At Home Obstacle Courses: Exploring Setups

At-home Obstacle Course Training Rig by SwingSesh

Are you training for your next obstacle course race? Or maybe you have an aspiring Ninja warrior in the house? Train for an obstacle course race from the comfort of your own backyard by creating an at-home obstacle course that will offer a unique blend of challenge, excitement, and versatility for the entire family. From simple setups that require minimal equipment to elaborate designs that can transform your outdoor space into a dynamic playground, the possibilities are endless. Let’s dive into the world of at-home obstacle courses to provide ideas, setup tips, and safety considerations to help you create an engaging training area that doubles as a playset for kids and adults alike.

The Health Benefits of a Home Obstacle Course

Having a backyard obstacle course offers an array of health benefits for both children and adults, creating a fun and engaging way to foster physical and mental well-being. For kids, navigating through obstacle courses can significantly enhance their physical development, improving strength, balance, coordination, and agility. These physical activities are not just crucial for their physical health but also play an essential role in their cognitive and social development. Engaging in physical challenges helps children learn to solve problems, face fears, and overcome obstacles, fostering a sense of accomplishment and boosting self-esteem. Furthermore, regular physical activity from a young age sets a foundation for a healthy lifestyle, potentially mitigating the risk of obesity and associated health issues. As they climb, jump, and balance, children are not only expending energy and increasing their physical fitness but also enhancing their motor skills and spatial awareness, all of which are crucial elements of their overall development.

For adults, incorporating obstacle courses into their fitness regimen offers a unique blend of cardiovascular and strength training, providing a comprehensive workout that challenges the body in varied and dynamic ways. Unlike gym routines that can become monotonous over time, obstacle courses require full-body engagement, which can lead to improved muscle tone, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility. Additionally, the problem-solving and strategic thinking involved in navigating an obstacle course can also serve as a mental workout, helping to relieve stress and improve mental health. Participating in these physical activities alongside your children not only allows the adults to model healthy habits but also strengthens family bonds through shared experiences and achievements. Engaging in outdoor obstacle courses can also counteract the sedentary lifestyle that is increasingly prevalent in today’s society, encouraging families to spend more time outdoors, benefiting from fresh air and natural sunlight, which are essential for vitamin D synthesis and overall mood enhancement.

Planning Your Course

Before diving into construction, it's essential to plan. Consider your available space, the age and fitness levels of the participants, and your budget. Safety should be your top priority, so ensure that the course layout leaves ample room between obstacles and avoids hard surfaces. Grass, mulch, rubber tiles, and artificial turf are popular choices for soft landings and reduced injury risk​​.

Always prioritize safety when setting up and using your obstacle course:

  • Ensure all equipment is stable and secure.
  • Use appropriate surfacing to cushion falls.
  • Supervise children at all times to guide them through obstacles safely.

Obstacle Course Training Skills

The obstacles of many OCRs, like the Spartan races, are designed to test your skill in many different areas like climbing, crawling, carrying, swinging, leaping, balancing, agility, and endurance. You can train for some of these skills with very little equipment, but to master others – like climbing and swinging – you’ll want some more advanced equipment. Let’s dive into some OCR training setup ideas.

Simple Setup Ideas

Your OCR training can start at home with little equipment. A few pieces of gear and repurposing some items you already have at home can go a long way. With minimal setup and a little bit of gear, you can be improving your carry, balance, leap, and strength skills:
  • Bucket carry: Grab a five-gallon bucket, fill it with water, rocks, your weight of choice, and carry it for 100 meters.
  • Slack line: Stretch a strap or slackline between two trees and practice your balancing skills.
  • Farmer’s carry: Grab something heavy in each hand (weights, filled buckets, large jugs) and walk to your mailbox and back. Now do it again!
  • Log carry: This one’s pretty straightforward. Get a big log, carry it over your shoulder.
  • Push-ups: Develop your strength with the classic training move, push-ups.
  • Jump rope: Training or playing? Jumping rope is a great cardio move, and a lot of fun! Grab a weighted jump rope to prep for race day.
  • Burpees: No OCR training plan would be complete without burpees. Step it up a notch by grabbing a sandbag and pressing it over your head with each rep.

Advanced Obstacles

For those looking to step up their backyard obstacle course training, you’re going to need some equipment to master skills like climbing and swinging. These are essential skills for any obstacle course race, so don’t show up on race day unprepared!
  • Rope climb: Let’s be honest, you probably haven’t climbed a rope since gym class circa 1993. A classic obstacle at races like the Spartan, climbing a 16-ft rope takes some technique and a lot of practice to master.
  • Cargo net: test your coordination, strength, and maybe even your fear of heights on a cargo net climber.
  • Monkey bars: You’ll feel like a kid again when you master the monkey bars! Find a playground to practice or make sure your backyard training rig has monkey bars for adults.
  • Ring swing: More challenging and dynamic than the monkey bars, test your upper body strength and coordination by swinging between rings.
  • Climbing walls: No obstacle course would be complete without a wall to scale! Develop your strength at climbing gym or at-home climbing wall.
  • Box jumps: A classic functional fitness move that requires full body explosive power, strong legs, and a good sense of balance.

SpartanSesh: A High-Quality Backyard Obstacle Course Solution

SwingSesh SpartanSesh OCR Training At Home

SwingSesh offers an innovative playset and fitness equipment combination that serves as the perfect solution for anyone looking to create a backyard obstacle course. Integrating the excitement of a children's playground with the challenge of an adult fitness gym, SwingSesh offers a comprehensive array of features including monkey bars, climbing ropes, pull-up bars, and climbing walls, along with optional attachments like slides and swings. This multifunctional setup is designed to engage users of all ages in a variety of physical activities, seamlessly blending play with exercise. Whether it's navigating through an imaginative obstacle course or engaging in a vigorous workout, SwingSesh provides a dynamic and versatile outdoor experience that meets the needs of both children and adults alike, making it an exemplary addition to any backyard.

Obstacle Features of the SpartanSesh

SwingSesh's SpartanSesh model comes loaded with features that make it the ultimate backyard obstacle course:

  • Monkey Bars: Offer a fantastic upper body workout, enhancing grip strength, coordination, and agility.
  • Climbing Ropes: Ideal for building upper body and core strength, climbing ropes add a challenging vertical dimension to workouts and playtime.
  • Rings: Add rings or other hand-holds for the ultimate grip strength and coordination exercise.
  • Climbing Walls: Traverse around or climb up and over, your choice.
  • Cargo Net: Build your coordination and strength climbing the cargo net.
  • Pull-Up Bars: Integrated into the structure, pull-up bars are perfect for strength training, offering multiple grip positions to target different muscle groups.
  • Swings: All SwingSesh equipment can incorporate high-quality swings that are enjoyable for both kids and adults. Swings can also be used for some killer ab workouts!


Fully Customizable!
  SimpleSesh MonkeyBars ClimbingRope
SwingSesh Swings MonkeyBars Climbing Rope
SimpleSesh MonkeyBars 1ClimbingRope

Dual Use: Playset and Training Gym

The brilliance of SwingSesh lies in its dual functionality. For children, it's an adventurous playground that supports active play and physical development. For adults, it transforms into a fully-functional outdoor gym, suitable for a wide range of fitness routines from bodyweight exercises to strength training. This dual use ensures that investing in a SwingSesh is not just about play but about promoting a healthy, active lifestyle for the entire family.

Safety Features

Safety is a paramount concern with SwingSesh. The structure is engineered with safety in mind, featuring:
  • Sturdy Construction: Built from high-grade materials to ensure stability and durability.
  • Safe Design: All edges are rounded or covered to prevent injury, and the construction avoids pinch points and other common hazards.
  • Secure Anchoring: SwingSesh is equipped with a robust anchoring system, ensuring the structure remains firmly in place, even during vigorous use.

Durability Features

Durability is another key aspect of SwingSesh, designed to withstand the test of time and the elements:
  • Weather-Resistant Materials: The steel frame is coated with a weather-resistant finish, protecting it from rust, corrosion, and UV damage.
  • Low Maintenance: SwingSesh equipment is designed for very minimal upkeep, requiring only occasional checks to ensure all parts are secure and in good condition.
  • Longevity: With its durable construction and materials, SwingSesh is built to last, providing years of outdoor fun and fitness.

SwingSesh stands out as the ultimate solution for those looking to create a backyard obstacle course - blending fitness with fun in a safe, durable, and versatile outdoor setting. Whether you're training for strength, enjoying playful activities with your children, or setting up an engaging obstacle course, SwingSesh meets a wide range of needs with excellence and innovation.

In conclusion, building an at-home obstacle course is a fantastic way to encourage outdoor activity, enhance family time, and train for your next OCR! Whether you start with a simple setup or opt for a more elaborate design, the key is to customize the equipment to fit your space, needs, and interests. And with the addition of a SwingSesh fitness playset like the SpartanSesh, you can take your backyard fun to the next level, ensuring a durable and engaging fitness area that's perfect for both kids and adults.


Naomi Leeman

Naomi is co-founder and COO here at SwingSesh. With years of experience in landscape architecture and urban design, Naomi enjoys helping people make their spaces functional and beautiful! When her husband Brad had the idea to combine a home gym with a backyard playground, she was on board immediately and hasn't looked back since!

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