General Techniques

Before jumping into specific techniques there are a few general techniques that athletes could use within a specific technique. In this section we will briefly cover these different approaches athletes can take.

Movement Types

Generally speaking every technique can be classified as one of two different movement types, static or dynamic. These two different movement types vary drastically but both can be effective. More notably, both movement types can be used to complete the same obstacle. Individual athletes may be more confident with one movement style over the other. Let’s take a look at our two movement types and how they differ.


Static movement is generally slow and controlled. Athletes using a static technique will attempt to control their movements and the movement of the obstacle. This static approach is often slower then a dynamic approach.

A static approach is commonly used by athletes who are more comfortable being in control. This slow and methodical approach can be very effective if the athlete has sufficient strength and control. Athletes using a static approach will often maintain contact between themselves and the obstacle with one or more limbs.


Dynamic movements is often energetic or adaptive. This rapidly changing approach is often faster but the athlete typically has less control over the approach.

A dynamic approach is commonly used by athletes who are quick on their feet. This face paced strategy can be effective if an athlete has fast reflexes and highly calibrated body control. Athletes using a dynamic approach may run, sprint or throw themselves to the finish.

Grip Orientation

Grip orientation refers to the positioning of the athletes hands on obstacles. This description applies specifically to obstacles where the athlete is hanging from their hands on obstacles like bars, or ledges. Not every hanging obstacle allows the athlete an opportunity to use every grip orientations. The design of the obstacle may prevent the athlete from holding it with a specific orientation.


Athletes palms are facing away from their body. This standard grip is the most commonly used for athletes. This grip has a two main advantages.

First, it is often the first grip athletes use and therefore the most familiar.

Second, the grip allows athletes to see where they are going when traversing forward.


Reverse grip spins the athlete’s palms towards their body. The reverse grip is sometimes used on forward moving cliff hanger laches. The grip allows the athlete to face the direction they are laching to easily spot the obstacle they are laching to.


The palms in grip is rarely talked about. Often times the athlete is forced to use the palms in technique by obstacle design.

However, there is one scenario where the where the palms-in grip can shine. On lateral moving ledge laches an athlete can cup the end of a ledge with the plams-in grip. This approach helps prevent peel out on back swings.


The switch grip is when an athlete faces one palm in and one palm out. This approach is commonly used when a obstacle wants to rotate or spin. The hands facing in opposite directions will create opposing forces that often minimize any the spin or rotation of the bar.


This concludes our training on general techniques. At this point you should be familiar with a static vs. a dynamic approach to obstacles. As well as, the different types of grip and the potential benefits of each.