a dip belt with weight plates on it to increase your total body weight, which makes your fingers work harder to pull you up. Doing pushups on your fingertips is another great choice.
You don't have to spend hours strengthening your fingers. You might even be surprised at how little time it takes. If you're using a wide bar or doing fingertip pushups, simply perform the exercises in your routine as usual. You'll strengthen your fingers with little additional effort, and you won't have to put in any extra time. If you prefer hand grippers, do a set of 12 repetitions several times per day, such as when you're waiting for a pot to boil, watching your favorite TV shows or waiting in line at the bank. There, you're done and your schedule doesn't even have to change.
As with any type of exercise, proper form is vital when doing finger strengthening exercises. If you hurt your digits you'll probably have to take a break from climbing as you recover. Learn the right technique and check your form often to ensure that you're getting the most out of your routine. If you experience any pain in your fingers while exercising them, stop and contact your doctor.
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.