Int J Sports Med 2012; 33(06): 445-451
DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1301312
Training & Testing
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Effects of Climbing on Core Strength and Mobility in Adults

T. Muehlbauer
1   Department of Training & Movement Science, University of Potsdam, Germany
M. Stuerchler
2   Institute of Exercise and Health Sciences, University of Basel, Switzerland
U. Granacher
1   Department of Training & Movement Science, University of Potsdam, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision 09 December 2011

Publication Date:
15 March 2012 (online)


The objective of this study was to examine the impact of an indoor climbing training and detraining program on core/handgrip strength and trunk mobility in men and women. 28 young sedentary adults participated in this study and were assigned to an intervention (30±3 years) or a control (29±2 years) group. The intervention group participated in 8 weeks (2 times/week) of indoor climbing training, followed by 8 weeks of detraining. Tests included the measurement of maximal isometric strength (MIS) of the trunk flexors/extensors, the assessment of trunk mobility in the sagittal (SAP) and the coronal (CRP) plane as well as testing of handgrip strength. After training, significant improvements were observed in MIS of the trunk flexors/extensors (~19–22%, all p<0.01), in trunk mobility in SAP/CRP (~14–19%, all p<0.01), and in handgrip strength (~5%, p<0.01). During detraining, MIS (~12–13%, all p<0.01) and trunk mobility (~7–10%, all p<0.01) deteriorated significantly, whereas handgrip strength remained. This indoor climbing training program conducted in sedentary adults proved to be feasible (i. e., attendance rate of 89.4%) and effective. It is suggested that indoor climbing should be permanently conducted to maintain the observed improvements in core muscle strength and trunk mobility.