Coordination in climbing: effect of skill, practice and constraints manipulation

ORTH, Dominic, DAVIDS, Keith and SEIFERT, Ludovic (2016). Coordination in climbing: effect of skill, practice and constraints manipulation. Sports Medicine, 46 (2), 255-268.

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Link to published version:: 10.1007/s40279-015-0417-5


BACKGROUND: Climbing is a physical activity and sport involving many subdisciplines. Minimization of prolonged pauses, use of a relatively simple path through a route and smooth transitions between movements broadly define skilled coordination in climbing. OBJECTIVES: To provide an overview of the constraints on skilled coordination in climbing and to explore future directions in this emerging field. METHODS: A systematic literature review was conducted in 2014 and retrieved studies reporting perceptual and movement data during climbing tasks. To be eligible for the qualitative synthesis, studies were required to report perceptual or movement data during climbing tasks graded for difficulty. RESULTS: Qualitative synthesis of 42 studies was carried out, showing that skilled coordination in climbing is underpinned by superior perception of climbing opportunities; optimization of spatial-temporal features pertaining to body-to-wall coordination, the climb trajectory and hand-to-hold surface contact; and minimization of exploratory behaviour. Improvements in skilled coordination due to practice are related to task novelty and the difficulty of the climbing route relative to the individual's ability level. CONCLUSION: Perceptual and motor adaptations that improve skilled coordination are highly significant for improving the climbing ability level. Elite climbers exhibit advantages in detection and use of climbing opportunities when visually inspecting a route from the ground and when physically moving though a route. However, the need to provide clear guidelines on how to improve climbing skill arises from uncertainties regarding the impacts of different practice interventions on learning and transfer.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Sports Engineering Research
Identification Number: 10.1007/s40279-015-0417-5
Depositing User: Margaret Boot
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2016 15:47
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2016 15:47

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