Hold design supports learning and transfer of climbing fluency

Dominic Orth*, Keith Davids, Ludovic Seifert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Being a discipline with a broad range of genres, rock climbing is an activity where participants seek to generalize the skills they learn in different performance contexts. A training strategy for achieving skill transfer was explored in a group of experienced climbers. Specifically, we tested the effect of practising on three routes, each of the same difficulty, but where handholds supported opportunities for using either a single technical action or multiple actions. Transfer of climbing fluidity in terms of the geometric index of entropy (GIE) of the hip trajectory was then assessed. We expected that learning would be induced on the route where multiple actions were usable. Results revealed that GIE showed a learning effect only when practice was undertaken on a route designed with multiple graspable edges. Practice on the multi-functional route best explains why the participants' successfully generalized climbing fluency under transfer conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-165
Number of pages7
JournalSports Technology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • climbing affordances
  • entropy
  • metastability
  • motor learning
  • skill transfer


Dive into the research topics of 'Hold design supports learning and transfer of climbing fluency'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this