The 9 HYROX Exercises Explained: Your Journey to Winning

Image of athletes performing various Hyrox exercises

Ready to jump into the world of HYROX, the fitness race that taking the world by storm?

Understanding each HYROX exercise in detail – from technique to training tips, this guide is your key to mastering the race.

You’ll be tooled up to conquering every station with confidence and strength, changing your HYROX experience from challenging to triumphant.

Grab a drink and let’s get into it…

TL;DR

The 9 Hyrox Exercises

  1. 8 x 1km of running
  2. 1000m Ski Erg
  3. 50m Sled Push
  4. 50m Sled Pull
  5. 80m Burpee Broad Jumps
  6. 1000m Rowing
  7. 200m Kettle Bells Farmers Carry
  8. 100m Sandbag Lunges
  9. 75-100 Wall Balls.

What is HYROX?

History of HYROX

HYROX was the brainchild of Hamburg-based cycling, marathon, and triathlon veteran Christian Toetzke and London and Beijing Olympic gold medal hockey player Moritz Furste. Invented in 2017, they launched the first Hyrox event in Hamburg in April 2018.

The Story Behind the Name “HYROX”

Ever wondered what “HYROX” stands for? Well, it doesn’t stand for anything! The name is said to be a combination of Hybrid and Rockstar created by the founders during a drunken night!

The Race Layout

The race format is always the same, starting with a 1km run followed by a functional exercise, repeated 8 times to reach the finish line.

It is the largest indoor fitness event in the world and can be run solo, with a partner or as a relay. The aim is to achieve the best HYROX time and win the event.

The event order and layout is exactly the same for every race and is as follows;

1km Run,

1000m Ski Erg,

1km Run,

4 x 12.5m Sled Push,

1km Run,

4 x 12.5m Sled Pull,

1km Run,

80m Burpee Broad Jump,

1km Run,

1000m Row,

1km Run,

200m Kettlebells Farmers Carry,

1km Run,

100m Sandbag Lunges,

1km Run,

75-100 Wall Balls

HYROX Exercises

Running

The running section is a total of 8km split into 8 x 1km runs. The event starts with a 1km run before going to the first functional station of the Ski Erg, then back out to the next 1km run. #

The runs are around the outside of the main workout area and are usually 2-3 laps depending on the size of the venue hosting the event.

SkiErg

The 1st HYROX station is 1000m on the Ski Erg. Primarily, this erg focuses on engaging the arms, shoulders, and core muscles. With the correct technique, it also incorporate lower body muscles, transforming it into a comprehensive full-body workout

Sled Push

The next stop is the 50m Sled Push. The sled is pushed a distance of 12.5m 4 times in shuttles. This activity primarily engages the lower body, notably emphasising the posterior chain, core, and anterior thigh muscles. Making sure you have the right footwear with enough grip is critical in this exercise.

Sled Pull

The third station is the 50m Sled Pull. This engages your entire posterior chain, using muscles including your glutes, hamstrings, and the entire back, from the erector spinae to the traps. Additionally, your biceps, forearms, and the muscles surrounding the trunk come into play. Good grip strength is vital.

Burpee Broad Jumps

The 4th station is 80m Burpee Broad Jumps in a straight line. The quadriceps and hamstrings in your legs, paired with your glutes, are the driving force propelling you forward in the broad jumps.

Your calves act as the shock absorbers during landings. Your upper body, including the chest, back, and shoulders, come into play during the burpee phase, facilitating those push-ups and jumps

Rowing Machine

Next is the 1000m row at station 5 on a Concept 2 rowing machine. The primary muscles engaged are the latissimus dorsi, quadriceps, and hamstrings. The biceps assist in pulling the handle, while the core muscles work to maintain a stable posture throughout the activity

Kettle Bells Farmers Carry

In the 6th functional workout is the Kettle Bells Farmers Carry for a distance of 200m. This movement primarily engages the forearm muscles, responsible for gripping the kettlebells tightly.

The shoulders and traps work to stabilize the upper body, while the core muscles maintain posture and balance. The leg muscles, including the quadriceps and hamstrings, are also engaged to carry the body and the added weight of the kettlebells.

Sandbag Lunges

During the 100m Sandbag Lunges at the 7th station, the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes are heavily engaged as they work to propel the body forward in a lunge motion.

The core muscles assist in maintaining balance and stability, while the upper body muscles, including the shoulders and arms, work to hold the sandbag securely.

Wall Balls

In the 8th and final station is where you are rewarded with 75-100 HYROX Wall Balls. The primary muscles engaged are the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, which power the squat and thrust movement.

The shoulders and triceps are utilised in throwing the ball, while the core muscles help in maintaining stability and posture during the activity. It’s a full-body exercise that tests the endurance and strength of these muscle groups.

Below is HYROX Legend Hunter McIntyre showing perfect Wall Ball form.

How to Train for a HYROX Race

Photo of a clip board and training equipment to symbolise 'How to Train for a Hyrox Race'
  1. Cardiovascular Training: Begin with a solid base of cardiovascular training to build endurance. Incorporate running and rowing sessions into your routine, focusing on both speed and stamina.
  2. Strength Training: Develop muscle strength through targeted exercises for each muscle group involved in the HYROX stations. Include exercises such as squats, lunges, and kettlebell carries to mimic the conditions of the race in your gym routine.
  3. Functional Training: Engage in functional training to enhance your mobility and flexibility. This should include exercises that mimic the movements you’ll perform during the race, helping to build muscle memory and reduce the risk of injury.
  4. Core Stability: Focus on core exercises to build stability and balance, which will be crucial in exercises such as the wall balls and sandbag lunges.
  5. Technique: Allocate time to work on the technique for each station, ensuring efficiency and safety during the race. Consider seeking guidance from a professional to fine-tune your techniques or study YouTube videos of the movements.
  6. Recovery: Incorporate adequate recovery time in your training schedule to prevent burnout and reduce the risk of injury.
  7. Simulation Training: Closer to the race day, simulate the conditions of the race to get accustomed to the intensity and transitions between different workout stations.
  8. Mental Preparation: Lastly, work on your mental endurance. HYROX is as much a test of mental strength as it is physical. Develop a mindset that embraces challenges and is prepared for the gruelling nature of the race.

Competing in the HYROX Race

HYROX is open to everyone and offers four main categories:

  • Open: Ideal for beginners and casual fitness enthusiasts.
  • Individual Pro: For advanced athletes looking for a serious challenge.
  • Doubles: Compete with a partner, share the workload, and challenge as a pair
  • Relay Teams: A team of four, each member completes two rounds.

HYROX Gear Guide

The Essentials: What You Absolutely Need

  1. Footwear: You’ll need shoes that offer a balance between running comfort, stability and grip for functional exercises. A good grip is crucial for activities like the sled push. Brands like Puma Deviate Nitro 2 or Hoka Rocket X2 are popular choices for HYROX athletes.
  2. Functional Fitness Outfit: Choose lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking clothing. You want something that moves with you, not against you. Remember, it can get pretty warm indoors, so dress in layers that you can shed.
  3. Sweatbands/Headbands: Keep the sweat out of your eyes and maintain your cool, both literally and figuratively.

Performance Enhancers

  1. Hydration Pack: Staying hydrated is key. A small hydration pack is a smart choice.
  2. Gloves: Consider lightweight gloves to protect your hands during exercises like the sled pull and kettlebell carries. You want a pair that offers grip without compromising on dexterity.

Comfort and Safety Gear

  1. Protective Gear: Knee sleeves or compression calf sleeves can offer extra support and protection, especially during the Sandbag Lunges and Wall Balls
  2. Anti-Chafing Balm: Apply generously to areas prone to chafing. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later!
  3. Blister Plasters: Keep these handy in your bag. They’re great for quick fixes if you feel a hot spot forming on your foot.

The Extras

  1. Personal Towel: A small, quick-drying towel is perfect for wiping off sweat or drying your hands before a grip-intensive exercise.
  2. Change of Clothes: Post-race, you’ll likely want to change into something dry and comfortable for the celebrations and journey home.

Post-Race Recovery Kit

  1. Foam Roller or Massage Ball: These tools are great for a post-race muscle release session.
  2. Recovery Snack/Drink: Pack a protein-rich snack or recovery shake to help start the muscle repair process.
  3. Comfortable Shoes: After the race, give your feet a break with some comfy shoes or sandals.

From your shoes to your post-race snack, every item plays a role in smashing your HYROX. So gear up, get set and get it done!

Event Day Preparation

You’ve trained hard and pushed your limits to prepare for the big day – the HYROX race. But as the event draws near, it’s not just about the physical preparation. Navigating the day of the event with a clear plan and understanding what to expect can make all the difference in your performance and experience. So, let’s get you set up for success!

The Night Before: Prep and Pack

  1. Pack Your Gear: Make sure everything is packed the night before. This includes your race outfit, trainers, hydration pack, and any personal nutrition you prefer.
  2. Race Essentials: Don’t forget your ID and race confirmation. A small first-aid kit can also come in handy.
  3. Rest and Relax: Aim for a good night’s sleep. Your body needs this time to repair and be race-ready. Avoid heavy meals and stay hydrated.

Race Day Morning: Start on the Right Foot

  1. Nutritious Breakfast: Eat a breakfast that you’re used to and that is easy on your stomach. A balance of carbs and protein is ideal – think oatmeal with fruits and nuts, or a wholegrain toast with eggs.
  2. Early Arrival: Aim to arrive at the venue at least two hours before your start time. This gives you enough time to register, warm up, and soak in the event atmosphere.
  3. Check-In and Warm-Up: Once you’ve registered and checked in, it’s time for a light warm-up. Focus on dynamic stretches and light cardio to get your blood flowing.

Understanding the Layout and Logistics

  1. Familiarise yourself with the Venue: Take a moment to understand the layout of the venue. Know where the starting line, workout stations, restrooms, and hydration points are.
  2. The Roxzone: This unique transition zone in HYROX races can be tricky. It’s the space between the running track and the workout stations. Practice navigating this zone to manage your time and energy effectively.
  3. Mental Prep: Use this time to mentally prepare. Visualise the course, your transitions, and how you’ll tackle each section. Remember, it’s as much a mental game as it is physical.

During the Race: Strategies and Tips

  1. Pacing: Start steady. It’s easy to get carried away with adrenaline, but pacing is key. Remember, it’s a blend of endurance and strength.
  2. Hydration and Nutrition: Utilise the hydration stations and have your nutrition accessible. A quick energy gel or a sip of an electrolyte drink can be a game-changer.
  3. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to what your body tells you. If you need to slow down or adjust your technique, do it. It’s more a marathon than a sprint.

Post-Race: Recovery and Reflection

  1. Cool Down: After crossing the finish line, engage in a cool-down session. Gentle stretching and walking will help in muscle recovery.
  2. Hydrate and Refuel: Replenish your body with water and a snack. Protein and carbs are important for recovery.
  3. Reflect: Take a moment to appreciate your effort and what you’ve accomplished. Every race is a learning experience, regardless of the outcome. Check out your overall finish time and timings on each section of the race and see how you compared to others in your category and the elite competitors.

Beyond Competition: Volunteering and Spectating

Volunteering: Be Part of the Action

  1. Roles and Responsibilities: As a volunteer, you could be doing anything from helping with registrations, guiding athletes, or ensuring the smooth operation of workout stations. It’s a front-row seat to the action and a chance to learn the ins and outs of the event.
  2. Perks of Volunteering: Typically, volunteers receive some cool swag, like event T-shirts, and often get free entry to future races. It’s also a great way to meet fellow fitness enthusiasts and be part of a dynamic community.
  3. How to Volunteer: Check the HYROX website or their newsletters for calls for volunteers. Sign up early, as these spots can fill up quickly!

Spectating: Cheer and Get Inspired

  1. Experience the Energy: As a spectator, you’ll feel the pulse of the event. From the intense concentration of athletes at the starting line to the joy of crossing the finish line – it’s an atmosphere charged with excitement.
  2. Spectator Tips: Bring a camera, as you’ll want to capture the moments. Check the schedule beforehand to know when and where the key events happen. Also, be aware of the rules – like not passing food or drinks to competitors.
  3. Support Your Athletes: Make signs, wear team colours, and be ready to shout words of encouragement. Your support can be a huge boost to the athletes, especially those in the gruelling final stretches of the race.

Making the Most of Your Day

  1. Explore the Venue: HYROX events often have various stalls and booths. Check out the latest fitness gear, nutrition products, or even participate in mini-challenges.
  2. Networking Opportunities: Use this as an opportunity to connect with the fitness community. You’ll find trainers, enthusiasts, and professionals – all under one roof.
  3. Learn and Get Inspired: Watching the athletes tackle the HYROX challenge is not just thrilling, it’s educational. Observe their strategies, techniques, and how they handle different stations. It could be valuable insight for when you decide to take on the challenge yourself.

Wrapping Up

So that’s your overview of the HYROX Exercises in a nutshell.

A total of 8km of running and 8 workout stations. Broken down into 1km runs followed by 1 functional workout repeated eight times.

A race for everyone that can have a huge impact on your health and fitness

Are you ready to take on the challenge of your first HYROX competition?

Checkout the Official Race page and book your first HYROX Event.

And if you’re new to HYROX try our 6 Week HYROX Training Plan for Beginners to get you started.

FAQ’s

What is HYROX workout? HYROX is a fitness competition combining endurance and strength exercises across various workout stations, including running and functional work stations, designed to test both your stamina and muscle power.

How do you train for HYROX? Training for HYROX involves balanced training of cardiovascular exercises for endurance and strength training targeting the muscle groups used in the specific HYROX workout stations. Incorporating functional training to improve mobility and flexibility is also essential.

Does HYROX training build muscle? Yes, HYROX training builds muscle. The workout stations in a HYROX event involve strength training exercises that target various muscle groups, promoting muscle growth and strength.

How many times a week should I run for HYROX? It is recommended to run 3-4 times a week while training for HYROX to build the necessary endurance for the race. Ensure to vary the intensity and include compromised running to simulate the race conditions.

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