Research

J. Medernach (2018): Das Schoolboard: Ein methodisches Konzept zur Förderung des Boulderns im luxemburgischen Sportunterricht.

Bouldering is a discipline of sport climbing undertaken without ropes at low height artificial walls or natural rocks with landing mats to minimise injury risks. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the popularity and the current state of application of bouldering in the luxembourgish school system. Moreover, the study aimed to examine the use of the developed Schoolboard as a measure to counter current, infrastructural deficits and as a methodical way to teach the basic bouldering skills in physical education. The results indicate, that bouldering is a popular sport (p < .001) which is perceived by our students as funny (p < .001) and exciting (p < .001). 81.5% of the surveyed students confirmed that they have never been bouldering before and 76.7% have never practised bouldering during their climbing physical education courses. 85.7% of the surveyed sports teachers and 100% of the climbing coaches indicated that the use of the Schoolboard could promote the bouldering sport in physical education and would make a climbing wall more interesting and more varied (p < .001). Moreover, 100% of the sports teachers stated that the Schoolboard could be used to teach climbing-specific skills in a differentiated and age-adapted way. Over 80% of the surveyed sports teachers confirmed, that these climbing-specific skills could be taught quicker, easier and faster on the Schoolboard compared to a conventional climbing wall. With regard to the investigated learning processes, significant higher results (p < .001) were found for bouldering on the Schoolboard including methodical flashcards and for bouldering on the bouldering wall including a deductive learning path compared to bouldering with an inductive learning path. These results suggest that both the methodical path and the sports teachers are central for the students´ learning process in bouldering.

J. Medernach, H. Kleinöder, & H. Lötzerich (2016): Movement demands of elite female and male athletes in competitive bouldering

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7752/jpes.2016.03132

The aim of this study was to investigate the movement demands of elite female and male athletes in competitive bouldering (CB). Data collection included (a) the number of attempts per boulder (NAB), (b) the attempt duration per boulder (ADB), (c) the bouldering time to ascent a boulder (BTB), (d) the total bouldering time per boulder (TBB), (e) the rest time between attempts (RTA), and (f) the average gripping time (AGT) of the top 20 ranked female and male competitors during the qualification round of the bouldering world-cup in 2013 in Munich, Germany. The NAB and RTA were significantly higher in women (5.1 ± 1.9; 33.4 ± 15.5 s) compared with men (4.3 ± 2.2; 27.2 ± 13.7 s). In contrast, a significantly higher ADB, TBB, and AGT were found for men (23.8 ± 15.2 s; 79.6 s ± 15.7 s; 6.1 ± 2.3 s) compared with women (15.2 ± 8.8 s; 63.9 ± 19.9 s; 4.1 ± 2.7 s). These findings suggest that grip endurance can be considered a key factor in CB due to multiple attempts, relatively long bouldering times, and a short rest time between attempts. Moreover, the results emphasize the importance of a gender-specific training regimen in CB.

J. Medernach, H. Kleinöder, & H., Lötzerich: Fingerboard in Competitive Bouldering: Training Effects on Grip Strength and Endurance.

DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000873. 

Bouldering (BL) is an independent discipline of sport climbing, with grip strength and endurance as key factors. Although the sport has grown increasingly popular and competitive, limited research has been conducted on commonly used training methods to maximize BL performance. The purpose of this study was to investigate the training effects of 4 weeks of fingerboarding (FB) on grip strength and endurance in competitive BL. Twenty-three highly advanced male boulderers (25.6 ± 4.4 y; 1.78 ± 0.05 m; 70.1 ± 5.4 kg; 6.2 ± 2.8 y climbing; 7b+ Fb mean ability) were randomly allocated to a 4-week FB (n = 11) or BL (n = 12) training regimen. Pretests and posttests (50-min duration) involved (a) handheld dynamometry (GS) to assess grip strength, (b) dead hangs (DH), and (c) intermittent finger hangs (IFH) to assess grip endurance. After the 4-week regimen, GS increased significantly in the FB group (2.5 ± 1.4 kg, p = 0.001) but not in the BL group (1.4 ± 2.8 kg, p = 0.109). The mean increase in DH ranged from 5.4 to 6.7 seconds in the FB group and was significantly (p = 0.05) higher than that in the BL group (3.0–3.9 seconds). Finally, significantly higher IFH gains were observed in the FB group (p = 0.004), with a mean gain of 26 seconds, but not in the BL group (p = 0.168). These results suggest that FB is highly effective in increasing grip strength and endurance in competitive BL.

Full article published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

J. Medernach, H. Kleinöder, & H. Lötzerich (2015): Effect of interval bouldering on hanging and climbing time to exhaustion.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/19346182.2015.1063643

Indoor bouldering consists of low height climbing sequences completed without ropes on artificial walls with landing mats for protection. Although bouldering is increasingly popular and competitive, scientific research remains sparse and information on ideal training regimens is limited. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of interval bouldering on hanging and climbing time to subjective exhaustion. Twenty-four male highly advanced boulderers (25.2 ± 4.8 yrs; 1.77 ± 0.07 m; 69.1 ± 5.3 kg; 6.8 ± 3.1 yrs climbing; 7b Fontainebleau bouldering ability) were randomly allocated to a 4-week interval bouldering (IB with n = 12) and conventional bouldering (CB with n = 12) training regimen. Pre- and post-tests consisted of intermittent finger hangs (IFH) and climbing time to exhaustion (CTE). Results indicate significant higher IFH times after 4-week regimen for IB (+27.3 ± 18.4 s, t11

= -5.16, P < .001), but not for CB (+ 4.9 ± 11.5 s, t11 = -1.47, P = .168). Moreover, a significant higher CTE was displayed for IB (+ 36.2 ± 14.1 s, t11 = -8.85, P < .001), but not for CB (6.1 ± 19.3 s, t11 = -1.09, P =.298). These findings suggest that IB is a highly effective method to increase hanging and climbing time to exhaustion in competitive bouldering.

Full article published in the Sports Technology Journal

J. Medernach (2015): Einsatz sportartspezifischer Trainingsmethoden im Wettkampfbouldern.

Zielsetzung der Studie ist die Untersuchung der Wirkungsweise von Bouldern (BL), Intervall Bouldern (IB), dem Training am Moonboard (MB), am Hangboard (HB) und am Vibrationsboard (VB) auf die Maximalkraft der Fingermuskulatur (MAF), die Kraftfähigkeit der Armbeuger und der Schultergürtelmuskulatur (KAS) und die lokale Muskelausdauer (LOM). 57 männliche Wettkampfboulderer (25,4 ± 4,5 Jahre, 177,9 ± 5,7 cm, 70,0 ± 5,6 kg, 6,6 ± 2,9 Jahre Klettererfahrung, 7b Fb Leistungsniveau) wurden in die Trainingsgruppen BL (n = 12), IB (n = 12), MB (n = 11), HB (n = 11) und VB (n = 11) aufgeteilt und absolvierten 12 Trainingseinheiten à 150 min innerhalb von vier Wochen. Die Datenerhebung erfolgte mithilfe von Pre- und Posttests (120 min). Für VB (+7,3%) und HB (+5,0%) konnte nach vierwöchiger Intervention eine signifikante (p < .001) Steigerung der MAF beobachtet werden, aber nicht für BL (+2,6%), IB (+1,0%) und MB (+1,2%). Eine signifikante (p < .001) Zunahme der Anzahl an Wiederholungen beim Tabata-Protokoll und der Klimmzüge wurde für VB (+36,8%; +38,4%) und HB (+32,4%; +21,3%) festgestellt, aber nicht für BL (+14%; +4,8%), IB (+10,2%; +7,1%) und MB (-7,5%; +3,8%). Für die Kletterzeit bis zur individuellen Ausbelastung konnte eine signifikante (p < .001) Zunahme für IB (+38,8%) und VB (+31,1%) beobachtet werden, aber nicht für BL (+6,6%), MB (+2,6%) und HB (+10%). Diese Ergebnisse zeigen, dass die MAF und die KAS innerhalb einer vierwöchigen Trainingsphase durch HB und VB und die LOM durch IB und VB gesteigert werden können.

J. Medernach (2011): Einsatz des Hangboards zur Steigerung der lokalen Kraftausdauer im Klettersport.

In der vorliegenden empirischen Untersuchung wurde der Einsatz des Hangboards zur Steigerung der lokalen Kraftausdauer im Klettersport untersucht. In diesem Zusammenhang wurde die Wirkungsweise des Hangboards im Maximalkraftbereich überprüft und versucht einen möglichen Zusammenhang zwischen den beobachteten Maximalkraftzuwächsen und der Steigerung der lokalen Kraftausdauer herzustellen. Desweiteren wurde der Einsatz des Hangboards als ergänzendes Trainingsmedium untersucht und die Nachhaltigkeit der Trainingseffekte im Kraftausdauerbereich überprüft. Für die Hangboardgruppe (n=12), in welcher die Probanden ausschließlich einmal wöchentlich über einen zwölfwöchigen Untersuchungszeitraum am Hangboard trainierten, konnte eine höchstsignifikante (p = 0,000) Zunahme der lokalen Kraftausdauerleistungsfähigkeit festgestellt werden. Auch für die untersuchte Kontrollgruppe (n=12), in welcher die Probanden das Hangboardtraining als Ergänzung zum herkömmlichen Training absolvierten, konnte anhand der deskriptiven Datenanalyse eine deutliche Zunahme der Kraftausdauerleistungsfähigkeit festgestellt werden. Desweiteren konnte zur Überprüfung der Wirkungsweise der Maximalkraftzuwächse auf die Kraftausdauerleistungsfähigkeit für sämtliche Probanden der beiden Stichproben gleichzeitig zu einer Maximalkraftzunahme über den zwölfwöchigen Untersuchungszeitraum auch eine Verbesserung der Kraftausdauerleistungsfähigkeit beobachtet werden. Mithilfe der Nachuntersuchung konnte festgestellt werden, dass Kraftausdauerleistungszuwächse am Hangboard relativ schnell verloren gehen.