Spartan Race Rope Climb Tutorial

This video is about Rope Climb Intermediate. Learn two techniques with Sven: the S-Hook and the J-Hook. Enjoy!


You’ve climbed a rope before. In 4th grade gym class. Try it now 16 feet up, on a rope caked with mud, sweat, water, and Spartan blood (okay maybe not blood). We recommend hooking your foot in some variation to stabilize yourself as you race to the top. Have a fear of heights? Suck it up and don’t look down.

Racer Instructions:

  • Climb the rope.
  • Ring the bell with your hands.

Failure Modes:

  • Failure to ascend the rope.
  • Failure to ring the bell.
  • Use of mechanical assistance.

Failure Penalty:

  • 30 Burpees

Percentage that Burpee: 58%

Skills needed:

  1. Agile feet
  2. Wrap technique
  3. Grip strength
  4. Diminished fear of heights

Muscles worked:

  1. Wrist flexors and fingers
  2. Lats, rhomboids, and scapular stabilizers
  3. Biceps
  4. Core
  5. Hip flexors
  6. Adductors
  7. Ankle flexors

Most Important Exercises:

  1. Pull Ups
  2. Body Rows
  3. Ab Wheel
  4. Knees to Elbows

Tips for Success:

Drape a towel over your pull up bar and do pull-ups gripping the towel for increased grip work.If you cannot do pull-ups, simply “jump” your chin over the bar and lower yourself under control, still using the towel on a frequent basis. Always “hang” from the bar for 30-60 seconds after your set is over to strengthen your grip. Do “Supine Partner Squats” to strengthen your hip flexors. Grab the rope at chest height until you get a strong foot wrap or position on the knots. Then, walk your hands up as high as possible and “stand up.” Tuck your knees and get a new lock on the rope and repeat the process until you can reach the cowbell!