Jul 29, 2013

    Top 10 exercises for obstacle runs

    Programme director of the Viper Challenge, Mr Simran Latif, shared with My Paper his list of 10 must-do exercises in preparation for the obstacle event.

    1) Squats

    Widely considered to be the best exercise, it works almost the entire lower body, which is key to surviving the challenging Viper course.

    This versatile exercise allows you to use anything from body weight to heavy sandbags as resistance.

    2) Deadlifts

    Total body power is derived from the hips, and there is no other hip-dominant exercise as beneficial as the deadlift. Running, jumping over obstacles and sprinting uphill all require power, and strong hips make a strong runner.

    Learn the proper hip hinge and technique before you progress to load up and add resistance.

    3) Push-ups

    One of the most basic exercises, this upper-body "pushing" exercise is very versatile. Push-ups can be done anywhere by almost everyone, from soldiers to weekend warriors.

    It builds a stronger upper body, which makes crawling and climbing much easier. Of course, you can then help others out at the same time. Everyone loves a hero.

    4) Pull-ups

    This exercise is crucial for anyone who needs to pull himself up and get over wall obstacles in the Viper Challenge.

    Walls must be tackled with a lot of upper-body "pulling" strength that has to be built over time. While you can still get over the walls with help from others, being able do it by yourself is undoubtedly an empowering experience.

    5) Plank

    Running long-distance and heaving yourself over multiple barriers require core strength and endurance - the plank is the exercise for those.

    Start with holding the position for 10 to 30 seconds, and change up the stability or point of contact with the ground as you progress.

    6) Lunges

    As you gain strength in your lower body from doing squats, you can move on to single-leg movements like forward or reverse lunges, which will challenge your lower body in new, less stable ways.

    Going uphill will feel so much easier with stronger legs.

    7) Overhead/Shoulder Press

    The overhead press works wonders for the shoulders. Overcoming obstacles or boosting someone up over a wall requires strong shoulders.

    This exercise will also help you fill up your shirt better.

    8) Rows

    Balance out the "vertical pulling" movements of pull-ups with the "horizontal pulling" from rows.

    Rows of any kind are beneficial, such as the body-weight row, where you use a hip-height bar and pull your chest up towards it while lying underneath.

    9) Bear Crawl

    The Viper Challenge has multiple crawl obstacles, and the best way to train for those is definitely the dreaded Bear Crawl.

    Just get on all fours on the ground and crawl forward or backwards. Simple, yet challenging in all the right ways.

    10) Burpees

    A staple of almost all fitness programmes, this total-body exercise is a great conditioning tool, improving your fitness in preparation for the Viper Challenge course.

    Break down the movement. Start with a low repetition, and, as you progress, you will be able to grind these out as easy as ABC.