Physiological and psychological differences between novices and advanced boulderers

  • Emma Gabriano Westmont College, Department of Kinesiology
  • Julia Swanson Westmont College, Department of Kinesiology
  • Vincent Luna Westmont College, Department of Kinesiology
  • Jared Harris Westmont College, Department of Kinesiology
  • Brett Shagena Westmont College, Department of Kinesiology
  • Noah Banez Westmont College, Department of Kinesiology
  • Trent Shaw Westmont College, Department of Kinesiology
  • Eric Wong Westmont College, Department of Kinesiology
  • Jacob Clark Westmont College, Department of Kinesiology
  • Timothy A. VanHaitsma Westmont College, Department of Kinesiology
Keywords: rock climbing, pinch grip, power to weight ratio

Abstract

Introduction: Rock climbing, especially bouldering, has increasingly become a mainstream sport. However, there has been little research comparing physiological and psychological traits of advanced and novice climbers. Methods: Thirty-two climbers (14 advanced (ADV), 18 novice (NOV) took part in this study. Anthropometric, body composition, flexibility, force, and psychological measurements were performed. MANOVA and post-hoc t-tests were used to compare between groups. Results: ADV climbed harder than NOV (V scale – 7.5 ± 1.6 vs 4.4 ± 1.2, p < 0.05). ADV were found to have significantly lower body fat percentage (12.3 ± 6.7 vs 17.5 ± 6.8%, p < 0.05), and higher grip strength relative to body weight (normal grip relative to body weight – 76.2 ± 14.1 vs. 63.1 ± 16.8% right hand, 74.7 ± 13.9 vs 58.9 ± 12.2% left hand, p < 0.05, Pinch grip relative to body weight – 0.4 ± .09 vs 0.3 ± .05%, p < 0.05), and maximum rate of force development as a percentage of body weight during a pull-up (.86 ± .38 vs .37 ± .30%, p < 0.01). Discussion: Advanced climbers have a significantly better power to weight ratio, giving them a better ability to generate explosive movements. It may be beneficial for novice climbers to train to increase their power to weight ratio, whether by increasing upper body power, decreasing fat mass, or increasing the grip to weight ratio.

Published
2020-03-12
How to Cite
Gabriano, E., Swanson, J., Luna, V., Harris, J., Shagena, B., Banez, N., Shaw, T., Wong, E., Clark, J., & VanHaitsma, T. A. (2020). Physiological and psychological differences between novices and advanced boulderers . Journal of Kinesiology & Wellness, 9, 1-12. Retrieved from https://jkw.wskw.org/index.php/jkw/article/view/61
Section
Articles: Volume 9 #2 (Student Edition)