Send to

Choose Destination
J Sports Sci. 2007 Oct;25(12):1433-43.

Physiological determinants of climbing-specific finger endurance and sport rock climbing performance.

Author information

Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.


The aim of the study was to examine several physiological responses to a climbing-specific task to identify determinants of endurance in sport rock climbing. Finger strength and endurance of intermediate rock climbers (n = 11) and non-climbers (n = 9) were compared using climbing-specific apparatus. After maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) trials, two isometric endurance tests were performed at 40% (s = 2.5%) MVC until volitional exhaustion (continuous contractions and intermittent contractions of 10 s, with 3 s rest between contractions). Changes in muscle blood oxygenation and muscle blood volume were recorded in the flexor digitorum superficialis using near infra-red spectroscopy. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05. Climbers had a higher mean MVC (climbers: 485 N, s = 65; non-climbers 375 N, s = 91) (P = 0.009). The group mean endurance test times were similar. The force-time integral, used as a measure of climbing-specific endurance, was greater for climbers in the intermittent test (climbers: 51,769 N x s, s = 12,229; non-climbers: 35,325 N x s, s = 9724) but not in the continuous test (climbers: 21,043 N x s, s = 4474; non-climbers: 15,816 N x s, s = 6263). Recovery of forearm oxygenation during rest phases (intermittent test) explained 41.1% of the variability in the force-time integral. Change in total haemoglobin was significantly greater in non-climbers (continuous test) than climbers (P = 0.023--40% test timepoint, P = 0.014--60% test timepoint). Pressor responses were similar between groups and not related to the force-time integral for either test. We conclude that muscle re-oxygenation during rest phases is a predictor of endurance performance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center