Nothing screams OCR more then crawling through a muddy barbed wire maze. A obstacle for some, a great photo op for others. Regardless of where you stand preparing yourself before a race is not a bad idea.
If you attended any obstacle courses last year you know the barbwire crawl is becoming more unpredictable than ever. It could be long, uphill, repetitive with obstacles in between, and shockingly low to the ground. You’re probably sporting some pretty battle wounds as we speak. “Oh boss, its nothing, I just occasionally roll through barbed wire mazes on weekends”.
Rolling is generally the fastest way through, but not always possible. A tip to reduce dizziness, is to make sure you spent some time practicing the rolling motion. Try keeping your eyes focused on one point, then change direction every so many rolls. When preforming the motion push yourself to the side as you roll, then tuck your arms in. This will give you momentum and get you moving faster.
With the exception of the roll you must develop a variety of skills as well as improving your ability to stay strong in a plank position. Once equipped, do what feels natural come race day.
In terms technique, try the following:
400m run into a 10 meter crawl on hands and knees, 10m rolls on one side, 10m crawl laying flat, 10m rolls facing the opposite direction, 10m bear crawls.
For plank based exercises that will assist you include the following:
Weight plate pull in plank position. In a plank position pull a 10-25lb weight plate back and forth towards you.
Side twist in plank position with weight.
Plank position on elbows to a fully extended plank position, alternating hands each time.
Plank exercises can be performed for 3-4 sets of 10-20 reps a side, progressing to the performance of all 3 exercises in a row. Avoid back arching, and make sure to engage your glutes and abs while keeping your arms or elbows directly under the body.
Speed will come with time in your training. One tip when you enter the crawl is to imagine being chased. As exhausting as it may feel for your upper body it’s a great recovery for the legs.
If you by chance cramp, contract cramped muscles against the ground until they release and then continue to move.
Make sure to give the camera good smile as you roll by.
Josh Stryde is a competitive OCR athlete from the Western Canadian Spartan Elite Team training out of Cor.Fit. He is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist at World Health Edgemont. Follow Josh on Instagram at stryde_ocr.