Tough Mudder is one of the most challenging races you can participate in both as an amateur and a seasoned racer. With the goal of bringing people together in order to overcome physically demanding obstacles, Tough Mudder has managed to grow massively in popularity over the past decade. Its inspirational and inclusive attitude of encouraging people of all shapes and sizes as well as welcoming those with physical disabilities is a testament to the organisers’ vision for the event. Here are some of the best ways you can get in shape and prepare yourself for some of those gruelling obstacles, read on for our Top 5 Tough Mudder Preparation Exercises!
Whilst most commonly used for strengthening your core, there is an extreme positive of the plank that flies under the radar…mental strength. It goes without saying that mental strength is of mega importance in dealing with any obstacle you may face. The plank can be performed anywhere at anytime making it a brilliant exercise for those with busy schedules, take a moment to test your planking skills by holding your position for 2 minutes or mix it up with a side plank after the initial 60 seconds. When the going gets tough, take a moment to breathe and focus all your energy on just one thing; with the sole purpose of overcoming just the obstacle in front of you. Make this a habit and you’ll find a secret force coming to aid you in getting stronger and better when faced with all manner of adversity.
2. Cardiovascular Training
Whilst simple cardiovascular fitness is of key importance when performing in a Tough Mudder event, the easiest way to prepare is to perform regular activities which utilise and stretch your cardiovascular system. Running, with running routes or mountain biking on woodland terrain bring the beneficial effects of real-world functional training; awareness skills, coordination and of course abundant energy from fresh air. HIIT training is also a great way to improve your cardiovascular fitness. With your body working at sustained levels of intensity, your heart rate is elevated to a point of activity that will have you witnessing rapid-yet-effective results.
This powerful exercise is great for building strength in your triceps, biceps, chest and shoulders. By exercising your upper body, you are giving yourself the advantage needed for some of the tougher obstacles such as the Heroes Wall and Pyramid 2.0, even bolstering in yourself the strength to help others along the way, another added bonus!
These are a great way to improve strength, unlike typical strength training, plyometrics involves explosive movements, resulting in increased speed and power. One such benefit is the strengthening of your tendons, which in turn helps lower your overall risk of injury – something which can easily happen when scrambling over rough, uneven terrain.
Squat Jumps are a brilliant way to introduce this type of training into your routine, it’s important to first perfect the right technique to achieve optimal results. Benefiting your gluteus maximus, quadriceps, hamstring and calf muscles, the squat movement thoroughly develops the muscles within your legs to achieve explosive, and if I may say, a ‘primal’ type of functional power. This high impact exercise results in fantastic capacity for tackling terrain and improves the kinetic output you’d doubtless be calling upon for several obstacles!
5. Pull Ups
The notoriously famous pull up, is ideal for working against gravity and obtaining the upper body strength required for completing many of the obstacles Tough Mudder events will throw at you. The development of your triceps, biceps, back and shoulders gained during this compound exercise will be fairly obvious. Another sometimes overlooked advantage however is the component of improved grip strength. Tough Mudder obstacles often involve prolonged hanging (or ‘monkeying’) about whether it be on the Heroes Wall, Pyramid Scheme or Everest 2.0 – your ability to pull yourself up (and perhaps even others, as mentioned earlier) will be vastly better.
Fitness and physical challenges are something of an obsession among our team. Tried Tough Mudder yourself? Let us know how you did; what did you learn about your body and its abilities? Don’t forget to share any tips you have in the comments below, join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. (Want more ‘get- me-tough’ training tips? Then check these out: Top 5 Reasons You Should Train for Functional Fitness, 5 Top Reasons to Practice Moving like an Animal and Top 5 Chin-Up Hacks, to really switch YOUR Fit ON!)