The perfect blend of science and art. The unlevel edge will help get you stronger AND reduce your risk of injury at the same time.
Created by a climbing specialist physiotherapist from 1000's of data sets and research and hand crafted for comfort in sustainable hardwood by Paul from Crusher holds, making wooden holds for climbers since 2008.
how to use it
It is pretty simple, but I want people to get the full benefit out of it, so here's what to do. I'd suggest using it to lift from the floor with a Tindeq unit, or a lifting pin and weights. But it can just be used to loop around your foot for warming up, or to sling overhead should you wish.
You should expect to pull about 25% more with this edge.
You can mono, 2 finger, front 3, back 3 just using the slots. No need for extra pockets.
Most importantly - if you wish to reduce the edge size just move your fingers back until it feel like you're trying at an 8/10 effort level for the weight you've selected.
You can change the sling to single, rather than double, to change the angle for drags, or going to a smaller edge.
We don't need to be obsessed with measuring everything all the time. Feel is vital. Feel free to benchmark at appropriate intervals on your usual edge so you know you're progressing.
Finger position 1
When using it with both cords attached to an anchor put your fingers as far into the hold as you can. Little finger goes in the lowest slot.
Here my fingertips are at the back of the flat part of the hold AND level with each other.
This loads fingers equally and provides the largest edge possible to enable you to lift more.
Finger position 2
From the back your fingers should look like this.
Note how the knuckles at the top are directly above the knuckles below and there is an equal, small, gap between the fingers.
If you have one gap larger than the others, or a noticeable difference between hands, you could have an intrinsic muscle issue. Reduce the weight until you can control the finger and work from there.
The cord means you can adjust the angle to make sure your wrist, elbow and shoulder are also comfortable aligned.
Single cord version
This provides a much more open grip position which is useful for training open grips and for those with issues such as synovitis that need to drastically reduce compressive forces.
what does it do?
The unlevel edge makes you stronger!
Not quite, you still have to put the work in.
The unique shape maximises individual finger flexor recruitment, producing more force (around 25%) than with a flat edge as you are more equally using all the fingers.
To get stronger we need to produce more force.
If you try to get strong on a small edge it's not intense enough to the muscles to promote strength gains and too intense on the joints so we get over use injuries.
Keeping the fingers more separated also forces them to work independently strengthening the connective tissues and hand muscles that form the foundation for your fingers to work from.
We now know that controlled loading is the best form of rehab for most injuries, not rest.
The more equalised, less compressive, position the edge puts your hand in means it is ideal for rehabbing pulley injuries, chronically sore knuckles (synovitis/capsulitis) and other injuries of the hand and wrist.
All these conditions require a stable, controlled, position to gradually build up capacity without provoking the injury.
The unlevel edge gives you this whilst also isolating the fingers to encourage stronger connective tissue and hand muscles.
Reduces injury risk
Flat edges make it difficult to get your little finger on. pulling the hand into a position where the middle two fingers are overloaded and the index and pinky fingers are under loaded. See pic below.
The middle joints are bent to 90 degrees, or more, and highly compressed.
The end joints are hyper-extended, compressing the joint and stretching flexor tissues.
We then load this provocative position, heavily, repeatedly, in many forms of climbing training, often leading to over use injuries.
Separating the fingers trains them more individually. This is very important when using complex holds and outdoor climbing in particular where fingers not used to working on their own can quickly become injured.
The shape of this edge evolved from researching thousands of data points and numerous prototypes to make an edge which suits the vast majority of hands.
The unlevel edge loads fingers evenly and encourages a straighter finger - hand - wrist position. This means less likelihood of overuse injury and maximal recruitment. You can pull harder, with less injury risk.
The radius encourages a more open hand grip to reduce compressive forces, but isometric gains at this angle will still carry through to crimping.
The channels are a subtle, but effective, device to force the fingers to work independently and stop sideways rolling. More stability = more force production potential and less injury risk.
Cord mounted means you can pull in a more ergonomic position helping force production through the chain and reducing overuse injuries of the elbow and shoulder.
this is what we aim to avoid
Repetitive, loading of the fingers in the same, compressive positions.
Whilst small edge training does require input during training (so we can tolerate it), it does not make us stronger. It makes us better on small edges.
If you want to maximally recruit the forearm and finger flexors and extensors (to stabilise) then you need a stable base that enables enough repetition without increasing injury risk.
Get strong and then apply it to your climbing. Training doesn't have to look exactly like the sport. If you train like the sport and perform in the sport you are reducing the variety of loading on your fingers and increasing your injury risk.