Some of the most common obstacles you’ll find on a Spartan Race or Tough Mudder course involve at least one of the three types of grip strength: pinch, crush, and support. Crushing grip strength is key to success in obstacle course racing, and so is knowing what to expect. If these three obstacles are on the menu, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared.

1. Rigs

These include hanging objects like rings, ropes, chains, and long bars. You can gain momentum by swinging your hips back and forth to flow through rigs seamlessly.

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2. Rope Climb

Use the “J” or “S” techniques, wrapping your feet around the rope to help preserve grip strength. Climb down using your legs and hands, then hop or step off once you’re close to the ground.

3. Wall Traverse

Climb horizontally across a wall using only handholds and footholds (chains, wooden blocks, climbing holds), without your feet touching the ground. Maintain three points of contact—two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand—so you’re not taxing your grip as you fight to stay off the ground.

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