A Primer on Peg Boards


A Primer on Peg Boards

IMG 0150Over the past few weeks Coach Alex and I have been working together to build our gym’s first set of peg boards! We are happy to get them up and start incorporating them into workouts, strengths, and skills. But first we thought it might be better to explain in further detail, the benefits of the peg board as well as safety.
Peg boards are planks of thick wood with 1-2 inch holes bored intermittently throughout its length, it is then mounted on a wall where 1-2 inch thick dowels are used to ascend and descend the board. The peg board has recently come back into popularity, making appearances in various places such as the show American Ninja Warrior, The CrossFit Games, Tough Mudders, and Spartan Races just to name a few.  It is one of those exercises that looks good and easy in theory, but in practice is much more difficult than you would probably expect.
Strengthens and Improves:

  • Arms
  • Shoulders
  • Forearms
  • Hands
  • Core Stability
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Coordination
  • Lats
  • How cool you look

Tips and Tricks:
Keep your Chin Above the Pegs

  • this allows you to hold more tension in your back, shoulders and arms, allowing you to reach for the next hole in a more secure position. Plus you’ll activate even more muscles, muscles you might not typically use otherwise.

Maintain a False Grip on your Pegs

  • similar to utilizing this grip on a muscle up, it allows you to hold more tension in your arms, making that next pull easier.  We want to avoid coming to a full hang off our pegs if we can help it.

Use your Legs (when applicable)

  • try to push the balls of your feet against the wall as you climb.  This won’t feel super secure and you’ll probably still feel like you’re sliding but this extra support can make a huge difference and give you enough hang time to progress up the board!

If it is a goal of yours to ascend the peg board, but you feel you aren’t quite there yet, take a look at some of these peg board progressions and start incorporating them into your accessory work!
Peg Board Progressions (In Order of Video Appearance.):

  1. Pull Up Holds
    2. Dead Hang Pull Ups
    3. Scapular Pull Ups
    4. Staggered Stance Pull Ups
    5. Single Arm Hangs
    6. Pull Up Holds with Weight Shift
    7. Up/Downs


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