Author(s): Fanchini M, Violette F, Impellizzeri FM, Maffiuletti NA
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Abstract The purpose of this study was to compare maximal muscle strength and rapid force capacity of finger flexors between boulder and lead climbers of national-international level. Ten boulder (mean ± SD, age 27 ± 8 years) and 10 lead climbers (age 27 ± 6 years) volunteered for the study. Ten nonclimbers (age 25 ± 4 years) were also tested. Isometric maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) force and rate of force development (RFD) produced in "crimp" and "open-crimp" hand positions were evaluated on an instrumented hold. Climbers were stronger than nonclimbers. More interestingly, MVC force and RFD were significantly greater in boulder compared with lead climbers (p < 0.05), in both crimp and open-crimp positions. The RFD was the most discriminatory outcome, as the largest difference between boulder and lead climbers (34-38\%) was observed for this variable. The RFD may reflect the specific requirements of bouldering and seems to be more appropriate than pure maximal strength for investigating muscle function in rock climbers.
This article was published in J Strength Cond Res
and referenced in Journal of General Practice