The majority of obstacles that you face during an Obstacle Course Race require a solid level of grip/upper body pull strength to complete. Some obstacles may require you to twist, turn, and pull in varying directions, but for the most part, they're still using the same main muscle groups. The main muscles being used are your back muscles, biceps, forearms, and core. These just happen to be the same muscles you use during pull ups! Pull Ups, along with push ups, have long been seen as a standard exercise that most people should be able to complete, but that's simply not the case. The fact is, most people can't do a full pull up (or push up for that matter). To be fair, they do require a solid amount of upper body strength to complete, but with consistent effort it can be done!
Pull Ups are the #1 baseline strength exercise you should master to help prepare you for conquering the obstacles in an OCR. Try implementing these exercises to help you work up to pull ups! Each one will target the main muscles needed to perform pull ups so that over time you'll build up the strength to be able to do them.
Exercise #1 - Dumbbell Row (Back/Biceps)
Exercise #2 - Ring Inverted Row (Back/Biceps/Forearms/Core)
Exercise #3 - Cable Isometric Hold Alternating Lat Pulldown (Back/Biceps)
Exercise #4 - Hammer Curls (Biceps/Forearms/Core)
Consistency is key! Implement these exercises into your workouts and overtime you'll build up the strength needed for pull ups! Even more importantly, you'll be that much closer to 100% obstacle completion!
Check out our OCR Training Programs! Our programs are customized to fit your specific race goals, current fitness level, and equipment/time availability!
Featured Program: GRIP GAINS E-Book
20 Grip Training Workouts
This “Grip Gains” program was created for one reason: to give you the grip strength and skills required to ensure 100% obstacle completion. No more burpees, bands cut, or obstacles skipped!