Research > Research Inventory > Bioenergetics: Recovery during Climbing

Differences in forearm strength, endurance, and hemodynamic kinetics between male boulderers and lead rock climbers

AUTHORS: S. Fryer, KJ Stone, J. Sveen, T. Dickson, v. Espana-Romero, D. Giles, J. Balas, L. Stoner, N. Draper | Year: 2017
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers studied multiple measures in 13 boulderers, 10 lead climbers, and 10 controls, including: muscle oxygen consumption and ability to use oxygen, maximum contraction, endurance, and forearm volume. Researchers found a significant difference in maximum contraction in boulderers over lead climbers, and noted that the muscles ability to use oxygen was not different between climbing groups, but was significant over non-climbers.
REFERENCE: European Journal of Sport Science, 2017 Jul 28:1-7
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17461391.2017.1353135?journalCode=tejs20

Hang Board Performance Time Across Multiple Hangs in Normoxia and Normobaric Hypoxia

AUTHORS: AVanHorn, ML Stoolmiller, PB Watts, L Joubert, K Klier, D Rettke, AM Jones, SN Drum | Year: 2016
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers tested 13 low- to intermediate-grade climbers on a straight arm hang to failure using sloped hand holds on a hangboard under two conditions: (1) normal oxygen, and (2) low oxygen. The low oxygen condition appears to have no effect on average hang time compared to normal oxygen.
REFERENCE: 3rd Rock Climbing Research Congress. Proceedings 2016, Telluride, CO
https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/441095_76117ef587b34539bc29d428a39b366b.pdf

Comment on: Forearm oxygenation and blood flow kinetics during a sustained contraction in multiple ability groups of rock climbers

AUTHORS: T Halsey, N Callender | Year: 2016
Comment: Writers commented on research by Fryer et. al titled: “Forearm oxygenation and blood flow kinetics during a sustained contraction in multiple ability groups of rock climbers.” Writers have concerns with authors of mentioned title’s methods, specifically with respect to whether the measured muscles could be found using the methods described, and whether it would be expected to have an oxygenation response during a climbing grip given it is not associated with finger pulling.
REFERENCE: J Sports Sci. 2016 Nov;34(22):2153.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27578538

Recovery during intermittent testing of finger flexor strength in rock climbers — a predictor of climbing ability?

AUTHORS: J Baláš , M. Michailov, D. Giles, J. Kodejška, M. Panáčková, S. Fryer | Year: 2016
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers tested 22 participants across three finger flexor endurance tests (continual, and two intermittent contractions, each with different recovery strategies: shaking near body, shaking above head, and non-shaking) at 60% maximal voluntary contraction until failure using the rate of force across the contraction, intermittent test time, and muscle re-oxygenation. Shaking of the hand near the body was found to be more effective than keeping the hand above the head, potentially associated with the dilation of blood vessels and increased blood flow. This increased re-oxygenation by approximately 32% compared to non-shaking.
REFERENCE: 3rd Rock Climbing Research Congress. Proceedings 2016, Telluride, CO
PDF: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/441095_76117ef587b34539bc29d428a39b366b.pdf

Active recovery of the finger flexors enhances intermittent handgrip performance in rock climbers

AUTHORS: J Baláš , M. Michailov, D. Giles, J. Kodejška, M. Panáčková, S. Fryer | Year: 2016
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers studied muscle re-oxygenation and intermittent grip performance across types of recovery (no shake, shake close to body, and shake above body) and climbing disciplines (sport climbers, boulderers, and lower grade climbers). Shaking next to the body was associated with significantly greater intermittent finger-grip test time, rate of contraction, and faster muscle re-oxygenation.
REFERENCE: European journal of sport sciences, vol 16, issue 7, 2016
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17461391.2015.1119198?src=recsys&journalCode=tejs20

Forearm oxygenation and blood flow kinetics during a sustained contraction in multiple ability groups of rock climbers

AUTHORS: S Fryer, L Stoner, C Scarrott, A Lucero, T Witter, R Love, T Dickson, N Draper | Year: 2015
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers assessed oxygen saturation and blood flow of 38 male participants (3 groups: control, intermediate and advance) doing a sustained contraction at 40% of maximal voluntary contraction until failure. Since there was no significant differences in total forearm blood flow between groups, researchers suggest the ability of a muscle to use oxygen may be more important than increased blood flow.
REFERENCE: J Sports Sci. 2015;33(5):518-26.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25311579

Brachial artery characteristics and micro-vascular filtration capacity in rock climbers

AUTHORS: EB Thompson, L. Farrow, JE Hunt, MP Lewis, RA Ferguson | Year: 2015
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers looked at two groups, climbers and controls, to assess the diameter of a major blood vessel in the upper arm, as well as blood flow, both at rest and following exercise designed to create (1) peak diameter and (2) maximum dilation of the vessel.   Diameters were greater in climbers vs. controls at all times, and there was no evidence of increased dilation in climbers as a result of exercise.
REFERENCE: Eur J Sport Sci. 2015;15(4):296-304
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25068834

Forearm muscle tissue re-oxygenation kinetics in male sport rock climbers

AUTHORS: S. Fryer , L. Stoner , A. Lucero , T. Witter , C. Scarrott , T. Dickson , K. Stone , N. Draper | Year: 2014
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Summary/Results: This study looked at the oxygenation of forearm muscles after failure in different ability groups. The study found that elite climbers use more oxygen during a contraction and may be able to transport oxygen to their muscles more quickly. Beta-Angel note: All aboard the oxyhaemoglobin express.
REFERENCE: 2nd International Rock Climbing Research Conference, Sep 2014
https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/441095_f52f11ccc489434bb70b78ee10563b95.pdf

Effectiveness of “dangling arm” and “g-tox” recovery techniques

AUTHORS: Luke Roberts | Year: 2005
SUMMARY/RESULTS: This study compared the “dangling arm” resting technique vs. the “g-tox” resting technique, in which the climber shakes his or her arm while repeatedly raising and lowering the arm. The results suggest that the g-tox rest may be a more effective form of recovery.
REFERENCE: Roberts, L Effectiveness of “Dangling Arm” and “G-Tox” Recovery Techniques. Climbing Research. Retrieved 30 June 2017, from: http://www.trainingforclimbing.com/new/research/roberts2005.shtml

Blood lactate response to forearm specific exercise in rock climbers

AUTHORS: D.M. Binney, C.G. Rolf | Year: 2002
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers looked at 15 male rock climbers using repetitive 5 second and 2 second double and single hand contractions to fatigue and used blood to measure blood lactate (a byproduct of the body’s use of simple sugars formed in association with muscular fatigue, often associated with being “pumped”) concentration as a result of finger flexor failure. Researchers determined that the contribution by the finger flexors to blood lactate is both too small and unreliable as a method of predicting performance for whole body climbing. Researchers suspect that the cause of failure in this case was acidosis, and that it would be prudent to assume that lactate has a relationship with performance only when larger muscle groups are being tested.
REFERENCE: Binney DM, Rolf CG. 2nd Int Conf Sci Tech Climbing & Mountaineering, April 2002.
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmcnews/media/u_content/file/competitions/high_perfomance_archive/lactate.pdf

Blood lactate responses to competitive climbing

AUTHOR: Gebert, Werner | Year: 1999
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers looked at climb time, climb height, rank, and blood lactate (a byproduct of the body’s use of simple sugars formed in association with muscular fatigue, often associated with being “pumped”) levels across a quarterfinal and semifinal competition in both men and women. Study suggested that mechanisms, and rate, of forearm blood lactate to heart and liver is very important for rock climbing.
REFERENCE: International Conference on Science and Technology in Climbing and Mountaineering, 1999, University of Leeds, UK.
http://dk.mors.si/Dokument.php?id=44&lang=slv

Arterial blood pressure and forearm vascular conductance responses to sustained and rhythmic isometric exercise and arterial occlusion in trained rock climbers and untrained sedentary subjects

AUTHORS: RA Ferguson, MD Brown | Year: 1997
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers tested climbers vs. sedentary individuals in a sustained and rhythmic forearm isometric endurance activity (5 seconds on, 2 off) to fatigue at 40% maximal voluntary contraction. Blood pressure and forearm blood flow were measured to determine vascular “conductance”. Times to fatigue between the groups were not significantly different, but diastolic and systolic blood pressure were lower in climbers. Additionally, immediately after the exercise, forearm conductance was higher in climbers. It’s suggested that the weak blood pressure response may be due to enhanced vasodilatory capacity in the forearms which supports greater endurance and may facilitate a climber’s ability to make repetitive sustained contractions.
REFERENCE: Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1997;76(2):174-80.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9272777