Nearly every mud run event has at least one obstacle that will force you to get down on your stomach and low crawl. More often than not, the surface you will need to crawl on will be some form of rocky, muddy, grassy, snowy, icy, metallic, rubber or wooden surface. You might even have a few rows of barbed wire or a soaking wet cargo net directly above you. You might need to low crawl uphill, downhill or in a foot or two of muddy water. Most mudders turn to the low crawl, army style, and sacrifice their forearms, stomachs and knees in the process.
The single most useful mud run training exercise: the Gator Crawl
But, behold, there’s a better way to get through these creepy crawler obstacles and avoid a week of raw skin…the gator crawl. With the gator crawl, only your hands and toes touch the ground, so your forearms, stomach and knees will stay protected from cuts and scratches. Practicing the gator crawl a few times a week at the end of your workout is also a great way to get in a last-minute total body burn that will tighten your core, strengthen your upper body and develop your overall flexibility.
Most mudders turn to the low crawl, army style, and sacrifice their forearms, stomachs and knees in the process.
To perform the gator crawl:
- Get on the ground in a push-up position, keeping your elbows tight to your body.
- Stay on your toes and lower your chest until it is just above the ground.
- Keep your back straight and your butt down, and crawl forward by taking small steps with your hands and toes.
- As your hand moves forward, slightly open your opposite hip and bring your knee toward your chest, then switch.
- Concentrate on keeping your head and body as planked as possible.
Tips: Practice this movement forward, backward and laterally for maximum effectiveness. To stay low, imagine there is barbed wire directly above your head. Push-ups will go a long way in helping you perform this exercise.
Mud Run Maniac wants to know what you think! What other exercises do you suggest to avoid getting scraped up at mud run events? What other topics or exercises would you like to see featured in TOTW? Please no spam-mongers. Happy mudding!