I have been participating in Spartan Race for 2 years running. During each of those races there was an obstacle where I had to climb a suspended rope. Both times I was unable to complete the challenge and instead did the penalty burpees.

I don't want to fail the rope challenge again. However, I don't have a rope that I can practice with. What training can I do to overcome this?

  • 1
    Pull-ups? Hang a towel or pair of pants from your rafters and "climb" the one or two hand-over-hands you can fit? Dec 4, 2012 at 22:39
  • @DaveLiepmann I will try something like that, and let you know how it goes. Dec 5, 2012 at 16:18
  • I'm not the right guy to answer this, but I know that rope climbing is going to involve using your feet to pinch the rope, while keeping your core tense, so that you're able to keep as much weight on your legs as possible... its a fairly technical activity. That's the impression I get from people I know who do it, but I don't rope climb myself...
    – DavidR
    Dec 5, 2012 at 18:15
  • 1
    This may sound juvenile and trivial but I used to climb small, straight trees with no branches. They are essentially a 'firm rope-in-place' that you could climb. I did this all through high school. After college I started climbing ropes and found it quite easy and was able to do so better than all of my pears. I attributed it to climbing the trees back ni the day.
    – ngramsky
    Dec 6, 2012 at 16:20

1 Answer 1


Rope climbing is all about technique and efficiency. This youtube video should show you the correct technique to climb a rope efficiently: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY_-1GGebQE

Now because you don't have a rope to practice on, the best you can do is develop your strength and muscular endurance by throwing a towel over a pull up bar, grabbing onto the towel and doing pull ups until your fist touches your chest. You should generally be aiming to do at least 15 reps to develop the strength to climb a 15 ft rope.

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