Spartan Race Barbed Wire Tutorial

Spartan Pro Team member Chris Rutz teaches you how to correctly defeat the barbed wire crawl with a variety of techniques.


Time to get down and dirty. Stay low, crawl fast, and maybe, just maybe, you will make it out of the barbed wire crawl unscathed. Hopefully you have been doing your bear crawls.

Racer Instructions:

  • Crawl under the barbed wire (Rolling IS allowed).
  • Packs / bottles must go through the barbed wire obstacle.
  • No diving.

Failure Modes:

  • Skipping the obstacle.
  • Failure to carry personal belongings through the obstacle.
  • Going over wire or cord designed for passing under (unless obstacle is damaged).

Failure Penalty:

  • Disqualification

Percentage that Burpee: 12%

Skills needed:

  1. Core Strength
  2. Hip Mobility
  3. Coordination
  4. Shoulder stability

Muscles worked:

  1. Rhomboids and scapular stabilizers
  2. Core
  3. Hips
  4. Adductors
  5. Calves and Feet

Most Important Exercises:

  1. Bear Crawls
  2. Knee to Elbow Push Ups and Mountain Climbers
  3. Hollow Holds or Ab Wheels
  4. Planks
  5. Warrior or Triangle Pose (Yoga)

Tips for Success:

At the race, your goal is that you have the ability to stay low, in a combination crawling, mobile hip, plank-like position for 4-5 minutes or more. Bear crawls are a super important training exercise because they reinforce moving opposing limbs in a coordinated fashion to move the body in a forward direction, which many lack and tend to overuse a single side, which can lead to cramping.