A Comparison of Upper Body Strength between Rock Climbing and Resistance Trained Men

  • Macias K
  • Brown L
  • Coburn J
  • et al.
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Studies have shown that advanced rock climbers have greater upper body<br />strength than that of novice climbers or non-climbers. The purpose of<br />this study was to compare upper body strength between rock climbing and<br />resistance trained men. Fifteen resistance trained men (age 25.28 +/-<br />2.26 yrs; height 177.45 +/- 4.08 cm; mass 85.17 +/- 10.23 kg; body fat<br />10.13 +/- 5.40%) and 15 rock climbing men (age 23.25 +/- 2.23 yrs;<br />height 175.57 +/- 8.03 cm; mass 66.66 +/- 9.40 kg; body fat 6.86 +/-<br />3.82%) volunteered to participate. Rock climbing (RC) men had been<br />climbing for at least two years, 2-3 times a week, able to climb at<br />least a boulder rating of V4-5 and had no current injuries. Resistance<br />trained (RT) men had been total body strength training for at least two<br />years, 2-3 times a week with no current injuries. Each participant<br />performed pull-ups to failure, grip strength, and pinch strength. RT<br />were significantly older and heavier than RC. RC performed significantly<br />more pull-ups (19.31 +/- 4.31) than RT (15.64 +/- 4.82). RC had greater<br />relative pinch strength (R 0.27 +/- 0.10 kg/kg; L 0.24 +/- 0.07 kg/kg)<br />than RT (R 0.19 +/- 0.04 kg/kg; L 0.16 +/- 0.05 kg/kg) and greater<br />relative grip strength (R 0.70 +/- 0.10 kg/kg; L 0.65 +/- 0.12 kg/kg)<br />than RT (R 0.57 +/- 0.14 kg/kg; L 0.56 +/- 0.15 kg/kg). Overall, RC men<br />demonstrated greater performance in tests involving relative strength<br />when compared to RT men. Rock climbing can promote increased upper body<br />strength even in the absence of traditional resistance training.




Macias, K., Brown, L., Coburn, J., & Chen, D. (2015). A Comparison of Upper Body Strength between Rock Climbing and Resistance Trained Men. Sports, 3(3), 178–187. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports3030178

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