Much like the name implies, this obstacle is going to challenge Mudders to reach up and grab hold of something they cannot see. After scaling up the face of this structure at a backwards 45 degree angle, Mudders will be forced to reach up and around the overhang and pull themselves up and over the top. Reach, feel, grab – you get the gist.
This obstacle has you climbing a ladder and then reaching around to climb atop another structure–all while twenty feet off the ground. Requiring both muscle and skill, The Reach Around has you reaching around, even if you don’t know what you’re reaching towards. Save your strength, though: you’ll be climbing down the same way.
How to train: This obstacle will have you climbing, hanging, and reaching, so it’s important you practice all three of these movements. Pull-ups and dead hangs will give you the upper body and grip strength you need to climb the ladder and reach around. Be sure to watch the training video at the bottom of this post.
Harder than it sounds? We asked World’s Toughest Mudders Stefanie Bishop, Ryan Atkins, and Nickademus Hollon how they completed The Reach Around:
Atkins: “Use your heel to “heel hook” around the edge of the obstacle. Once in that position, slowly move your upper body around the edge until you are standing on top. Avoid doing a “muscle up” since these are very tiring. You want to save your strength for other challenges you might find on the course.”
Bishop: “Flexibility and core strength helps with this one, especially if you don’t have a ton of upper body strength. I hook one foot over the top of it (before the incline up) and then do a modified sit up of sorts, while using my arms to pull me up and over. I think this is a great opportunity to use some teamwork and give a friend a boost, or help them when you’re up top.”
Hollon: “Use your legs or a heel hook to maneuver your body up and over. If you need to practice a heel hook, ask a rock climber to show you how. Strictly relying on upper body strength will tire you out, so remember to use your legs.”