Isolated finger flexor vs. exhaustive whole body climbing tests? How to assess endurance in sport climbers?

Baláš, Jiří, Gajdošík, Jan, Giles, David, Fryer, Simon M ORCID: 0000-0003-0376-0104, Krupková, Dominika, Brtník, Tomáš and Feldmann, Andri (2021) Isolated finger flexor vs. exhaustive whole body climbing tests? How to assess endurance in sport climbers? European Journal of Applied Physiology, 121 (5). pp. 1337-1348. doi:10.1007/s00421-021-04595-7

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Purpose. Sport climbing requires high intensity finger flexor contractions, along with a substantial whole-body systemic oxygen uptake (V̇O2) contribution. Although fatigue is often localised to the finger flexors, the role of systemic V̇O2 and local aerobic mechanisms in climbing performance remains unclear. As such, the primary purpose of this study was to determine systemic and local muscle oxygen responses during both isolated finger flexion and incremental exhaustive whole-body climbing tests. The secondary aim was to determine the relationship of isolated and whole-body climbing endurance tests to climbing ability. Methods. Twenty-two male sport climbers completed a series of isometric sustained and intermittent forearm flexor contractions, and an exhaustive climbing test with progressive steepening of the wall angle on a motorized climbing ergometer. Systemic V̇O2 and flexor digitorum profundus oxygen saturation (StO2) were recorded using portable metabolic analyser and near-infra red spectroscopy, respectively. Results. Muscle oxygenation breakpoint (MOB) was identifiable during an incremental exhaustive climbing test with progressive increases in angle (82±8% and 88±8% V̇O2 and heart rate climbing peak). The peak angle from whole-body treadwall test and impulse from isolated hangboard endurance tests were interrelated (R2 = 0.58-0.64). Peak climbing angle together with mean V̇O2 and StO2 from submaximal climbing explained 83 % of variance in self-reported climbing ability. Conclusions. Both systemic and muscle oxygen kinetics determine climbing specific endurance. Exhaustive climbing and isolated finger flexion endurance tests are interrelated and suitable to assess climbing specific endurance. An exhaustive climbing test with progressive wall angle allows determination of the MOB.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Threshold; NIRS; Muscle oxygen; Intermittent exercise; Isometric contraction
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV191.2 Outdoor Life. Outdoor recreation. > GV199.44 Rock climbing.
Q Science > QP Physiology > QP301.H75 Physiology. Sport
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Rhiannon Goodland
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2021 11:25
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:07

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