Number 3: The Jumping Pull-Up
by Joe Di Stenfano co-founder of Spartan Coaches
Click here for Part I: Bowler Squat
Click here for Part II: Reverse Bear Crawl
Because 8 foot walls, monkey bars, traverses, and festival challenges don’t conquer themselves.
Everyone makes mistakes. Sadly, the architect that drew up the blueprint for the homosapien female never foresaw a time where millions of women globally would have a need to do more pull-up variations in a weekend than they would produce babies in a lifetime. The anatomical disadvantages we have discussed in the last two posts in this series, created a species that since the dawn of creation has had much trouble with pull-ups. Fortunately, there are always things we can do.
The Jumping Pull-Up is going to allow almost anybody to crank out a set of ten pull ups in good form. In addition, it has complete carry over to racing since when you are climbing over the towering 8-foot walls, you will most likely begin with a jump.
Jumping Pull-Ups are going to provide two primary strength benefits to a female obstacle racer, upper body pulling and a whole lot of grip strength. Jumping pull-ups can be be done on tree branches, walls, playground equipment, and of course, on chin-up bars. This flexibility allows Jumping Pull-Ups to be trained with varying hand positions, grip widths, and grip circumferences. Exposing the grip to variations in training, especially under the load of one’s own body weight, is going to become important to reducing the risk of elbow tendonitis on race day, one of Spartan Race’s most common injuries.
In addition, Jumping Pull-ups are going to be a fantastic compliment to the other two exercises in this series, hereby completing a total body workout specifically designed for Spartan Races in just three simply, body weight maneuvers.
To recap, because women anatomically have a larger “Q-angle”, a more anteriorly (or forward) tilted pelvis, and a larger percentage of body weight held below the midsection, they often times require specialized lower body, core, and upper body training. Female training should begin around strengthening the hips and move up to the core and upper body. Exercises such as the Bowler Squat, can reduce unwanted or excessive medial (inward) rotation and adduction (knee caving inwards) of the femur (thigh bone), as well as help to equalize the pelvis’s forward tilt to a more neutral one, both of which will reduce stress on the knees. The Reverse Bear Crawl is going to train a woman’s core function and reflex, as well as add tremendous stability, strength, and “injury proofing” to the upper body. Finally, the Jumping Pull-Up is going to balance out this increased pressing strength in the upper body and develop very functional grip strength to help a women conquer even Spartan Race’s most challenging obstacles.