from it have been shown to differentiate ability groups of rock climbers 2 and disciplines 3 and are likely to be a trainable characteristic. 4 As such, the fatigue resistance of the finger flexors is considered one of the most important factors in climbing performance. However, although methods for
David Giles, Joel B. Chidley, Nicola Taylor, Ollie Torr, Josh Hadley, Tom Randall and Simon Fryer
Jan Kodejška, Jiří Baláš and Nick Draper
and 8°C CWI on repeat handgrip performance to failure. Methods A total of 32 sport climbers (15 males: age 27.7 = [10.2] y; body mass = 71.0 [9.3] kg; height = 178.3 [9.7] cm; 17 females: age = 26.3 [4.6] y; body mass = 57.7 [5.6] kg; height = 166.4 [5.7] cm) volunteered for the study. Self
Blair Crewther, Konrad Witek, Paweł Draga, Piotr Zmijewski and Zbigniew Obmiński
supplementation on serum T, calculated free T [cFT], and other biomarkers of the HPG-axis (i.e., LH, sex-hormone binding goblin [SHBG]) in male climbers. Rock climbing can activate the HPG-axis ( Sherk et al., 2011 ), and thus it may present one pathway for training adaptation in this sport. A standard protocol
Karen M. Appleby and Leslee A. Fisher
Rock climbing has been traditionally defined as a “masculine” sport (Young, 1997). The experiences of women in this sport have rarely been studied. The purpose of this study was to investigate the experiences of high-level female rock climbers. Qualitative analysis of interviews with eight high-level female climbers (ages 19 to 30 years) revealed three general themes: (a) compliance to hegemonic gender norms, (b) questioning hegemonic gender norms, and (c) resisting hegemonic gender norms. A discussion and analysis of these themes suggests that these female rock climbers engaged in a process of negotiated resistance as they attained a climbing identity, gained acceptance into the climbing subculture, and increased performance in the sport of rock climbing.
David Giles, Vanesa España Romero, Inmaculada Garrido, Alejandro de la O Puerta, Keeron Stone and Simon Fryer
To examine differences in oxygenation kinetics in the nondominant and dominant flexor digitorum profundus (FDP) of rock climbers.
Participants were 28 sport climbers with a range of on-site abilities (6a+ to 8a French Sport). Using near-infrared spectroscopy, oxygenation kinetics of the FDP was assessed by calculating the time to half recovery (t 1/2 recovery) of the tissue-saturation index (TSI) after 3–5 min of ischemia.
A 2-way mixed-model ANOVA found a nonsignificant interaction (P = .112) for TSI by sex. However, there was a significant main effect (P = .027) of handedness (dominant vs nondominant FDP). The dominant forearm recovered 13.6% faster (t 1/2 recovery mean difference = 1.12 s, 95% CI 0.13–2.10 s) than the nondominant FDP. This was not affected by 6-mo on-site climbing ability or sex (P = .839, P = .683).
Significant intraindividual differences in oxygenation kinetics of the FDP were found. Improvements in oxygenation kinetics in the FDP are likely due to the abilities of the muscle to deliver, perfuse, and consume oxygen. These enhancements may be due to structural adaptations in the microvasculature, such as an increase in capillary density and enhanced improvement in capillary filtration.
Isabelle Schöffl, Frank Einwag, Wolf Strecker, Friedrich Hennig and Volker Schöffl
Flexor tendon pulley ruptures are the most common injury in rock climbers. Therapeutic standards usually include a prolonged use of taping applied as a replacement for the lost pulley in a circular fashion at the base of the proximal phalanx. Our biomechanical considerations, however, suggest a new taping method, the H-tape. The purpose of the study is to evaluate whether this new taping method can effectively change the course of the flexor tendon and therefore reduce the tendon–bone distance. In order to compare the effects of different taping methods described in the literature with the newly developed taping method, we performed standardized ultrasound examinations of 8 subjects with singular A2 pulley rupture and multiple pulley ruptures of A2 and A3 pulleys and determined the respective tendon–bone distance for the different taping methods, versus without tape at a preset position on the proximal phalanx. In a second approach, we evaluated the effect of the new taping method on the strength of the injured finger using a force platform on 12 subjects with different pulley ruptures with injuries older than 1 year. The new taping method decreased the tendon–bone distance in the injured finger significantly by 16%, whereas the other taping methods did not. The strength development was significantly better with the new tape for the crimp grip position (+13%), but there was no significant improvement for the hanging position. We recommend taping with the newly presented taping technique after pulley rupture.
Lars Donath and Peter Wolf
Multiaxial force sensors were applied to measure interaction forces during dynamic movements, such as climbing. When interaction forces are interpreted, minimal detectable changes, typical errors, and coefficients of variation of related performance metrics should be quantified. Thus, the presented study evaluated absolute and relative between-trial reliability with and without previous familiarization trials. Eleven Swiss elite climbers (5 females, 6 males) were tested during 2 repetitive climbing sequences (including 4 instrumented holds: 2 crimps, 1 undercling, 1 sloper). To ensure comparable relative intensity, females climbed at 20°, 25°, 30°, 25°, and 20° wall inclination, while males climbed at 25°, 30°, 35°, 30°, and 25°. Contact time, maximal resultant force, mean resultant force, impulse, and the number of load changes were analyzed at the lowest inclination. Acceptable to good between-trial reliability was found for nearly all holds and performance metrics. Performance analyses after 5 minutes of familiarization on the unknown boulder, which equals up to 3 trials, yielded to higher variability compared with performance analyses after several familiarization trials. Accordingly, the majority of absolute and relative reliability data improved after familiarization trails. Thus, to be detectable, interventional changes have to exceed higher biological variability during on-sight conditions than during red-point conditions.
Shaunna M. Burke, Andrew C. Sparkes and Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson
This ethnographic study examined how a group of high altitude climbers (N = 6) drew on ethnomethodological principles (the documentary method of interpretation, reflexivity, indexicality, and membership) to interpret their experiences of cognitive dissonance during an attempt to scale Mt. Everest. Data were collected via participant observation, interviews, and a field diary. Each data source was subjected to a content mode of analysis. Results revealed how cognitive dissonance reduction is accomplished from within the interaction between a pattern of self-justification and self-inconsistencies; how the reflexive nature of cognitive dissonance is experienced; how specific features of the setting are inextricably linked to the cognitive dissonance experience; and how climbers draw upon a shared stock of knowledge in their experiences with cognitive dissonance.
Michail Lubomirov Michailov, Audry Morrison, Mano Mitkov Ketenliev and Boyanka Petkova Pentcheva
Traditional treadmill or bicycle ergometry neglects the upper-body musculature that predominantly limits or terminates rock-climbing performance (ie, the inability to continually pull up one’s body mass or “hang on”).
To develop an incremental maximal upper-body ergometer test (UBT) to evaluate climbers’ aerobic fitness and sport-specific work capacity and to compare these results with a traditional treadmill protocol.
Eleven elite sport climbers (best redpoint grade Fr.8b) performed a UBT on a vertically mounted rowing ergometer and, on a separate occasion, performed a maximal incremental treadmill test (TMT). Cardiorespiratory parameters were measured continuously. Lactate (La) samples were collected.
Peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) and heart rate in UBT and TMT were 34.1 ± 4.1 vs 58.3 ± 2.6 mL · min−1 · kg−1 and 185 ± 8 vs 197 ± 8 beats/min, respectively, and both variables were of significantly lower magnitude during UBT (P < .001). End-of-test La levels for UBT (11.9 ± 1.7 mmol/L) and TMT (12.3 ± 2.5 mmol/L) were similar (P = .554). Treadmill VO2peak was not correlated with either upper-body (UB) VO2peak (P = .854) or redpoint and on-sight climbing grade ability (P > .05). UB VO2peak and peak power output per kg body mass were both strongly correlated (P < .05) with climbing grade ability. The highest correlation coefficient was calculated between current on-sight grade and UB VO2peak (r = .85, P = .001).
UBT aerobic- and work-capacity results were strongly correlated to climbing-performance variables and reflected sport-specific fatigue, and TMT results were not. UBT is preferred to TMT to test and monitor dedicated and elite rock climbers’ training status.
Although it has generated much theorizing (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975; Ellis, 1973; Harris, 1980; Mitchell, 1983), the phenomenon of stress-seeking behavior, as demonstrated in regular long-term involvement in the high-risk sports, has not been researched widely. In an attempt to go beyond the prevalent but simplistic "exhilaration' ' type of explanation for stress-seeking, this study examined the phenomenon in terms of the psychological characteristics associated with successful long-term involvement in the risk sport of rock climbing. Four behavioral characteristics were assessed: sensation seeking (SS), defined as "the need for varied, novel and complex sensations and experiences and the willingness to undertake physical and social risks for the sake of such experiences" (Zuckerman, 1979, p. 10); trait anxiety (TA), which refers to relatively stable individual differences in anxiety proneness (Spielberger, Gorsuch, & Lushene, 1970); need for achievement (NAch), which relates to the determinants of direction, magnitude, and persistence of behavior when the individual knows that his or her performance will be evaluated (Atkinson, 1964); and affiliation (AFF), which refers to the tendency to seek out, attain, and maintain a social bond with other people (Alderman, 1974).