And since your average mud run comprises a balance of obstacles and running, you also need to get used to the transition of using your grip to using your legs and back again.
In your next mud run, you’ll likely encounter obstacles that require grip strength. The Tough Mudder Funky Monkey, an intimidating set of greased-up monkey bars set on an A-frame, is notorious for dropping its victims into icy cold mud pools. But with a little effort to workout grip strength, you will soon find yourself blowing through obstacles that involve climbing or swinging on ropes, scaling cargo nets, carrying logs, or helping your fellow maniac up a hill, hay bale or wall.
So, how do you go about improving your grip? Basically, you need to work on hauling, pushing/pulling, supporting and hoisting heavy things. And since your average mud run comprises a balance of obstacles and running, you also need to get used to the transition of using your grip to using your legs and back again. This is what you’ll be doing in this week’s Maniac Monday Workout: Grip n’ Drip.
Complete 4 Cycles
(no rest between exercises, 2 min break between cycles)
- 100-Yard Farmer’s Carry
- 8 Goal Post Pull-ups
- 30 seconds Towel Grip Hangs
- 30 seconds Mountain Climbers
- 100-Yard Dash
What You’ll Need:
- 2 equal-sized weights (25-50 lbs each) such as kettle bells, dumbbells, cinder-blocks, large bags of dog food, Home Depot buckets full of sand, water cooler tanks with handles, or similar
- 1 large beach towel
- 1 football or soccer field with goal posts
- 1 milk crate, small step stool (or cinder-block)
Farmer’s Carry: This exercise involves carrying two heavy weights at your side while you walk a given distance. You can really use anything from kettle bells to a pile of rocks or dirt wrapped up in a bed sheet. Obviously, the more awkward the object is to grip, the more difficult the exercise will be. Just remember to keep your abs tight, chest out and your shoulders back as you walk. If you need to rest, that’s okay, just use your legs and back as you would during a dead-lift to drop the weights and pick them back up again. Also, depending on the material of choice, you may wish to wear gloves for this exercise. Farmer’s Carry Demo
Goal Post Pull-Ups: When it comes to pull-ups and grip strength, the key is the wider the bar, the better your grip will be tested. Jump up to the bar, using your step stool or milk crate if needed, and try to hammer out a set of your pull-ups using whatever grip you like. Try palms away, palms facing in, wide grip, narrow grip, over-under grip. They’re all tough on a goal post bar. Gloves highly recommended here in the event the post has rust, grime or bird droppings. Goal Post Pullups Demo
Towel Grip Hangs: Toss your beach towel over the top goal post, then jump up and grab an end of the towel in each hand. Extend your arms and hang out for a while. Count to 30 if you can. The thicker the towel the better. Towel Grip Hang Demo
Mountain Climbers: This classic probably doesn’t need too much explanation. Just remember to keep your stance at about shoulder width, flex your core, keep your hips low, your elbows inside your knees, and breath out as your knees come up. Mountain Climbers Demo
100-Yard Dash: Now sprint to the goal line! Ready-set-go!
100-Yard Dash Demo
Mud Run Maniac wants to know what you think! How do you train to improve your grip strength? What other topics or exercises would you like to see featured in Maniac Monday Workouts? Please no spam-mongers. Cheers!