Obstacle In Focus: Log Hop

How to Do the Log Hop

How To Do The Log Hop

The Log Hop is a staple in all of the Spartan Races, and several other races use a similar variation. I spent a day volunteering at the Log Hop in the 2013 Arizona Spartan Sprint, and calculated that about 95% of the 4000 participants made it through successfully. I was in charge of making the ones that didn’t make it do 30 burpees, so I got the chance to chat with the other 5%. A few of them were very strong athletes who just made a misstep, but others were struggling and had missed pretty much every obstacle on the course so far.

But the good news is unlike other obstacles like the rope climbs or monkey bars, the log hop is primarily mental and anyone can be part of the 95%. With a little bit of practice and confidence building, everyone should be able to save themselves some burpees here. Here are a few tips to help you rock this obstacle:

Choose a Good Line:

Not all lines on the log hop are created equally. In some lines, the logs are evenly spaced and are at even heights. In other lines, the heights varied greatly and there were significant gaps in between the logs. While this doesn’t affect tall people as much, if you are short (like me) these gaps and height differences can easily throw you off balance. Take some time to scout out the most even line to set yourself up for success. If you aren’t sure or you don’t want to spend the extra seconds, then most course volunteers are happy to point you towards the most even one.

Keep Your Forward Momentum:

The people who were most successful were the ones who maintained a deliberate and controlled pace forwards. They did not run or stop, but they took advantage of their forward momentum to help with their balance by putting one foot on one log and the next foot on the next log. Most of the people who did fall were the ones who stopped at each log because they were putting both feet on each log, rather than one foot per log.

The lady in blue is making it harder by putting both feet on each log.  The lady in pink is having an easier time with some help from her forward momentum.

Land on Your Feet

This obstacle can be dangerous for people who won’t admit defeat. I witnessed several falls that could have been disastrous because people kept on running as they were losing their balance, and fell horizontally so that their heads barely missed another row of logs. If you lose control, hop off, land on your feet and accept your punishment. 30 burpees are infinitely better than bashing your head on the way down.


There are plenty of ways to practice for this one. Set up a series of stumps, rocks or anything else you can find and practice walking across. Build your confidence even more by making long gaps between objects and choosing objects of varying heights.

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