SUMMARY: RECREATIONAL AND COMPETITIVE ROCK CLIMBING HAS RAPIDLY INCREASED IN POPULARITY THROUGHOUT THE PAST FEW DECADES. BECAUSE ROCK CLIMBING HAS BECOME A MAINSTREAM ACTIVITY AND COMPETITIVE SPORT, SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH EXPLORING THE PHYSIOLOGY OF ROCK CLIMBING PERFORMANCE HAS EXPANDED, YET THERE IS LIMITED INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO THE GENERAL STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COMMUNITY REGARDING TRAINING PRACTICES TO HELP CLIMBERS OPTIMIZE PERFORMANCE. THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE IS TO EQUIP THE STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING SPECIALIST WITH THE BASIC KNOWLEDGE OF THE SPORT, DESCRIBE THE PHYSIOLOGICAL DEMANDS OF CLIMBING, AND PROVIDE A FRAMEWORK OF RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DEVELOPING STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING PROGRAMS TO ENHANCE ROCK CLIMBING PERFORMANCE.
1Department of Health and Physical Education, Marywood University, Scranton, Pennsylvania
2Quest, Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
3Department of Physical Therapy, High Point University, High Point, North Carolina
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Kevin C. Phillips recently completed his Bachelor's of Science in Athletic Training at Marywood University.
Joseph M. Sassaman is a climbing instructor with the Quest program at Bloomsburg University.
James M. Smoliga is an associate professor of Physiology in the Department of Physical Therapy at High Point University..