Analysis of Contemporary Anaerobic Sport Specific Training Techniques for Rock Climbing

Authors: Justin Mabe* and Stephen L. Butler, Ed.D.

Justin Mabe is a graduate student of the United States Sports Academy and a faculty member of Howard Community College where he instructs in lifetime fitness and health science courses. Previously running a rock climbing wall for the Y, Justin developed an interest in the application of sport and conditioning techniques to rock climbing.

*Corresponding Author:
Justin Mabe
6043 Tree Swallow Ct
Columbia, MD, 21044
jmmabe@students.ussa.edu
443-517-7434

ABSTRACT
This review seeks to centralize research on contemporary training techniques and their purpose in the development of training programs for elite level climbing. A needs analysis determined that elite level rock climbing demonstrates a need for muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility (namely in the hip joint) to be enhanced in order to improve performance in rock climbing.

Current research into sport specific exercises for rock climbers focuses on maximal strength in the finger flexor and forearm muscles with respect to body weight. Additional attributes that contributed to performance are the shoulder girdle and core muscles, flexibility in the hip joints, and enhanced anaerobic energy pathways.

The sport specific exercises identified for development of sport specific attributes are: hang board, campus board, system training, and hyper gravity training. Through an informal movement analysis, three phases of climbing were determined: stabilization, preparation, and displacement. Potential application of the sport specific exercises can be derived from these phases of movement. Exercises that closely replicate certain phases of movement present greater likelihood of improving performance.

Future research in performance enhancement of rock climbers needs to evaluate the efficacy of hang board, campus board, system training, and hyper gravity training in order to reliably demonstrate the value of these exercises. Furthermore, little research has been conducted evaluating the effect of leg and core strength on elite level rock climbing.

In order for coaches and athletes to apply these findings, close evaluation of climbing movement must be conducted in order to best match training apparatus to weaknesses in the athlete’s training. All of the exercises will improve maximal voluntary contractile strength in the finger flexor and forearm muscles. Improving this attribute alone will only assist in the stabilization phase of climbing movement, while each exercise can serve to improve aspects of the other phases of movement.

KEYWORDS: rock climbing, performance, system training

Continue reading

Effects of 6-Week Plyometric Training on Vertical Jump Performance and Muscle Activation of Lower Extremity Muscles

Author: Kerim SOZBIR*(1)

(1)Kerim SOZBIR is an Assistant Professor and lectures Human Anatomy and Physiology, Speed Training, and Track and Field in the Department of Coaching Education at the University of Abant Izzet Baysal in TURKEY. He is also Head Coach of University Table Tennis, and Track and Field Teams.

*Corresponding Author:
Kerim SOZBIR, Ph.D
Department of Coaching Education, School of Physical Education and Sports,
University of Abant Izzet Baysal, Golkoy Kampusu, 14030, Bolu/TURKEY
Office Phone: +903742541000 (ext. 2027)
Fax: +90 374 2534636
Email: sozbir_k@ibu.edu.tr

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of 6-week plyometric training on vertical jump performance and electromyography (EMG) activities of vastus lateralis (VL), vastus medialis (VM), and gastrocnemius (GAS) muscles during countermovement jump (CMJ). Twenty-four highly physically active physical education students were randomly assigned either to a plyometric (PLY) group or a control group. The experimental group performed plyometric exercises 2 times a week for 6 weeks, whereas the control group participated only in their lectures. The results revealed that there were no significant changes in either vertical jump height or EMG activities of selected muscles for the control group (p greater than 0.05). However, after 6 weeks of plyometric training, significant improvements (p less than 0.05) were observed in EMG activities of VL (13.25%), VM (9.60%), and GAS (13.93%) muscles, and no significant increase (p greater than 0.05) was found in CMJ (2.77%) in the PLY group. In conclusion, the findings of the this study suggest that 6 weeks of PLY training, in addition to the regular academic program, induced significant improvements in EMG activities of lower extremity muscles but no significant increases in vertical jump height. Accordingly, PLY exercises are recommended as part of a regular academic program in order to increase important components of athletic performance for physical education students.

KEYWORDS: Stretch-shortening cycle, electromyography, root mean square, countermovement jump, knee extensor muscles.
Continue reading