Yearning to bring some of that gym rock climbing back home? Look no further! As a veteran climber with an occassional 7a red point under my belt, I appreciate the value of versatile training tools. One standout star in the home-training arsenal is the peg board.
More intricate than your typical hangboard, a peg board will challenge you to engage your entire upper body in new and exciting ways, simulating the assorted movements experienced when on a climbing expedition. This helps you build strength, balance and dexterity faster than you can say “on belay”.
In the world of athletic equipment, finding the right fit can be as tricky as navigating a crux sequence on a sheer granite wall. But fret not, we have flowed through numerous yoga headstands and conquered international rock faces, and we are here to guide you through the labyrinth of peg board choices out there. So, get ready to lead climb your way to the best peg board fit for your training needs. Stay adventurous!
What are the Best Peg Boards?
Below you’ll find the list of the top 5 Best Peg Boards. We compiled this list from peg boards we have used, asked others about, and researched further to give you the best possible roundup. With many years of experience with pegboards you can be assured that this article will give you what you’re looking for.
We also wrote a buying guide and answered some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) at the end of this article.
|Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)|
Material: Birch Plywood (Boards), Hard oak (Pegs)
Number of Pegs: 2, double peg board comes with 4
The Synergee Peg Board is one of the highest rated climbing peg boards on the market today. This peg board is made of birch plywood and can be mounted on drywall or concrete. Boards can also be stacked vertically or mounted side-by-side if a larger climbing surface is desired. Each climbing board comes with its own pair of climbing pegs, so you can climb with a partner if you are mounting boards adjacent to each other.
Although the Synergee Peg Board offers a great climbing experience, we do not advise mounting it outdoors to simulate outdoor rock climbing. The plywood surface is not finished for protection from the elements.
Overall, we recommend the Synergee Peg Board for avid climbers and anyone that wants a good upper body workout in their home gym.
- Can be easily combined into larger peg boards,
- Easy to mount into drywall or concrete,
- Each board comes equipped with two climbing pegs
- Not suitable for outdoor use,
- No hardware to mount on wood
|Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)|
Material: Plywood (Peg Board) and Hard Oak (Pegs)
Number of Pegs: 2
A unique blend of affordability, performance, and design characterize the Yes4All Peg Climbing Board. It is ideally tailored to bolster your upper-body strength and endurance, infusing dynamism into your home workout routine. The product comes in two variants: a dual peg board edition, measuring 31.5″ x 12.6″ x 3.94″, tailored for a fully-fledged home gym scenario; and a compact, single peg version, scripted at 10.7″ x 14.6″ x 3.35″, seamlessly mountable above a doorframe. The single-board variant offers a great solution for those seeking a more engaging replacement to their doorway pull-up bar, climbers included.
However, a couple of discrepancies are worth noting: the pegs seem slightly undersized, making them somewhat loose in their designated slots. In addition, the mounting screw holes can be mistaken for peg holes, which may lead to unexpected (and unwanted) workout disruptions.
While the cons noted make this a product to handle with caution, the Yes4All Peg Climbing Board remains a commendable choice for both rock climbers and general fitness enthusiasts keen on integrating a peg board into their regular regime.
- Easy drill and screw mount set-up,
- Equally suited to concrete or drywall anchoring, Supports up to a solid 300 pounds,
- Provides 1-year warranty coverage
- Loose-fitting pegs might require extra attention during workouts,
- Mounting screws holes may be mistaken for peg holes
|Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)|
Material: Technical plywood
Number of Pegs: 2
The Titan Fitness Pull Up Board Wall Mounted Climbing Board is more than just a climbing peg board. While it does have peg holes for climbing, it can be used to perform a variety of exercises, such as wide-grip pullups, leg raises, planking, closed-grip pull ups, and much, much more. The “more” is mainly more variations of pull ups, but with over 30 different grip positions, you’ll be able to hit your lats and other muscle groups from all different angles.
Anyone looking for a dedicated climbing board would be better served purchasing something that can better suit their needs. Compared to most climbing peg boards on the market, the Titan Fitness Pull Up Board Wall Mounted Climbing Board offers less in the way of peg climbing and its price tag is about double what most peg boards run for. However, those looking for a versatile workout tool to add to their home gym will not be disappointed.
- Suitable for mounting above doorways
- Perfectly shaped for mounting above a doorway
- Versatile and can be used for pull-ups, peg board climbing, leg raises, and more
- Must be mounted to wall studs
- May not be ideal for those looking for a dedicated peg board
|Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)|
Material: Birch plywood (Peg Board)
Number of Pegs: 2
The Ultra Fitness Gear 51-Inch Climbing Peg-Board is simplistic in design and is a great addition to a home gym for upper-body strength conditioning.
Although the Ultra Fitness Gear 51-Inch Climbing Peg-Board can be mounted on concrete or drywall surfaces, hardware for mounting to drywall is not included in the packaging, potentially making this model of peg board more expensive or cumbersome to mount in a home gym. The peg holes on this peg board are also prone to warping with repeated usage, so it is common for climbing pegs to slip from the peg holes. Luckily, Ultra Fitness Gear offers higher quality ball grip climbing pegs (which must be purchased separately) that are of higher quality, making them easier to grip and distribute weight, which should reduce wear-and-tear on the peg holes.
We can recommend the Ultra Fitness Gear 51-Inch Climbing Peg-Board for peg board climbing purists, preferably with concrete walls in their home gyms, but there are better alternatives available.
- Can easily be stacked vertically for an additional challenge
- Can be mounted into drywall or concrete
- Large climbing surface
- Included pegs do not fit snugly into peg holes
- Peg holes easily wear
- Drywall mounting hardware not included
|Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)|
Material: Natural oak wood
Number of Pegs: 2
Harnessing the prowess of their craftsmanship, Atomik has put forth a captivating set of Climbing Holds, specially designed for Peg Boards. These peg board grips are mastered from resilient oak wood, letting them withstand strenuous workout regimens while minimizing board damage. An extraordinary highlight is their elongated design, coming in hot at an impressive seven inches, providing superior hold for more efficient workouts.
However, these gripping beauties from Atomik don’t play ball with all peg boards. They take the most pride in pairing with proprietary Atomik peg board products or boards hosting peg holes with a diameter of 1-5/16″. It’s worth a mention that local hardware stores could be potential gold mines for wooden dowels that could serve as cost-effective solutions, after being cut down to the desired length.
Nonetheless, the Atomik Climbing Holds brings a guarantee of both endurance, thanks to its sturdy construction of quality oak, and extended use, assured by a convenient one-year warranty. On the flip side, it’s narrowed compatibility with peg boards and the potential availability of cheaper alternatives stand as downsides.
- High-quality oak construction boasting longevity,
- Extended length of 7 inches for superior grip,
- Includes one-year warranty for peace of mind
- Limited compatibility with non-Atomik peg boards,
- Potential for cheaper alternatives
Based on all of our experience with pegboards, we found that Synergee Peg Board is the best peg board available today.
Our Premium Option is Titan Fitness Pull Up Board Wall Mounted Climbing Board with all the best features and high-quality materials, but that’s only if you have more money to spend.
However, if you are on a slightly tighter budget, you can also consider the Yes4All Peg Climbing Board as an affordable alternative.
Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:
What You Should Know Before Buying peg boards
How to Choose the Best Peg Board
Choosing the best climbing peg board can sometimes feel like a daunting task, especially when you’re just starting out. They come in a range of shapes, sizes, and materials, and the options might initially seem overwhelming.
First and foremost, keep your home gym or workout space in mind. Make sure that the peg board you’re eyeing can be installed in your space and comes with a complete set of hardware and a comprehensive setup guide. Also, ensure that its shape suits your installation preferences, whether you wish to mount it above a doorway, alongside other exercise gear, or even alongside more peg boards for a larger climbing surface.
The design and hole spacing on peg boards significantly influence your training routines and muscle growth. Although they might all seem the same initially, differences in designs can bring in a plethora of workouts and difficulty levels.
Lastly, keep your budget in mind. Majority of the peg boards range between $120-150. The expenses could pile up if you plan to buy multiple boards. However, if you’ve got some woodworking chops and spare time, consider crafting a homemade climbing peg board for your home climbing gym which could save costs.
Advantages and Benefits
The foremost advantage of using a climbing peg board to exercise is that peg board climbing can hit more muscle groups than traditional workout methods. A peg board workout will hit the lats, biceps, and core just as pull ups would, but other lesser-worked muscles such as the teres major, a shoulder joint muscle which is often neglected by bodybuilders and athletes.
Beyond building muscular strength and endurance, the constant motion of peg board climbing is a cardiovascular workout. Compared to traditional workouts, peg board climbing can be an efficient method of physical conditioning, training of grip strength and the technique of locking of body which are all critical technical training to compliment a rock climber’s outdoor climbing regime.
Home Workouts on Peg Boards
Some of the more common peg board exercises are as follows:
Pullups – Simply insert two pegs into the board’s page holes, grab onto the pegs, and pull yourself up. This exercise focuses on the latissimus dorsi and biceps.
Vertical climb – It can be assumed that if you are investing in a peg board, that you intend to climb it. The vertical climb is performed by alternatively removing pegs and placing them into higher peg holes to ascend the board. This exercise engages the lats, biceps, and core.
Horizontal traverse – Alternately remove and place pegs to move from left to right across the peg board. If performed with straight arms, this exercise focuses on the forearms and grip strength. If performed with locked arms, the exercise targets the lats, biceps, and forearms.
Setup & Usage
Most retail peg boards can easily be mounted into drywall or concrete, making them excellent additions to home gyms. Peg boards can also be built at home if you want to build your own climbing gym. Once the peg board has been securely mounted and bolted it, it is ready to be tested . Prior testing is always critical before doing a full workout on it, and never forget to pay special attention to the safety instructions in the manuals that come with some models of peg boards.
As an added safety precaution to accidental falls, one can place cushioning below the board if you will be climbing high off of the floor.
Precautions to take note of
Considering the potential risks associated with climbing workouts, making safety a priority is critical. As peg board exercises occur at a height, they inherently carry more risk than regular gym routines. Therefore, placing a robust crash mat or comparable shock-absorbing material under your peg board can offer substantial protection against fall injuries.
Moreover, it’s crucial that your pegs fit snugly in their holes on the peg board. Loose pegs that easily slip out can be dangerous and cause untimely falls. Another key aspect to note is the overall cleanliness of your peg board, with specific attention given to ensuring the peg holes are unobstructed. This safeguards not only the longevity of your equipment but also significantly eliminates the likelihood of personal injuries.
Questions and Answers About peg boards
What muscle does each campus boards train?
Campus board climbing trains upper body and core muscle groups for strength and endurance, both of which are vital for rock climbing. Campus board workouts primarily target the latissimus dorsi, biceps, and triceps. Secondary muscle groups that are activated by campus board workouts include the abdominals, abdominal obliques, and forearms.
By keeping up these reactive and quasi-plyometric exercises on campus boards, in the long run it helps your train recruitment and RFD rate-of-force development in your arm flexors and finger tips.
Why is it called campus board?
Campus boards, invented in 1988 by German rock climber Wolfgang Güllich, are training devices that can be used to train upper body and core muscle strength and endurance. The first campus board was mounted at a university gym in Nurnberg, Germany, called “The Campus Centre”, giving the device its name. Despite the first campus board being placed in a university gym, they can be excellent additions to home climbing gyms.
What angle should a campus board be at?
Deciding on an angle at which a campus board should be mounted depends mainly on how strenuous you would like your workout and the height of your ceiling. A more shallow angle will provide more of a challenge when climbing the campus board, while an increased angle will allow for more leg room between the climber and the floor. Generally, we advise mounting campus boards at an angle between 16 and 20 degrees.
Campus board vs hangboard which is better?
While both campus boards and hangboards serve as excellent strength training tools for climbers, their uses and impact differ. Campus boards excel in developing explosive upper body strength and quick grip retention under tension. Conversely, hangboards or fingerboards primarily enhance finger and forearm grip strength, serving as efficient finger strengtheners. Hence, it’s not a question of being better, rather about serving different purposes. Nonetheless, beginners might find hangboards more approachable, as campus board training might pose injury risks if not performed correctly.
What is the standard campus board dimensions?
Campus boards can come in a variety of sizes and can be placed at different angles. Most campus boards suitable for home gyms are between 48 and 55 inches tall and are at least 24 inches in width. The campus bars are generally 4.75 to 6 inches apart and are between 1 inch and 2.25 inches in thickness. When mounting campus boards, the mounting angle depends on the available overhead ceiling space, and the desired challenge of the campus board workout. Angles closer to vertical provide a more strenuous workout, while a higher angle will give more room between the first rungs on the board and the floor. The standard mounting angle is between 15 and 20 degrees.
Does an outdoor campus board need additional features?
Campus boarding outdoors can be a great training experience for climbers that want to simulate outdoor rock climbing. Firstly, suitable hardware for exterior use must be employed to prevent oxidation and damage to the campus board. Secondly, we recommend using UV-treated wood so that the board is not damaged by the elements. Finally, when exercising outdoors, proper safety precautions become even more important; we advise using a climbing mat during your outdoor campus board workouts.
How do you make a campus board?
Building a campus board is relatively easy for those that have experience with woodworking, and can be an affordable addition to a home climbing gym. Before building the board, make sure that there is enough space for the board to be mounted in your desired location. We advise building your campus board using plywood at least 2 feet in width, two inches in thickness, and long enough to be mounted to the ceiling with enough space for your legs to be clear of the ground when climbing.
For the sake of safety, it is advised to check the screws, bolts, and other hardware used before each workout on your homemade campus board. We also recommend placing a good crash pad below your climbing board to safely break any falls and prevent injury.
Do pull-ups help with climbing?
Performing pull-ups can indeed support your climbing activities! Not only do these exercises build endurance, but they enhance strength in your arms, shoulders, and back. Pull-ups also aid in refining lock-off strength, facilitating better control while climbing. However, remember that mastering climbing involves a diverse array of training, including honing your leg and footwork techniques. Looking to acquire a pull-up bar? Check out my review of the top 10 rock climbing pull-up bars here.
Can a cross fit pegboard be used for climbing training too?
Cross Fit peg boards are rather similar to a climbing peg board, and can be used to train muscle groups for climbing. Building general upper body and core strength are key to climbing, whether you are climbing indoors or outdoors. A Cross Fit peg board can help to develop this strength, as well as the muscular endurance and cardiovascular fitness needed to improve your climbing. A peg board is a great addition to a climbing fitness gym and can supplement a home training workout plan.
Is there additional climbing gear to accompany a pegboard?
Aside from the peg boards and climbing pegs themselves, there is no additional gear that is necessary to begin peg board climbing. Safety should always be kept in mind, however, and if you will be climbing a peg board that will put you ten feet or more above the ground. We also advise some form of cushioning under the peg board, such as a soft mat, which can be used to soften a fall.
Are peg boards a good workout?
Peg boards are great tools for helping to build muscle. Compared to more common exercises such as wide-grip pullups or dumbbell rows, pegboards can help to stimulate growth in smaller muscle groups that are often neglected. Peg boards are great additions to a home gym to increase upper-body strength, endurance, and stability. We recommend trying a peg board if you want to increase your upper-body strength from the comfort of your own home.
How thick should a climbing peg board be?
A peg board should be thick enough to securely insert pegs when climbing or performing exercises on the board. Most peg boards are at least 1 inch in thickness, with some being three inches thick or more. We advise a thickness of at least one and a quarter inches; this will allow the pegs to be securely inserted into the peg holes without taking up too much space in your home gym.
Are pegboards expensive?
Peg boards are generally inexpensive, and can even be made at home for under $50. Purchasing a peg board can cost anywhere between $30 and $500 depending on the size and model. The average cost of climbing peg boards on the market is in the range of $120 to $150. Should a contractor need to be hired to hang the peg board, the cost of their service will also need to be factored in.
Do you need to train up before using a pegboard?
No extensive training is necessary before using a peg board, but some form of physical conditioning may be needed before performing certain exercises. A general home training exercise regimen including body weight exercises and exercises targeting the latissimus dorsi (such as pull ups) will be helpful for preparing to use the peg board. Many of these exercises can be performed on the peg board itself, so no additional equipment would be needed.