When you run almost any obstacle race you will undoubtedly come in contact will walls from 3-8 feet high. While the shorter walls require little technique the taller ones should be approached with some thought in mind. Below I’ll list a few basic techniques and then some exercises to help you improve them.
The first method is my preferred way to get over walls, and the most efficient. I noticed it also being used in the crossfit games by the most efficient racers during the burpees with wall jumps.
Go up to the wall and jump while pulling yourself up to waist height. Then with your body against the wall proceed to roll over the wall with your stomach on top of the wall and your body becoming horizontal and parallel to the top. Then continue to roll over the top and to the other side while becoming vertical again. See the video here:
This is almost the same as the above except for what you do at the top. This method relies on swinging your leg over and straddling the wall instead of rolling over the top. While it’s not as efficient I find that when the wall is crowded this method helps because you can be more compact then essentially laying your entire body across the top. Video:
Next up is more of a wall climb than jump, not very practical but I’ve seen some people use it. Jump up and grab the top of the wall with your hands, make sure you have a good grip. Once you are set, start to walk up the wall with your feet so that your butt will be sticking out eventually. When your legs are at about your waist level start to bend your knees more so that eventually your knees end up almost touching your chest. After your body is almost to the top extend one leg outwards and bring it over the wall similarly to the first technique. You will now be straddling the wall and can proceed down in the same manner or jump down depending on the height. See the video for a visual explanation:
Do not do the following because you will not be able to control your descent on the other side. This is a fast method for walls as tall or shorter than he shows in the video, not taller as he says.
Two main areas to work on for jumping over walls are your upper body strength for pulling you up and over and your jumping/leg strength. For the upper body I suggest doing muscle ups:
For the leg strengthening I suggest a large range of plyometric type exercises. On this plyometric demonstration website , I would suggest focusing on the jumps section in the upper left. Box jumps are a great simple place to start that requires very little equipment and can be done by almost anyone if you start at the right height.
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