Obstacle Courses – Fun for Everyone

Think of an obstacle course and you may have visions of military training or some celebrity athlete competition.  However, obstacle courses are simply that—a course which creates obstacles to challenge every age and fitness level. 

The fun aspect to an obstacle course is that it “feels” like you are playing, even if it is physically challenging because you are running, hopping, jumping and traversing.  And, every course may be modified to fit the needs of the user. 

We use obstacle courses training every age and fitness level.  Courses require that link between mind and muscle which is fantastic for encouraging neuromuscular development in every fitness level, incredibly beneficial for athletes in any sport due to the agility, power, coordination and concentration components and also challenge anyone to “nail” the actions and then add speed when/if appropriate.

This week two obstacle courses will be featured. These may be modified for just about any fitness level.   For example, for less fit individuals, the courses are walked, not run and some of the apparatus/skills may be modified to take into consideration their limitations (i.e. low impact high intensity interval training {LIHIIT} versus {high impact high intensity interval training {HIHIIT}). Regardless of fitness/skill level, master each skill/drill first which may lead to an improved safety component and enhance your performance outcomes.  As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician. 

Obstacle Courses – Set up the obstacle course first, then warm-up for 5-10 minutes bringing RPE’s (i.e. ratings of perceived exertion) to a 1-2 which is very light to light exertion.  RPE’s during the performance may range from 3-10 which is moderate to extremely heavy exertion (i.e. you may become briefly winded)!

Repeat each 3-station course two-five times (i.e. 7.5 – 18.75 minutes); 15-second break between stations.

#1 –Three Stations

Station #1 – Agility Ladder Drill– out/out/in/in skill; avoid hitting/touching the slats or straps on the ladder; change leads when you arrive at the end of the 15-30-foot ladder – 75 seconds.

Station #2 – BOSU/Step Drill – set up the BOSU/Step far enough apart so that you are able to perform an across the BOSU skill and an over the top step skill in four counts each and back which is an automatic lead change – 75 seconds.

Station #3 – Traversing Drill – Cones – set up the 4-8 cones in a figure 8 formation, far enough apart so that you may traverse around each cone and then turn around and return – 75 seconds.

#2 –Three Stations

Station #1 – Agility Ladder Drill – cross over skill; stand outside the right side of the ladder and cross the right foot inside the first block then the left foot, right foot outside the second block, left and repeat all of the way down the ladder, then turn around, same side of the ladder and change leads. 

Station #2 – BOSU/Step/Strongboard Drill – set up the three apparatus far enough apart so that you may safely perform the following skills.  Stick alternating knees on the BOSU 25 seconds; across the top of the step (lengthwise) 25 seconds; mountain climber from the step pro 360 25 seconds – 75 seconds.

Station #3 – Gliding Discs, Hula Hoop, Battling Rope Drills – perform a lateral glide skill on the discs 25 seconds; hula hoop skill 25 seconds and shuffle/slam battling rope skill for 25 seconds – 75 seconds.

Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness, LLC located in Granby, Colorado.  She may be reached at her website at www.mtnlifefitness.com and her email at jackie@mtnlifefitness.flywheelsites.com

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