Synergy Rope Climb Challenge

Peak Obstacle Course Racing, aka OCR, season is quickly approaching and now is the time to start working on and refining your rope climb technique. Even an OCR isn't your thing... we designed this challenge for Beginners, Intermediates, and Veterans in mind so everyone benefits.

All month long, we’re challenging ourselves to get stronger and more confident climbing up the rope!



Of course modifications are absolutely allowed and there are various climbing techniques you can use. See the chart below showcasing just a few variations of rope climb positioning. With any technique, the goal should be to use your legs as much as possible to get up the rope without depending on upper body strength.




Here are climbing examples of each technique:






Choose which level to start at according to your fitness ability. Each day you are at the gym or have access to a rope, complete the exercises listed in the chart for that corresponding week. Every week the exercises will progress in difficulty to help build strength and confidence for your rope climbs.

BEGINNER: Start at this level if you are new to working out and have limited upper body strength. This progression is great for beginners and because your feet never leave the floor.  Week 4 DOES NOT finish with a complete rope climb. 

INTERMEDIATE: Start at this level if you have decent upper body strength and coordination, but are limited due to fear of heights, shoulder injuries or other limiting circumstances. This progression DOES NOT finish with a complete rope climb in Week 4.

VETERAN: Start at this level if you have good upper body strength and coordination, exercise regularly, but have not yet learned how to climb a rope or are a beginning climber. Even if you can already climb a rope successfully, these exercises will help strengthen and master your skill. This progression DOES finish with a complete rope climb in Week 4.



Lay to Stand Climbs: Start laying on the floor, legs straight out in front of you, rope hanging between your legs. Pull yourself up the rope to a standing position, trying to keep your legs as straight as possible. Lower yourself down, hand over hand, with the same straight leg posture. Ex.


Leg Wraps/Leg Positioning: Practicing this exercise will help develop the muscle memory for the actual rope climb. Stand behind (or next to if practicing the j-hook) the rope, lift your dominant leg up high like a tuck and practice your preferred rope positioning while keeping non-dominant foot on the floor.


Hanging Rope Tucks: Standing behind the rope, reach as high as possible and grab onto the rope. Let your feet leave the floor and pull your knees to your chest like a hanging knee to elbow exercise.


Rope Pull-ups: Standing behind the rope, reach as high as possible and grab onto the rope, making sure your palms and insides of your wrists are facing toward you. Pull yourself up like you would for a close grip chin up on a bar.


Hanging Leg Wraps: Standing behind the rope, reach as high as possible and grab onto the rope, release your legs from the floor, tuck your dominant leg to your chest and proceed to practice your preferred wrap/clamp technique with that same leg while hanging.


Rope Clamp & Stand: Immediately following 1 rep of “hanging leg wrap” exercise, before coming off the rope, complete the move by taking your non-dominant foot and clamping the rope between your feet securely enough so that you are able to stand up on the rope. You should now be hanging about a foot or so above the ground.