Grip strength is one of the key fundamentals that you will rely on throughout an OCR. It will be needed to some degree on most obstacles and it’s a very ‘trainable’ aspect of fitness. Boost your grip endurance and you’ll cruise through your next OCR with no unexpected plunges into cold water from the monkey bars!

So, how can you improve your grip?

Here’s a few tips and exercises to add into your training regime before your next race.

  1. Bar hangs: This exercise may sound/seem simple (which it is) but it’s incredibly effective and correlates perfectly to OCR. It really is as straight forward as hanging from a pull up bar for as long as possible. Adjust your grip and play about with it until you find a position which feels the most durable and then aim to hang there for as long as possible. Try to increase the hanging time with each go.
  2. Negative pull ups: This exercise is a little more difficult and its a great way to improve your pull up strength too! Position yourself at the top phase of a pull up (chin above the bar with forearms fully contracting) by using a chair or a mate tolift you up. Then slowly lower yourself until your arms are fully extended and then repeat the movement again. The slower you can lower yourself, the better. It’s all about time under tension.
  3. Farmers walks: This is a great way to test the grip strength. The aim is to hold two heavy objects in each hand and walk with them for as long as possible. These could be dumbbells, kettlebells, lifting plates, weighty children and so on! Increase the difficulty by upping the weight in each hand or finding objects which are awkward and uneven in shape as this will place are stress on your hands to find a grip and to hold on.

Granted, grip training isn’t the most exciting part of training for an OCR, but it is as essential element within the race. Having a weak grip can really effect and let you down on race day, after all, you want to complete each obstacle and therefore having a strong grip is what’s going to allow that to happen.

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