Obstacle course races are all the rage these days. If you dig that type of adventure then there are so many from which to choose. For example, you can go the muddy route or you can choose to keep it dry by joining races such as City Challenge Obstacle Race.
Preparation for these races doesn’t only include gathering your gear such as sneakers, gloves, etc. Getting ready also takes physical training to get the body set to take on the obstacles.
On race day, don’t forget about the prerace warm-up. A good one will help kick your performance to peak levels.
Compared to static stretching where the stretch is held in one position without moving for a set period of time, dynamic warm-ups involve movement during the stretch. Running in place falls under this category. While dynamic movement is recommended before the run, you can save the static for afterwards. One key to optimizing the warm up is to choose moves that mimic those of the actual obstacles.
Since the goal of the warm up is to raise the body’s core temperature so that the body is prepped for activity, dynamic moves are great for this. Static stretching may actually lower core temperature because there isn’t much movement going on to heat things up.
- Dynamic moves will also:
- increase range of motion
- help to get the mind ready for the race since it will take the body through actual race moves (ex. twisting/rotating, running, jumping)
- improve movement efficiency
Here are some moves to include in your race day warm up.
This move works quads, glutes, hips and calves
- Run in place while raising your knees and heels as high as you can
- Drive with your knees
- Swing your arms quickly
- Perform for 30 seconds
This move works hamstrings, hip flexors, calf muscles, obliques
- Going in the opposite direction of the runners
- Kick your heels to your glutes as high as you can while pumping the arms quickly
- Perform for 30 seconds
This move works the torso, shoulders and calves
- Start by standing with feet together and arms down at your sides
- Jump your legs out to your sides while extending your arms out to your sides and above your head
- Repeat for 30 reps
Knee raise with a twist
This move works the hips and abs
- Stand in place with your feet hip-width apart
- Drive your left knee up towards your chest
- Simultaneously, twist your upper body into the left knee
- Lower the leg
- Rotate your upper body back to facing forward
- Repeat from step 2 with the right knee
- Continue to alternate knees
- Perform 30 reps (15 each sided)
This move works the hips, groin, calves
- Begin at the top of the push up position
- Drive your left foot up next to your left hand
- Drop all your weight into your hips
- Hold this stretch for a second
- Switch legs
- Continue to alternate legs
- Perform 30 reps (15 on each side)
Images feature, Natasha Linton, CPT and Elvi Guzman, City Challenge Race Founder