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Obstacle Racing & Running Fitness At Home

1 Mar 2012

Thanks to a recent poll on my Facebook page, here is a program you can do 2-3x/week that will complement both your obstacle race training and running fitness goals. This program is also a good overall total body workout you can complete at home.

With the exception of one exercise, all you need is your own body weight.

Program Basics
This is a circuit with 20 exercises. If you’re training for an obstacle race like the Tough Mudder, try all with minimal rest in between exercises. This may be tough, so for starters, try to get through the first 10 without resting, and if needed, take a 30-second breather after the Wall Squat.

Runners in-season can start with exercises marked with an * (12 total). If you’re not preparing for a Tough Mudder or road race, but are looking for a challenge at home, do all 20 twice through.

For single leg exercises, do one leg on the first set and switch legs for the second set. After completing the circuit for the first set, rest for 1-2 minutes before completing a second round.

Everyone, be sure to warm-up for 8-10 minutes with light cardio and calisthenic exercises. And cool-down by stretching out each major muscle group (quads, adductors, hamstrings, glutes, chest, back, and shoulders). Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds.

The entire workout should take you about 45-60 minutes to complete.

If you would like a PDF of this program along with two other obstacle race training workouts, click here to complete a request form.

Program Summary (see descriptions below)
Warm-Up
General Warm-Up
Easy jog/run for 5 minutes

Specific Warm-Up
1. Leg Swings (forward & side)
2. Reverse Lunges with Overhead Reach
3. Hand Walks

Circuit
1. Single Leg Squats with Knee Up*
2. Single Leg Bridges*
Advanced: place single leg elevated on chair
3. Supermans with pull-backs*
4. Push-Ups*
5. Squats*
Advanced: speed squats – do as many squats as you can in 60 seconds
6. Reverse Lunges*
Advanced: stay in a crouch (squat position)
7. Side Lunges
Advanced: add one-second hold in lunge
8. Push-Ups with Rotations (T-Stabilizations)
9. Plank Hold
10. Wall Squat Hold
11. Squat Jumps
12. Plank Runners with Push Ups*
13. Supermans with Skydiver Sweep*
Tough Mudder/Obstacle Race Training: Pull-Ups (with or without weight-assistance)
14. Alternating Single Leg Deadlifts with Reach*
15. Lunge Jumps*
16. Dive Bombers
17. Side Plank Ups*
18. V Sit Ups*
19. V Sit Hold*
Beginners: feet on floor
Intermediate/Advanced: feet off floor
20. Burpees
Advanced: add push-ups
Rest for 1-2 minutes
Repeat

Cool Down Stretches

 

Program with Descriptions
The hyperlinks to select exercises will direct you to pictures and videos from freeexercisedatabase.com, unless otherwise noted.

Warm-Up
General Warm-Up
Easy jog/run for 5 minutes

Specific Warm-Up
Do 8 reps of each
1. Leg Swings (forward & side)
Description: (Start) Stand tall and hold on to a wall, chair, or other base for support.

(Move) Swing your right leg above hip level and back in a continuous motion for eight reps. Repeat on other leg.

2. Reverse Lunges with Overhead Reach
Description: (Start) Stand tall with core engaged, feet hip-width apart.

(Move) Take a big step back with your right leg. Drop your right knee to the ground as your reach overhead and over with your right arm. Return to start position and repeat for a total of 8 reps. Repeat on other leg.

3. Hand Walks
Description: (Start) Stand tall with core engaged, feet hip-width apart. Walk your hands down your legs towards the ground. Try to keep your heels as close to the ground as possible and legs straight as your hands reach the floor in front of your toes.

(Move) Walk your hands out in front of you until you reach a straight-arm plank position. Then walk your hands back towards the front of your toes. Repeat for 8 reps.

Circuit with Descriptions
First Time with Circuit: do each exercise for 30 seconds
Intermediate Level Exercisers: do each exercise for 45 seconds
Advanced Exercisers: do each exercise for 60 seconds

1. Single Leg Squats with Knee Up*
(Start) Balance on your right leg with your left leg off the floor. Be sure to squeeze your abs and glutes (engage the core) to keep your balance.

(Move 1) Bend your right knee and lower your glutes towards the ground. Try to keep your left leg parallel to your right without touching the floor.
(Move 2) As you straighten your right knee, drive your left knee up towards your chest. Hold for one second. Return to start. Repeat for 30-60 seconds.

2. Single Leg Bridges*
(Start) Lie with your back on the mat, knees bent, hands by your side. Squeeze your abs and glutes. Lift your right foot and straighten out your leg so that your right knee is parallel to your left.

(Move) Lift your butt and back off the ground and hold for one second. Return to mat and repeat for 30-60 seconds.
Advanced: place single leg elevated on chair

3. Supermans with pull-backs*
(Start) Lie face down with your arms extended overhead. Squeeze glutes and pinch your shoulder blades together. Squeeze abdominal muscles and lift your arm, chest, and legs off the floor.

(Move) Bend your elbows and pull back towards your shoulder blades. Hold for one second. Return to start position. Repeat for a total of 30-60 seconds.

4. Push-Ups*

5. Squats*
Advanced: Do speed squats (as many squats as fast as you can in 60 seconds).

6. Reverse Lunges*

(Start) Stand tall with your core engaged and arms by your side.

(Move) Take a big step backwards with your right leg to complete a lunge, dipping your right knee towards the ground. Return to start by pushing off your left heel. Repeat with left leg. Alternate and continue for a total of 30-60 seconds..
Advanced: Complete in a crouch/squat position.

7. Side Lunges

Description: (Start) Stand tall with your core engaged (squeeze your abs and glutes), hands on your waist.

(Move) Take a big step to your right, bend your knee, and drop your glutes toward the floor. Reach towards the floor with your hands as you drop your glutes. Be sure to keep both toes pointing straight ahead and your trailing (left) leg straight. Return to start position & repeat with left leg. Alternate and continue for a total of 30-60 seconds.
Advanced: add one-second hold/pulse while in lunge.

8. Push-Ups with Rotations (T-Stabilizations)
(Start) Assume a straight-arm plank (the “up” part of a push-up).

(Move) Lower your body to perform a push-up. As you straighten out your arms, twist your body towards your right and extend your right arm so that your fingertips are pointing towards the ceiling. Your left arm and leg should be supporting your weight. Return to start position and switch sides. Repeat for a total of 30-60 seconds.

9. Plank Hold
Assume a bent-elbow plank position. Keep your core engaged and back straight. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

10. Wall Squat
(Start) Lean against a wall with your core engaged (squeezing abs and glutes).

(Move) Bend your knees and lower your glutes towards the floor until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. Hold for 30-60 seconds. Be sure to distribute most or your weight over your heels.

11. Squat Jumps
(Start) Stand tall with core engaged and feet hip-width apart. Maintain back straight as you bend your knees and hips to lower your glutes towards the floor.

(Move) Push from the heels of your feet and jump, reaching towards the ceiling. Be sure to land in a bent-knee position. Return to start. Repeat for 30-60 seconds.

12. Plank Runners with Push Ups*
(Start) Assume a straight-arm plank (the “up” part of a push-up).

(Move) Alternate tucking your knees in towards your chest four times (right-left-right-left), then follow with a push-up. Repeat for a total of 30-60 seconds.

 13. Supermans with Skydiver Sweep*
(Start) Lie face down with your arms extended overhead. Squeeze glutes and pinch your shoulder blades together. Squeeze abdominal muscles and lift your arm, chest, and legs off the floor.

(Move) Keep your arms straight and sweep your back until your hands touch. You may need to bend your elbows slightly. Return to start position. Repeat for a total of 30-60 seconds.

Tough Mudder/Obstacle Race Training: Pull-Ups (if you need some weight assistance to last 30-60 seconds, try the Lifeline USA Pullup Revolution, it works with most pull up bars)

14. Alternating Single Leg Deadlifts with Reach*
(Start) Stand tall with your core engaged (squeezing your abs and glutes) and balance on your right leg. Place hands at your waist.

(Move) Keeping your right leg straight, bend at the hip and extend your left hand towards your right foot. Hold for one second and return to start. Continue for a total of 30-60 seconds.

15. Lunge Jumps*
Picture from fitbydefinition.blogspot.com
(Start) Stand tall with your core engaged. Step forward with your right leg and drop your left knee so that you are in a lunge stance.

(Move) Push off your right heel to jump. While jumping, switch legs in mid-air so that you land with your left leg in front. Repeat the move with the left leg for a total of 30-60 seconds.

16. Dive Bombers

17. Side Plank Ups*
(Start) Lie on your left side with your legs straight. Bend your elbow and lift your body so that your elbow and forearm are directly below your left shoulder.

(Move) Lower your hips towards the ground. Return to start and continue for a total of 30-60 seconds.

18. V Sit Ups*
(Start) Sit down on a mat with your knees bent, arms by your side. Lift your knees off the mat so that only your glutes are touching the ground.

(Move) Straighten out your legs and lower your legs and back towards the mat. Drop down as far as you can without losing your balance. Hold for one second. Return to start position.

19. V Sit Up Hold*
Beginners: feet on floor
Intermediate/Advanced: feet off floor

20. Burpees
Advanced: add push-ups

Rest for 1-2 minutes
Repeat

Cool Down Stretches

There you have it: 20 exercises for obstacle racers, which when you think about it, most of the popular obstacle races have about 15-30 obstacles scattered throughout.

And for the exercise aficionados up for the challenge, this super circuit will make you work. If fitness for running is your goal, the 12 marked exercises should complement your training.

 

 

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