Pro Tips for the Barbed Wire Crawl

This is part of a series of obstacle tips articles by Spartan SGX Level 2 Coach Rich Borgatti. Be sure to check out his  advice on the Z-Wall Traverse, the Spear Throw and the Bucket Carry.

What the Barbed Wire Crawl Is

A crawling obstacle where you need to stay low to the ground and crawl under barbed wire for approximately 100-to-200 feet. Depending on the course and the course designer it can sometimes be in mud, dirt, grass, rocks, water, uphill, or downhill.

What It Demands

Excellent core strength, fortitude, stamina, hip mobility.

The Mistake I Most Often See

Rolling too much. The course designers have gotten wise to this method and I have found more mud and rocks in this obstacle lately on the course.

Key tips on how to improve

Learn to utilize the various methods of crawling like the bear crawl, the army crawl and shrimping.

While some of the ground beneath the barbed wire obstacle may be okay for rolling you should be prepared to use multiple methods. By doing so you will not overuse certain body parts on long stretches when negotiating a barbed wire crawl.

Lots of athletes cramp up during this obstacle simply because they are undertrained for it. The hips flexors, quads and calves get a lot of use on this obstacle if you are crawling.

Additional Tips for Race Day

In your warm-up incorporate the frog stretch and hip openers like high knee pulls, cossack stretches, and external hip rotations. Add the various crawls to your warm ups and workouts.

I like to pace myself with the barbed wire crawl. Moving or rolling too fast can really upset your stomach.

Also a good racing tip is to make sure that if you are wearing a hydration pack that the pockets are secured and your mouthpiece is covered.

There’s nothing quite like drinking from a muddy mouthpiece.

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