Are your fingers strong enough?


Original Post
Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 549

Interesting article using a testing technique widely available.
Including norms related to climbing ability.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281930281_Sport-specific_finger_flexor_strength_assessment_using_electronic_scales_in_sport_climbers

Nick Henscheid · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 290

Interesting study, though the conclusion isn't really that surprising. Basically they find that you can use a scale to measure finger strength, and that the measurements correlate roughly with climbing ability. Interestingly, one of their volunteers has "self reported redpoint ability" of UIAA XII, which corresponds to 5.15c. I'm guessing Ondra participated? Pretty cool that elite level climbers would be willing to participate in science!

ChrisHau · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 315

I believe the answer is always no :)

But seriously, an interesting study, and a good attempt to establish some "strength benchmarks" that are lacking in climbing training.

FYI the edge they use is almost identical to the lower Beastmaker 2000 rung, so you can see for yourself where you fall. The results of my quick and dirty test:

1) My finger strength lined up almost perfectly with my climbing level.
2) I am super fat.

Cheers!

Nate Reno · · Highlands Ranch, CO · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 35

Well yeah, the ability buckets they're grouping the participants in are a ginormous over 1.5 number grades wide, of course they're correlated! Am I missing something? (I fully admit to have not have fully read the entire article, nor understood all of it!)

Which metolius campus rung does their testing hold correspond to, medium? I have no idea what the radius on the metolius rungs, but there's a picture of a small one midway thru
https://rockclimberstrainingmanual.com/2014/01/01/comparing-campus-board-configurations/
I think the metolius radius is probably smaller (sharper, easier hold) than their testing hold.

ChrisHau · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 315

The medium metolius rung is about 1", or 25 mm, and likely more incut than their testing rung (depending on which side you use).

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 549
Nate Reno · · Highlands Ranch, CO · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 35
ChrisHau wrote:The medium metolius rung is about 1", or 25 mm, and likely more incut than their testing rung (depending on which side you use).
So, looks like I need some wood, router, and 12mm bit.

Mark E Dixon wrote:More data
Cliffnotes plz! I still don't know wtf I'm reading there =)
So does that mean, to climb 5.16d (UIAA 13, which I don't even see on the table), that you would be expected to be able to 1-arm hang w/ crimp or open grip for 3-5seconds with ~1.25 x body weight?
slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,045
Nate Reno wrote: So, looks like I need some wood, router, and 12mm bit. Cliffnotes plz! I still don't know wtf I'm reading there =) So does that mean, to climb 5.16d (UIAA 13, which I don't even see on the table), that you would be expected to be able to 1-arm hang w/ crimp or open grip for 3-5seconds with ~1.25 x body weight?
best way is to just buy a metolius rung, chop it in half, and mount it onto french cleats.
Nate Reno · · Highlands Ranch, CO · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 35
slim wrote: best way is to just buy a metolius rung, chop it in half, and mount it onto french cleats.
You still might not end up w/ a radius all that similar to their testing hold though.
Dylan Colon · · Eugene, OR · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 340
Nick Henscheid wrote:Interesting study, though the conclusion isn't really that surprising. Basically they find that you can use a scale to measure finger strength, and that the measurements correlate roughly with climbing ability. Interestingly, one of their volunteers has "self reported redpoint ability" of UIAA XII, which corresponds to 5.15c. I'm guessing Ondra participated? Pretty cool that elite level climbers would be willing to participate in science!
The authors all appear to be Czech, so that might actually be true. This is pretty cool, I'm a pretty big data nerd in my non-climbing life.

EDIT: The authors in the paper describe grouping their participants into "lower grade," "intermediate," "advanced," "elite," and "high elite," with only one participant in the latter category. Pretty sure we know who that is.
Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 549
Nate Reno wrote: Cliffnotes plz! I still don't know wtf I'm reading there =) So does that mean, to climb 5.16d (UIAA 13, which I don't even see on the table), that you would be expected to be able to 1-arm hang w/ crimp or open grip for 3-5seconds with ~1.25 x body weight?
I'll do my best, but it's not really explained any better in the book.

Handgrip- I don't know how they got this figure.

Open and crimp grip- you are correct.
An example- a male climber at UIAA grade 4 would be expected to hold 43 (open) or 44 (crimp) percent of his body weight on one arm for 3-5 seconds.

III + IV refer to "middle two team" hangs (i.e. middle and ring fingers).

Bent arm hang is full lock off with chin above bar, as long as you can hang.

Finger hangs I believe, is just a maximum hang on same 25 mm edge, as long as possible

HTH
kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 10,599

That's a pretty big hold for using a crimp grip.

I think on a less-deep edge hold they would have found a much larger difference between open grip and crimp grip in percentage of body weight supported.

Ken

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 549
kenr wrote:That's a pretty big hold for using a crimp grip. I think on a less-deep edge hold they would have found a much larger difference between open grip and crimp grip in percentage of body weight supported. Ken
It's been studied. Crimp seems to plateau around 20-30 mm.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22339482

From "Effect of hold depth and grip technique on maximal finger forces in rock climbing" by Arif Mithat Amca, Laurent Vigouroux, Serdar Aritan , and Eric Berton, Published in Journal of Sports Science, 2012; 1-9
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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