Climbing a rope is a skill that most of us learned years ago in grade school. Over the years the ability to climb a rope slipped out of our grasp (pun intended). Since you are planning to run an obstacle race you better hold on tight and learn to climb the rope again. Getting up the rope quickly and safely requires a combination of upper body strength and foot lock technique. A select few might be able to make it up on upper body strength alone. Regardless learning to use your feet will come in handy on race day as your upper body may already be exhausted from other obstacles.

Movements to prepare you for the rope climb without a rope:

  • Towel over pull-up bar dead hangs and pull-up bar dead hangs
  • Towel over pull-up bar see-saws
  • Pull-ups and Chin-ups
  • Body Rows from a low bar or rings
  • Knees to elbows
  • Hollow holds

Sample WOD


  • Pull-ups
  • Push-ups
  • Knees to Elbows

Once you have built up the strength its time to get on the rope. It is important to grab the rope as high as possible and use your upper body to hoist you up onto the rope. While doing this you will need simultaneously lock your feet onto the rope with the s-wrap or j-hook technique. Now its time to move up the rope, bring your knees to your elbows, reset your foot lock and use your legs to push you up the rope. Repeat to the top and then reverse the movements on the way down. Never climb higher than you have the strength to come back down.


1. THE SET UP: Grab high on the rope and pull yourself up with the upper body.

2. THE TUCK: As you pull up, tuck both knees towards the chest.

3. THE WRAP: Wrap the rope between your feet using either the S-Wrap or the J-Hook.

For more information and tips/tricks on the rope climb, visit: