Some Ninja Warrior obstacles are easy and intuitive and don’t require much preparation. Some others will scare the heck out of you if it’s your first trial. I have gathered the best tips and video tutorials about some of the most famous and challenging Ninja Warrior obstacles to help you in mastering all these obstacles and finally reaching Mt. Midoriyama. The shown techniques are from experienced Ninjas and will give you a great chance to succeed in any Ninja Warrior course.
So without furder ado, here is how to tackle the Ninja Warrior course’s toughest obstacles!
Skip to a Ninja Warrior obstacle
The Warped Wall looks simple, but regularly stops Ninja Warrior competitors who haven’t practiced this obstacle upfront. It’s one of the most underrated obstacles. Make sure to train it and get used to it.
How to master the Warped Wall with the right technique
It’s not just running up the quarter-pipe and jumping at the last moment. There is much more technique involved. The most important tips are:
- Focus on the edge while running, meaning, look up!
- Don’t lean too much into the wall. Otherwise, you won’t reach maximum speed.
- Aim for 2-3 steps on the slope.
- Try to hit the slope with 80-90% of your top speed and ramp it up once you reach the wall.
- Use one of your hands on the wall for pushing you further upwards, when jumping to the edge. Stretch yourself as far as possible and grab with the other hand.
Check out the following Warped Wall video tutorial for further tips, especially on how to bail out of the Warped Wall if you don’t reach the edge.
Wall runs as a training alternative for the Warped Wall
If you have no Warped Wall nearby to practice, you can train wall runs to improve your Warped Wall skill. First, run at and then upwards a regular wall, and try to touch it as high as possible with your hand. Mark your best heights with a tape to see your progress.
You can see excellent wall run techniques in the following video.
Rope Climb (Mt. Midoriyama)
At least when you are standing in front of Mt. Midoriyama, you should know how to climb a rope fast and effectively.
There are several techniques, where you clamp the rope between your legs and feet and virtually stand on it. This takes almost all of your bodyweight from your arms and makes the climbing way easier. By using the techniques from the following video, you will need less strength and endurance in your hands and arms to reach the top.
The fastest rope climbing technique
If time matters and you have to be really fast, there is one rope climbing technique I love most. And you can learn it from the master of Ninja Warrior obstacles himself, Isaac Caldiero. Just watch the next video and pause it when necessary to see how he crosses his feet around the rope and clamps it that way.
The Rope Jungle is basically swinging like Tarzan. Competitors must traverse a series of different ropes. Some are attached to a bungee cord, some slide on a track, and the rest is stationary.
The Rope Jungle is a massive time waster, as this Ninja Warrior obstacle usually takes at least 9 seconds, and sometimes up to 40 seconds. Try to finish it as fast as possible, whenever you have to tackle this. Don’t waste too much energy there.
How to train for the Rope Jungle
You will need a lot of grip strength to be fast on this obstacle. The best way to train for the Rope Jungle is by doing towel-pull-ups. If you want to give your grip strength a further boost, read the following article:
Once you can hang on the rope one-handed, you are ready to go!
The Cliffhanger is one of the toughest Ninja Warrior obstacles and well placed at the end of a course. It has taken out some of the top competitors, as it requires brutal grip strength.
Ninja Warriors must traverse a series of small ledges that are screwed to a wall. The ledges are so thin that you have to hold on with your fingers. The wall is vertical or features an overhang so that you won’t be able to use your feet.
How to train for the Cliffhanger
If you have no Cliffhanger nearby to practice this monster, the best way is by training on campus and hangboards, and bouldering on a regular basis. Check out my articles on how to get an insane grip strength:
Finally, have a look at the following video tutorial on how to crush the Ultimate Cliffhanger.
Probably there won’t be a single Ninja Warrior course that requires no Lache to get through. So, it’s one of the basics for becoming a successful Ninja Warrior.
A Lache is when you hang on an obstacle and have to jump to another obstacle or a platform with a swing motion.
How to do the Lache
And here is the right technique for getting a strong swing, when you are hanging from a bar at a dead hang:
- Don’t bend your arms. Hang relaxed!
- Bring your knees and feet as high as possible in a dynamic motion.
- At the peak of that motion, kick your feet out as far as possible to initiate the swing.
- On the backswing, let your feet swing loosely.
- When swinging to the front again, push with your hips forward and pull with the bar.
- Release and fling your arms forward so that your whole body jets out.
- If you want to grab another object, make sure to grab it with arms bent. This will allow your upper body to handle the impact much better.
Practice this movement many times to master a Lache with a precise landing. This skill is crucial for a lot of Ninja Warrior obstacles.
Watch the video tutorial below to see how to accomplish the Jumping Bars with a strong Lache. And if you want to read more about the Lache, also have a look at this great article from Chicago Ninja Academy:
The Flying Bar requires Ninja Warriors to hang on a bar which lies on a set of pads on each end and jump with it to several successive sets of landing pads. It looks scary, and it’s definitely a Ninja Warrior obstacle you should train.
How to master the Flying Bar
The basic prerequisite to accomplishing the Flying Bar is being comfortable with doing a precise Lache. You have to be careful to not over or undershoot the landing pads.
Besides a strong tap swing, this Ninja Warrior obstacle requires a lot upper body, grip, and core strength. Here are a few tips:
- Swing with fully extended arms. This way, you can generate more momentum.
- Land with your arms bend and knees tucked in and let your body stretch out when experiencing the impact. This makes it way easier to hold on the bar when landing.
The Unstable Bridges consist of two horizontal planks hanging slightly apart on ropes or metal chains. The first one has four mounting points, one in each corner. The second one has two mounting points, one in the center of each end.
How to master the Unstable Bridges
You move along the Unstable Bridges by
- pulling yourself up under the planks,
- releasing and reaching forward with both hands at the apex of your pull,
- and grabbing the plank again further ahead.
If you do that explosively enough, you might tackle this obstacle with three pulls.
The trickiest part is the transition from the first to the second plank. The second plank will rotate to the side and stop your run if you don’t grab it with both hands at the same time.
Have a look at the video tutorial below to see how to do the Unstable Bridges.
Once known as one of the most brutal Ninja Warrior obstacles, the Salmon Ladder is nowadays an obstacle most Ninja Warrior competitors reliably tackle. It’s standard equipment of every Ninja Warrior gym, and you can even train it in some classic weightlifting gyms.
Mastering the Salmon Ladder requires either strength for explosive leaping pull-ups or the right swinging technique with your legs and hips. Either way, it also requires the coordination for slamming a metal pole upwards between two supports. And this several times in a row.
How to train the explosive strength for the Salmon Ladder
The most basic training for the Salmon Ladder consists of doing plyometric pull-ups:
- Hang on a bar with an overhand grip.
- Lift yourself up as explosively as possible.
- Release the bar while floating in the air. If that’s too easy, try a chin-up clap, when you have enough hang time.
- Grab the bar again on your way down.
You can also train these explosive movements on a campus board by doing some double dynos.
Check out my article about training pull-ups to get the specific strength needed for that Ninja Warrior obstacle:
Try the Salmon Ladder again, once you can get much hang time above the bar. It should be easy now!
How to do the Salmon Ladder the easy way
If you have the proper technique, you can also do the Salmon Ladder without needing much strength. It’s all about swinging your legs and hip upwards before lifting the bar. That way, you generate upward momentum and relieve your arms. By kicking your legs up, your arms don’t have to lift your entire bodyweight. Have a look at the next video to see that swing movement.
And here are some more tips for mastering the Salmon Ladder the easy way:
- Position your hands slightly farther apart than your shoulder width. You will have more control, and the bar will be more stable.
- Don’t extend your arms fully, but bend them slightly. You don’t have to pull yourself all the way up. Save biceps strength by doing this!
The Wingnuts are a Ninja Warrior obstacle, where the competitors hang from a ledge in the shape of a wingnut and must swing sidewards to jump to and grab the next ledge. From there one, they must repeat that process to reach the third ledge, and then a platform.
The Wingnuts are one of these obstacles that throw out a lot of competitors, as they require precise timing and an excellent feeling for how strong to swing and when to release.
How to master the Wingnuts
Mastering the Wingnuts is all about releasing at the right moment. You want to release at the perfect launching point when your momentum is up and sidewards. So, don’t release too early or at the apex of your swinging motion. Have a look at the next video tutorial about the Wingnuts, to get a feeling for that perfect moment to release.
Arm Rings, Pipe Slider, and Devil Steps
What does the Arm Rings, the Pipe Slider, and the Devil Steps have in common? You won’t succeed if you haven’t mastered chin-ups yet and can’t lock your arms in a bend position. Often, these Ninja Warrior obstacles urge you to hang one-handed with bend arm and traverse with the other free arm.
That’s why I recommend performing chin-ups on a regular basis. Vary the width and the grips to stimulate further growths of the exposed muscles. Do chin-ups with arms slightly wider than shoulder-width, some with a narrow grip, and some with a super wide grip. Also vary the number of fingers you are using, starting with one hand.
For practicing the locking of your arms, perform regular chin-ups with locking off at different angles, such as 45°, 90°, and 120°. Do this not only on your way up but also while going all the way down.
Once you have gained the strength, endurance, and balance it needs for Ninja Warrior, it’s all about mastering every Ninja Warrior obstacle. You will have to practice them, over and over again, to get a feeling for them and to train your muscle memory.
The article above shall help you in beating the competition, and, eventually, in reaching Mt. Midoriyama. Follow the tips and try the techniques from experienced Ninja Warriors, and get comfortable with the obstacles.
I wish you happy training and great success! More obstacle tutorials are coming in the future. So, stay tuned!
I hope you enjoyed this article. Let me know by sharing it. Also, I would love to hear from you: Do you have further tips or want further obstacles to be covered in this article? Tell me!
Finally, have a look at my Ninja Warrior Training Guide, if you want to know more about a perfect Ninja Warrior workout.