The Effect of Body Position and Number of Supports on Wall Reaction Forces in Rock Climbing

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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This manuscript describes three-dimensional force data collected during postural shifts performed by individuals simulating rock-climbing skills. Starting from a quadrupedal vertical posture, 6 expert climbers had to release their right-hand holds and maintain the tripedal posture for a few seconds. The vertical and contact forces (lateral and anteroposterior forces) applied on the holds were analyzed in two positions: an “imposed” position (the trunk far from the supporting wall) and an “optimized” position (the trunk close to the wall and lower contact forces at the holds). The tripedal postures performed in the two positions were achieved by the same pattern of vertical and contact forces exerted by the limbs on the holds. In the optimized position, the transfer of the forces was less extensive than in the imposed position, so that the forces were exerted primarily on the ipsilateral hold. Moreover, a link between the contact force values and the couple due to body weight with respect to the feet was shown.

The authors are with Laboratoire Sport et Motricite, E.A. 597 UFR.APS, Université Joseph Fourier, BP 53-X, 38041 Grenoble cédex, France.

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