Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health and Human Performance


Exercise Science (MS)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Phillip Watts


Rock climbers often attribute the cause of a fall to the inability to maintain contact between the hands and the surface of the rock. Rock climbers turn to magnesium carbonate (chalk) to combat this problem even though little scientific evidence supports its use. Rock climbers believe that chalk dries the hands of sweat and improves the coefficient of friction between the hands and the surface of the rock (COFH). The purpose of this study was to assess whether or not chalk affects geometric entropy (GE) or muscular activity during rock climbing. Participants were asked to complete a predesigned movement sequence with and without the use of chalk. The body position of the climber was recorded using a video camera. Following the movement sequence participants hung from a standard climbing hold until they slipped from the climbing structure. COF and the ratio of the vertical forces on the hand and feet (FR) were determined by a force platform mounted behind the climbing structure. Electromyography (EMGavg) was recorded throughout the trial. Although there was no difference in the COF, FR, or EMGavg, participants were able to hang longer after the use of chalk.

Access Type

Open Access