Friday, February 14, 2014

Lowering Gstrings for Additional Exercises

Gstrings are incredibly versatile. However, I suspect that most users don't utilize them to their maximum potential, and most people have probably not tried the exercises shown below because of the need to lower the Gstrings. For more discussion of these exercises and positions go here and scroll down to Building block exercises and Core strengthening.

hanging push-up       
mantle / press-up
overhang pull-up
undercling step-up

Lowering the Gstrings can seem like an extra hassle, but with one of the methods listed below it's quite easy and uses very little extra equipment. Here are seven possible ways of lowering your Gstrings. Each has its own pros and cons. Hopefully you can find one that suits your requirements:
  1. CARGO TIE-DOWN STRAPS ($7-$30) - Purchase from a hardware or large department store.  PROS: quick release buckles makes it easy to adjust; no need for 'biner to attach the grips if they come with a "J" hook on at least one of the ends. CONS: Extra tail or loop (depending upon configuration) hangs down; cost; made for holding cargo, not humans. The ratings are way beyond the stresses exerted on them by hanging or doing pull-ups, however use at your own risk. 
  2. PURCELL PRUSIK - Make from 5mm-7mm accessory cord. First tie the ends with a Frost Knot or a Figure Eight to form a hang loop. Then proceed according to the linked diagram to tie the Prusik on the loop of cord.: PROS: nice and neat - no loose ends hanging down; quick to adjust; can also be used as an adjustable tether at belay stations for multi-pitch climbing. CONS: limited adjustment range; uses almost twice as much rope as the blake-hitch method; 'biner is needed to connect grips. 
  3. BLAKE HITCH - Made from 5mm-7mm accessory cord with Figure-Eight on the bight to form a loop to hang grips from. PROS: wide range of adjustment; uses smaller length of cord than Purcell Prusik option. CONS: extra tail hanging down; length can only be adjusted up to half its tied length; 'biner is needed to connect Gstrings.T
  4. CLIMBING ROPE + PRUSIK - Use a piece of old climbing rope with figure-eight loop for hanging and an overhand stopper knot in the end. Then attach a small Prusik Loop made with 5mm-7mm accessory cord to slide up and down the rope for adjustability. PROS: Simple to tie and set up; widest range of adjustments possible for a given length of cord; climbing rope piece can also be used for Chris Parson's workout. CONS: extra tail always hangs down; 'biner needed to connect Gstrings.
  5. CLIMBING SLING - Use a climbing sling (double length is probably best) with an overhand knot(s) to adjust the length and/or add a fixed position or two for different exercises. PROS: most trad climbers already have slings; simplest; fullproof and secure - no worries of a friction knot slipping. CONS: least adjustable; need to tie extra over-hand knots for additional mounting points; need 'biner to connect Gstrings.
  6. TIED LOOP of ACCESSORY CORD or TIED SLING OF WEBBING - Use a Double Fisherman's Bend (cord) or Water Knot (webbing) to make loop. Tie additional over-hand knots along loop to make multiple clip-in points if desired. PROS: most climbers have extra cord or webbing lying around; foolproof and secure - no worries of a friction knot slipping; simple. CONS: not adjustable on the fly; need 'biner to connect Gstrings.
  7. DAISY CHAINS - Only if you happen to have two daisy chains already. PROS: simple and effective CONS: Expensive if you have to buy them; may not lower the grips as far as desired for some of the exercises.

If you're tying your own loop with cord or webbing, you'll need to figure out the maximum amount of cord needed so the grips will hang at the lowest position desired. Remember to take into account the length of the grips including the hang loop and 'biner. Also, remember that you'll need significantly more cord to allow for knots. Prusiks, Figure Eight, Blake Hitches, Frost, and Water Knots all use a considerable amount of extra cord.

Hopefully this will give a range of ideas for how to lower your Gstrings and experience more of their versatility. If you have other methods for lowering your Gstrings - please let us know!

NOTE: When using Gstrings in a horizontal or prone position make sure to use some type of padding underneath you as a safety precaution.

The security and safety of all knots depend upon: the knowledge of the tier; the knot being properly dressed; using the proper type and size of cord; and the strength of the anchor point.

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