Research > Research Inventory > Biomechanics: Quantifying Forces in Movement

Assessment of climber performance: A multi-centre trial

AUTHORS: N. Draper, D. Gile1 , N. Taylor , I. Solar Altamirano, M. Arias Téllez , J. Baláš , J. Kodejška , V. España-Romero , G. Gallo Cabeza de Vaca , L. Vigouroux , G. Josseron , F. Mally I. Beeretz | Year: 2016
SUMMARY/RESULTS: The International Rock Climbing Research Association presents data from six countries and 114 participants on preliminary findings behind their development of a suite of tests to measure physiological performance. Tests included foot-raise with and without rotation, finger strength, finger hang, power slap, both two-arm and one arm bent-arm hang, pull-ups, plank, and 90 degree leg raise. Results indicate that foot-raise both with and without rotation, as well as the leg raise, did not appear to correlate with climbing performance. However, significant relationships were found with all other tests and climbing performance.
REFERENCE: 3rd Rock Climbing Research Congress, Proceedings, 2016.

Body position and technique effects on displacement in the dyno maneuver in rock climbing

AUTHORS: K.C. Phillips, R.L. Jensen | Year: 2014
SUMMARY/RESULTS: 13 recreational climbers were measured for the vertical change in hand position in squat jumps (arms fully extended down) and “counter-movement” (arms parallel with ground with a quick countermove) jumps across three different starting positions for a dynamic move. While the researchers saw no difference in increased height of the hand as a result of different jump techniques in recreational climbers, they suggest that elite climbers probably have developed the skill to use it effectively. Beta-Angel note: this appears to be an article testing a simple dynamic jump vs. a jump executing a ‘plyometric’ muscle contraction. If that’s the case, then it appears to suggest a “learning-oriented” theory behind why a plyometric “drop” may not be particularly helpful in spite of other evidence (such as from other sports) to the contrary.
REFERENCE: 2nd International Rock Climbing Research Conference, Sep 2014

Surface electromyography measurements of stabilizing ventral muscles in therapeutic climbing

AUTHORS: F. Mally, A. Sabo, F.K. Fuss | Year: 2014
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers measured the muscle activation of four muscles (ab, oblique, chest, and quad) in 2 males and 1 female during two phases on a climbing wall: holding on with both hands, and loosening the left hand. Though there were significant differences where activation occurred and to what extent, researchers found a cross-activation of muscles in the right side of the body from the unweighting of the left hand.
REFERENCE: 2nd International Rock Climbing Research Congress, Sep 2014

Computer models offer new insights into the mechanics of rock climbing

AUTHORS: Russell, S., Zirker, C., Blemker, S. | Year: 2012
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers built computer models to describe the interplay of kinematics (the motion of the limbs and joints) and kinetics (the effect of forces on that motion). The researchers found that climbing experience mattered for kinematics, that more experienced climbers extended their muscle fibers to a more optimal length, and that experienced climbers minimize fatigue whereas inexperienced climbers minimize the force applied on the joint.
REFERENCE: Sports Technology, Volume 5, 2012, Issue 3-4

Influence of steep gradient supporting walls in rock climbing: biomechanical analysis

AUTHORS: Noe, Quaine, Martin | Year: 2001
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers looked at reaction forces and variations of rock climbing in vertical and overhanging positions, focusing on a quadrupedal state and a tripedal state. Researchers found that horizontal force on the overhang in the quadrupedal position was less important, suggesting that equilibrium was easier to maintain than on a vertical wall. The tripedal state had less extensive contralateral supporting force transfer in the overhanging position.
REFERENCE: Gait and Posture, Volume 13, Issue 2, April 2001, Pages 86–94

The effect of body position and number of supports on wall reaction forces in rock climbing

AUTHORS: Quaine, Martin, Blanchi | Year: 1997
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers measured the effect of releasing the right hand from a quadrupedal posture in two positions: (1) close to the wall, and (2) away from the wall.  In the close-to-wall position, the transfer of the force was smaller than when the body was further from the wall and force stayed on the right side of the body.
REFERENCE: Journal of Applied Biomechanics, Volume 13, Issue 1, Feb. 1997