Training with Gstrings - Basics

Training is an individual matter. What works for you may not work for anyone else. Get to know the options that your Gstrings offer, and combine them into a custom training routine that’s right for you.

Start with these basic “building blocks”. Decide where you want to focus your training, then assemble a combination of exercises that will accomplish your goals. For tips on how to focus on strength or endurance, click on the links to the left.

Basic building block exercises

There are five main types of exercises that can be done with each grip position:

  1. dead hang - never lock elbows - always hang with arms slightly bent.

  2. lock-offs - any position between 12 o’clock and 4 o’clock - most commonly 12 and 3 o’clock.

  3. pull-ups; off-set pull-ups; one arm pull-ups; lower-offs (use a step stool to start at the 12 o’clock position and then slowly lower to 6 o’clock, a good method to use if you’re having a hard time with pull-ups or one arm pull-ups).

  4. undercling (chin-up position) - perform any of the above with your palms facing you.

  5. mantle press-ups (dips) - start with arms extended down, lower down and then press back up. For ideas on how to lower Gstring for this exercise and others below, go here.

      dead hang                  lock off                       pull-up                   off-set pull-up           mantle / dip

  1. Any of the above exercises can be made easier by using the pulley system mentioned on the Endurance page

Core strengthening

The following exercises integrate abdominal and back and chest muscles to give a fuller workout:

  1. Use a pad for protection in case of a fall for the following exercises

  2. L hang - extend legs out in front in an L position and hold - If this is too difficult, bend at the knees.

  3. knee tuck/alternate knee tuck - raise both knees at once and bring them as high as possible. Hold or do repeatedly. For the alternate knee tuck, raise and tuck knees first to the left side, then to the right side. Repeat while using the dead hang or lock-off mentioned above.

  4. toe pointing - raise one leg at a time and touch one toe to the opposite top corner of a tall chair or rung on a ladder, then alternate repeatedly while doing a dead-hang or lock-off.

  5. levers & half levers - hold body in tension horizontally. This can be made easier by bending one leg at the knee and gradually work towards the full lever.

  6. overhang pull-up - extend Gstrings from anchors with slings, webbing, or cord so that your body is parallel to the floor when toes are pointed resting on the edge of a chair. Use core tension to keep body straight driving weight down onto toes during this exercise. Pull up and reach like you were going to grab the next hold, clip a quickdraw, or set a piece of gear, then lower back down. Repeat, alternating arms.

  7. undercling step-ups - Gstrings need to be hung in a doorway or hallway and extended slightly with a sling. Pull grips through doorway so that they are pulling against the bolts or pull-up bar. Alternately, a knotted sling or loop of webbing can be placed over a door so the knot is then trapped by closing the door. Then attached grips with ‘biners to the loop. Pull back on grips in an undercling position while slowly walking bare feet up either side of doorway. Difficulty is controlled by grip position and/or adding weight while performing the exercise.

  8. hanging push-ups - extend Gstrings so the jug grip is the same height as the seat of a chair of stool. Start with hands on grips then place toes on the set. Proceed to do push-ups - it will require more strength than a normal push-up in order to keep yourself stabilized. Adjust the height of the grips or feet in order increase or decrease difficulty.

         L-hang                    knee tuck                            toe-point                               lever / half-lever     


                overhang pull-up                 undercling step-up                 hanging push-ups           

  2. Click here for info on each on how to set the grips for each of the different grip positions.

  3. Muscles develop faster than tendons. Begin your Gstrings’ workouts at a low intensity and increase their intensity slowly over time. If you’re fairly new to climbing, tendons can take 1-3 years to gain required strength for finger intensive training and climbing. Each workout session should start off with low intensity Gstrings’ exercises until fingers, arms, and shoulders are warm. Better yet, start off with 10-15 minutes of some general exercises to warm up and get the blood flowing to all the extremities.