Think of them as Monkey Bars made out of rope but spanning 25 feet over, yep you guessed it, over one nasty mud pit.
1. Monkey Bars Made Out of Ropes
2. Arm and Core Burnout
This is the most difficult obstacle on the course. It requires an amazing amount of upper body strength. We tested it for 3 months on 31 different people 16 women and 15 men. The result. Only about 10% of male competitors make it across the 25 foot span. Only 1% of female competitors make it. (Props to the 2 DIRTY boys and 2 DIRTY girls who knocked them out in SLC in 2011!)
You have to climb up to them and then find your rhythm. Swinging one handed from one to the next is best but keep your arms flexed. If you don’t control your lower body and core going across your efforts will put you in a position to be “twisted” and out of synch which will muddy the timing needed to catch the next rope and make your dismount awkward.
The ropes are never slick since they are made of a material that has incredible grip even if frozen … but at this point in the race you are tired and your stamina is about to be tested. It is upper body strength, hand strength and core strength that will get you through.
Want to get in shape for this one? Build up your arm, back and core strength. A good exercise to help in all three areas is the negative chin up. Start from the top position (the bar at about chest level) by standing on a bench and grabbing the bar. Slowly lower yourself for a 10 second count. While you lower yourself raise your knees to waist level and hold them there through the count. This will concentrate on your core strength. Work up until you can do 3 to 5 sets, 3 times per week and you will make bananas out of the Gorilla Ropes!