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Grip Strength Changes in Rock Climbers Following Indoor Competition


Board #246 June 4 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Wallace, Eli W.; Campbell, Brian J.; Hatchett, Andrew G.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2010 - Volume 42 - Issue 5 - p 696-697
doi: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000385944.17308.7c
E-37 Free Communication/Poster - Sports-Specific Endurance Training: JUNE 4, 2010 7:30 AM - 12:30 PM: ROOM: Hall C

University of Louisiana- Lafayette, Lafayette, LA.


(No disclosure reported)

It has been hypothesized that an athlete's performance in the sport of rock climbing is highly dependent on grip strength and the ability to hold an isometric contraction of the forearm muscles whilst gripping in different positions. Since the research investigating the sport of rock climbing is limited, investigating a key component of the sport such as grip strength is of importance. Therefore this study is an examination of maximal grip strength (MGS) in competitive climbers pre and post comp.

PURPOSE: To investigate maximal grip strength before and after rock climbing competition.

METHODS: Ten healthy male recreational/competitive athletes, with no reported history of injury, and ranging in age from 10 to 23 years served as participants. All participants were active in a competitive climbing series. MGS was measured three times on participant's dominant hand before and after competition to determine an average score. A dependent sample t-test was utilized to determine significance in MGS before and after competition.

RESULTS: A significant difference (t = 2.64, p <0.05) was noted between MGS pre and post competition.

CONCLUSION: It is logical to assume that climber's grip strength decreases after competitive climbing; however, no research until this time has established the magnitude or the significance of this assumption. The significant differences in MGS pre- and post-competition suggest fatigue of the muscles involved. Establishing the relationship between MGS and competitive climbing will allow future investigations to focus on MGS at various levels of competition, while also focusing on conditioning techniques to minimize grip fatigue to enhance performance.

© 2010 American College of Sports Medicine