In preparation for any half-marathon, most athletes know that a certain amount of running every week is necessary to perform well on race day. Mud runs like the American Hot Shots Extreme Run involve a lot more than the average long distance race. First, obstacles will require you to jump, climb, crawl, and even wade or swim. You will also have to complete these challenges and run while soaked in water and mud.
We’ve compiled some exercises to train beyond your weekly running schedule, starting with the upper body.
Consult your doctor before embarking on any exercise plan to make sure you’re in ideal health to rock the course. Defer to your coaches and health professionals when it comes to proper exercise form.
Upper Body Strength Building
These effective for building the upper body strength it takes to climb ladders, ropes, and walls.
Sit on the edge of a bench with your palms gripping the bench to either side of you. Put your feet out in front of you at a 45-degree angle and balance on your heels. Lower your body toward the ground until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle and then lift yourself again. Make this move more challenging by elevating your feet and then holding more weight in your lap as you perform the dips.
Bench Dip Training Video
Beginners: Negative Pull Ups
Use a step stool to get into position on a pull up bar, your arms shoulder-width apart in an underhand grip. Once your chin is above the bar, step off the stool, and then slowly lower yourself all the way until your arms are straight. This method will help you gain the strength you need to eventually do classic pull-ups and even weighted pull-ups.
Intermediate to Advanced: Classic Pull-Ups and Weighted Pull-ups
With your hands in an overhand grip, arms shoulder width apart or slightly wider, pull yourself up from a dead hang, pause at the top, and then lower yourself in a controlled motion.
Once you can do dead hang pull-ups, increase your strength by adding extra weight. You can do this through use of equipment like a Dip Belt, or wear a weighted vest.
Incline and Decline Push-Ups
Beginners: Incline Push-Ups
If you aren’t ready to drop to the ground and start cranking out push-ups, start by finding a raised and stable surface like a bench, concrete planter, or steps. Place your hands shoulder width apart and walk your body out so it is at a 45-degree angle to the ground. Keeping your back straight and your scapula pinched together, lower your chest and then push yourself back up again.
Advanced: Decline Push-Ups
Much like an incline push-up, you’ll need a bench or other solid object, but this time you will be putting your feet on it rather than your hands. Place your hands on the ground shoulder width apart, and lower your chest to the ground. Make sure you don’t turn your hands in or flare your elbows out too much to avoid joint injury, and keep your body in a straight plank position.
If you have access to dumbbells or kettle-bells, you can do this back-flexing exercise. With a weight in each hand, lower yourself to push up position with your back, hips, and legs in a straight line, your hips square to the ground and your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. One at a time, pull the weight toward your chest, keeping your elbow pointing toward the ceiling and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Raise the difficulty level for these rows by increasing the weight of your dumbbells, or by elevating your feet.