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Moon | Fingerboard Review | Training and Skills

By Tom Dixon

The fingerboard from Moon has managed to achieve a superb compromise between using its space efficiently whilst fitting in plenty of good holds; this comes from Moon's ethos of less is more. The simplicity of the design means that it won't look too out place sitting above a door in your house either.

The board is best mounted on to a plywood backing before affixing to the wall which makes for a very secure platform. It is often the case for people to buy training equipment (fingerboards, campus rungs, rock rings etc.) only for them to be left in a broom cupboard for time immemorial. Another bonus of the Moon fingerboard is that it comes with free after support and training tips/routines from Moon's website. The holds on the board itself are very tendon friendly, with all of the pockets having a slight slope to them, so as not to overstretch the tendons when hanging open-handed, whilst the crimp edges are slightly in-cut, meaning you are less likely to explode off them, rupturing something in the process.

For the Advanced User

The complete absence of any big jugs on the board, aim it more at the intermediate to advanced climber, which is the only group which could advisably use the board in any case. Having used the board for a period of about two months now, I have seen some good gains – using Rich Simpson's (remember him!) fingerboard routine. One thing I have found to be true of this board is that I feel far fewer aches and pains, following a hard session, due to the holds being a friendly shape without diminishing the effect of them for training. 

Check out the Moon Phat Boy Fingerboard if you want something featuring a few larger grips. 

Advanced Fingerboard Training Routine

Session structure: First off, I recommend that each dead hang exercise lasts between 5 and 8 seconds. You certainly wouldn’t want to hang for any longer than 8 seconds. If you can, then the hold is too big. Sometimes, however, you will have a hold that you can only hang for 2-3 seconds. This is not a problem since you can measure your progress against it. For example if you can only hang a hold for 3 seconds, keep training on this hold, after a few sessions you should be able to hang for 4 seconds and after a few weeks possibly hang for up to 5 or 6 seconds. Seeing this kind of progress in your training will keep you motivated which is the key to success.

I have given a rough idea of resting times, sets and reps. I recommend that you alter rest times etc. to suit your own personal needs. The idea is that you rest just enough to recover for the next rep/set, but not too long so as to waste the efficiency of the workout. If you need to vary the resting times it’s no problem. It will also be necessary to increase/ decrease the resistance to suit your own needs; this can be done by using either a pulley system or bungee cord. I will recommend in brackets, which to use for each exercise, the numbers will correspond to the Moon fingerboard here. Obviously, this is an extensive workout and will take a good hour and a half including warm up time. If you are on borrowed time, then it’s possible to complete a shorter session using this as a guideline and still benefit.

Board Layout

moon board layout

Training session

Assuming you are fully warmed up, take a few minutes rest before starting the main session.

  • 1. Double armed dead hang on front three fingers open handed. (hold 5) Hang for 6 seconds, repeat three hangs resting 2 minutes between each.
  • 2. Double armed dead hang on middle two fingers open handed. (hold 5) Hang for 6 seconds, repeat 2 times resting 1.5 minutes between each.
  • 3. Hang open handed on three fingers on one arm, decrease resistance as required until hang can be completed. (hold 2 or 5) Hang for 6 seconds, repeat 3 sets for each arm, resting one minute between hangs on alternative arms.

Rest 5 Minutes

  • 4. Double armed hang on full crimp position, on a first joint edge. (hold 1 or 5) Hang for 6 seconds, repeat three hangs resting 1.
  • 5 minutes between each. 5. Double armed hang on full crimp, this time slightly smaller than the last set, i.e., _ of the the finger tip. (hold 3 or 4) Hang for 6 seconds, repeat three hangs resting 1.5 minutes between each.
  • 6. Single arm hang on 1st joint edge, decrease resistance if required until hang can be completed. (hold 1, 5, or 4 depending on level) Hang for 6 seconds, repeat 3 sets for each arm, resting one minute between hangs on alternative arms.

Rest 5-8 Minutes (prepare for some arm and body work!)

  • A. Single arm lock off at 90 degrees. If required use the assistance of a bungee cord or pulley system. Try to stay as open as possible rather than twisting your body in to lock off. (hold 1 or 5) Lock off for between 8 and 10 seconds. 3 reps for each arm, resting 2 minutes between each rep.
  • B. One armed pull ups, again assistance may be required using a bungee cord or a pulley system. Keeping your body as open as possible Try to complete 2 one armed pull ups for each set and complete 2 sets for each arm.
  • C. Leg lifts/ Front levers. Depending on your ability either do front levers or leg lifts. (hold 1) If doing front levers, complete three sets of front levers holding each set for 5 to 8 seconds. If doing leg lifts complete three sets of leg lifts. For each set lift legs up to chest level 6 times.

Warm Down

Give yourself another pat on the back!

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