Elbow Strength Profiles and Performance Level in Swedish Climbers

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BackgroundElbow strength ratios in relation to performance level, in male and female climbers, are scarcely documented. The aim of this study was to investigate elbow muscle strength, strength ratio and hand grip strength in climbers and its potential relationship to performance level.HypothesisWe hypothesized that there is a relationship between performance level and various strength variables and that greater strength is associated with higher performance level.Study designCross-sectionalLevel of evidence4MethodsForty-four men (50%) and women (mean age 27.7±6.8 years), with a mean climbing experience of 5.8±5.2 years, participated in the study. Each climber performed upper-extremity strength tests using the Isobex 3.0® and Grippit® and a questionnaire concerning data relating to climbing experience and her/his training routines.ResultsClimbing experience, in years, in relation to route level of climbing yielded an overall significant effect (p=0.043). No significant differences were found between the low, moderate and high route climbing groups when it came to time spent climbing (p > 0.05). Elbow muscle strength showed significant correlations to boulder climbing level (p < 0.05). No relationships were found between route performance level and the muscle strength tests (p > 0.05). No correlations were found between grip strength and performance level in neither the route or the boulder group.ConclusionThe present study suggests that elbow muscle strength is an important factor for boulder performance in contrast to route climbing performance.Clinical relevanceBoulder climbers might benefit from strength training whereas the values of strength gains for route climbers are not clear.Keywords: Boulder; Grip strength; Muscle strength ratio; Route climbing


  • Sofia Ryman Augustsson
  • Annika Frodi-Lundgren
  • Ulla Svantesson
Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Göteborgs universitet

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Sjukgymnastik
TidskriftJ Phys Med Rehabil Disabil
Utgåva nummer1
StatusPublished - 2018 apr 23
Peer review utfördJa