Coming out of a trail and encountering an 8-foot wall can intimidate anyone new to obstacle course racing. But if you train for it, it won’t seem so daunting.
Tackling the Wall Jump requires three basic movements that we cover in the Obstacle Course Training System.
First, you need to be able to jump high enough to grab the top of the wall. To jump high, you need a powerful hinging motion. A strong hinge will help you get your hands and arms to the top of the wall.
Second, you need a strong pull to get your leg up and over the top of the wall.
Finally, you need a solid push to press yourself up and swing your leg over. Strong shoulders, chest and triceps are essential.
Here are some exercises to help you train effectively for the Wall Jump obstacle:
The swing trains the hips and hamstrings to be explosive for jumping. If done correctly, it will strengthen your joints and help you develop the power to jump to the top of the wall.
You may have seen these in many variations of the training sessions I have posted. They are important for building strength and tackling the different obstacles you encounter during a race. When you get to the top of the wall, you have to pull yourself up. The ability to pull your own body weight is important and should be added to your training.
Once you pull yourself up, you need a small push to get your leg over the top of the wall. Dips are an excellent way to train for the push.
When you put these movements together in a training session, you don’t want to tax your anaerobic system. Do not turn this into a conditioning session. Move from exercise to exercise at a deliberate pace, not with speed.
Focusing on proper form and being explosive are key.
Wall Jump Training Session
Perform five sets, moving from one exercise to the next:
1. Kettlebell Swing x10 (use a heavy bell and be explosive with every swing, making sure to hinge and not squat).
1a. Pull-Ups x5 (get your chest to the bar).
1c. Dips x5 (fully extend your elbows and get deep with each rep).