When watching American Ninja Warrior on TV, you might be perplexed by some of the complex obstacles that are featured in the competitions and how they ever came to fruition.

Or, if you’re one of our amazing members participating in obstacle course training in one of our Five Star Ninja Warrior gyms here in Minnesota, you might need help articulating your experience with others about what exactly the obstacles you are conquering are and how they are helping you achieve your fitness goals.

Whatever your particular case may be, in our first blog post, we thought it would be beneficial to discuss a few of the basic types of obstacles you can expect to see in most ninja warrior obstacle course training programs.

The Salmon Ladder

The salmon ladder is one of the most difficult obstacles to master in ninja warrior competitions because it relies solely upon upper body strength. While you may be thinking, “doesn’t just about every ninja warrior obstacle there is rely on upper body strength?”, the salmon ladder goes above and beyond.

When tackling this beast, you have to hold onto a horizontal bar and use the swinging motion of your body to remove the bar from one rung up to the next in a repeated motion until you (miraculously) are able to make it to the top. As you progress in your obstacle course training, you build core and upper body strength — enabling you to be able to move up multiple rungs at a time, which is truly the secret to getting to the top and still having the energy to face the next obstacle in your path.

The Pole Grasper

Not quite as excruciating as the salmon ladder but still an incredible strength and grip test, especially for those on the shorter side, the pole grasper is featured in stage three of American Ninja Warrior. In this obstacle course, vertical poles are spaced out in a trail that you must hold onto and make your way from one to the next — like a monkey swinging from vine to vine.

As you progress, the poles become increasingly further apart upping the difficulty level. This means for those height-challenged individuals, a full-on leap is required in order to make it from one pole to the next. By using this obstacle course training, you get an intense workout in all of your extremities as your body and muscles are being stretched to their limits.

The Ring Swing

This obstacle name speaks for itself. The ring swing is an obstacle and exercise that has played a major role in gymnastics for decades. While in the ninja warrior version of this obstacle there is no flipping or acrobatics, your back, biceps, shoulders, and triceps are all put to the ultimate test as you swing your way from one ring to the next. The goal is to swing and hook each ring on the hook in front of it before you can move onto the next ring, and every time you miss the hook, it becomes increasingly difficult as your body exerts more energy.  As they say in American Ninja Warrior, “you’ve gotta get that swing to hook the ring!”

These are just a few of the many items you can expect to work with when you begin obstacle course training with us at Five Star Ninja Warrior. Sign up for a class today to see what all the hype is about!