Whole-Body Workout Routine to Prepare for an Obstacle Race

Whole-Body Workout to Train for an Obstacle Race

Follow this whole-body workout routine to prepare properly for a demanding obstacle race and get better results.


How: Put on an ergonomically fitted backpack stuffed with weighty objects wrapped in soft clothing – instead, you can wear some ankle and wrist weights or a weighted vest – and start running. You can run 6-30km in length but even 2-3km runs are okay when supported by other exercises. Strive for maintaining a steady pace all through, stopping at intervals to do the other exercises.

Why: Running is still a crucial part of an obstacle race and moving with a weighted pack creates the feeling of being physically exhausted.

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Weighted lunges_workout routine


How: Holding your back straight and looking directly ahead, lunge forwards with one foot, until your front thigh is parallel to the ground. Drive back up again, and repeat with the other foot. Do three sets of 60 secs each, with 1 min rest in between.

Why: Lunges help prepare your leg muscles for speed and power and, in addition, they prevent injuries. This is a good single-leg drill which works your legs in isolation and that is crucial on uneven courses with different types of terrain and varying challenges.

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How: Make sure you have a good grip then lift your torso up to a tree branch or metal bar. Hold your back straight throughout and your lower legs tucked up for more balance. Do a series of 5-4-3-2-1 pull-ups with 30secs rest in between.

Why: Pull-ups make sure you are prepared for hauling your body up and over obstacles on a course. To make it even tougher, use suspended rock rings, which allow you to do pull-ups with two, three or four fingers to increase your finger strength.

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burpees_workout routine


How: Start by lying flat on the ground, then do a squat thrust by moving your feet forward. Now jump up very fast so your feet leave the ground. When you land, squat down and thrust your legs back to the initial position. Do three sets of 60secs with 1 min rest in between.

Why: Burpees are an excellent exercise for working your whole body which makes them perfect preparation for an obstacle race. In addition they help you practice getting up and driving away from the ground when you’re tired which is often what you need to do after crawling under obstacles.

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How: Squat down, then drive up very fast until your feet are off the ground. When you are in mid-air, rotate for 180 degrees and land facing the opposite direction, bending your knees as you land. Repeat in a series of 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 jumps.

Why: Your glutes and hamstrings will take a hammering during a race and this is a great way to toughen them up. The twist part also works your core muscles, and the repeated landings teach you how to land in a balanced, safe way.

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How: Start in a plank position by lying on the ground with your bodyweight supported by your forearms and your toes. Hold for 30 secs then do 10 press-ups. Rest for 30 secs then repeat 3 times.

Why: This works your core, which is crucial for any physical exercise, and by adding the press-ups you’re developing your upper-body strength too. Make it tougher by raising one of your legs only.

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triceps dips_workout routine


How: Using a bench or railing for support, lean backwards against the obstacle, with your feet on the ground and your hands supporting your weight. Lower your torso down until your upper arms are almost parallel to the ground, keeping your elbows close to your body. Do three x 10 sets.

Why: You use your triceps every time you climb over something or haul up your body. This exercise teaches you strength but also control. You can make it tougher by lifting one leg up off the ground, or varying the height of your dips.

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How: Crawl forwards on all fours, using the opposite foot and hand with each movement. Maintain your back elevated, your hips held high, and don’t allow your knees to touch the ground. Do three sets of 60secs, with 1 min rest in between.

Why: Bear crawls help increase strength around the chest, arms and shoulders, while working your core. It’s recommended to go backwards and sideways as well.

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monkey bars_workout routine


How: Find a bench or fence with a number of tiers on which you can rest your feet. Do a press-up with your feet hooked over the lowest level. Then carry your feet on to the next level and repeat. The higher you go, the more you build your upper-body. Do one set of 10 reps on each level.

Why: Press-ups are a great exercise because you can perform them anywhere but if you combine them up like this, by altering the height of the press-up, you get a very good upper-body exercise, which is perfect for when you have to lift things during races.

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How: Using an overhand grip, go from bar to bar by grabbing each one with alternate hands. Tuck your legs up to minimize swinging and to have a more compact body shape, which is easier to control.

Why: Many obstacle races have monkey bars or net climbs so getting used to working with alternate arms is a very useful exercise. If you can support your own body weight you’ll be able to deal with whatever comes your way.

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Written by Thomas Young

Thomas Young just loves bodybuilding and this is why he has found his dream job in a gym working as a personal trainer. On the weekends, he likes to go hiking and mountaineering.


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Bodyweight Drill for a Better Result in an Obstacle Race

Bodyweight Drill for a Better Result in an Obstacle Race

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