The salmon ladder is one of the obstacles we have at all of our locations. This upper body obstacle is a staple on American Ninja Warrior. The idea is to jump a single bar up from rung to rung on the ladder. It takes upper-body strength as well as core and grip strength. Our setup has four or more rungs up, as well as a transfer across to another ladder. You will also find a Training Salmon Ladder at each location, and a Super Salmon Ladder at our Frisco location.
The Training Salmon Ladder
The Training Salmon Ladder is set up so that the bar can never fall. This allows you to practice your technique without constantly falling. Once you have the power to make it up, you’re ready to move on to the regular Salmon Ladder.
The Regular Salmon Ladder
Making it all the way up the salmon ladder takes strength and technique, but there are challenges and exercises you can do on it even if you can’t jump up a single rung. For example, you can try hanging from the bar and lifting it off of the rung, or tapping the bottom of the next rung up with the bar. There are also infinite ways to challenge yourself even if you can make it all the way up every time. For example transferring across to another ladder, going down the salmon ladder, skipping rungs, and many more. It’s one of our most versatile obstacles! Watch our tutorial to learn how to build the strength and technique for the Salmon Ladder, or to find some fun difficult challenges if you’ve already mastered the basics.
The Super Salmon Ladder
If you can get up the four or five jumps on our regular Salmon Ladder, you might wonder just how many rungs you can do in a row. That’s what the Super Salmon Ladder is for! It’s three times the size of our regular Salmon Ladder. Put your skills to the test at our Frisco location!
We have Swoop Sliders at all of our locations. The Swoop Slider is a spinning bar that rolls down a long track. You can hold onto the bar and ride it down! It picks up a lot of speed, and since it’s high up over the airbag is a great way to work on getting over a fear of heights in a safe way. Once you can hold onto the bar, you can transfer up to other obstacles at the end of the track. This is mostly an obstacle for beginners, but it’s easy to make harder challenges, like transferring big distances or attaching small holds to the bar and riding them down, and for advanced ninjas swinging to the bar when it’s at the bottom of the track and building enough momentum to get to the top. Watch our tutorial to find some tips, and some exercises to help you reach that advanced level!
The Swoop Slider feels like a roller coaster, and is one of the most fun obstacles we have no matter your level!
The Wingnuts are one of our tougher obstacles. They consist of sets of handles that swing side to side. Ninjas must swing their bodies side to side, then throw themselves sideways to the next handles, sometimes with a ninety degree twist. It takes core strength and technique to build up momentum, and grip-strength and precision to catch the next handles. We have them set up at all of our locations at various distances. The bigger the distance, the more difficult the catch will be. The shorter gaps are great for intermediate ninjas, and the bigger ones can be a tough challenge for advanced ninjas. Watch our tutorial to learn some tricks for building up momentum and for catching yourself on the Wingnuts.
The Warped Wall is probably the most iconic American Ninja Warrior obstacle(tm). It’s a curved wall which athletes must run up, grab the top of, and climb over. It takes leg power to reach the top, upper body strength to climb up, and a lot of commitment.
We recommend getting comfortable with coming down before you try the Warped Wall. To do this, run up a little way and practice putting your hands and feet on the wall and sliding down in a pushup position, as can be seen in our tutorial. If you go for the top and don’t make it, this is how to safely fall. This will not only help you be safe but will also make you feel more comfortable committing to going for the top.
All of our locations have ten-foot, twelve-foot, and fourteen-foot walls, and some have even more sizes to try. The smaller walls will be easier, so whenever you need a new challenge, move on to a bigger wall.
If all of the walls are too tall for you, ask a coach to hang a hold from them for you to grab a little lower than the top. If the highest wall is feeling easy for you, try starting on the lower walls and getting up with no hands.
Various cliffhanger setups have appeared on stage three in every season of American Ninja Warrior. It’s a set of thin ledges which ninjas must hang onto, move sideways along, and transfer up, down, sideways, and sometimes across long gaps between. It takes a lot of grip-strength to hold the ledges, upper body power to make some transfers, and good lache technique to make others.
We have plenty of cliffhanger holds in our gyms, including a set usually up on the traverse boxes, but the full setup with a lache across a long gap travels from location to location. The setups may change, but our tutorial covers all of the basic techniques which you will need to conquer any of our cliffhangers.
The difficulty of the cliffhanger will depend on the move you’re attempting. Bigger transfers and smaller ledges will be harder. If you’re starting out, look for the red ledges on big light blue boards, as they are easier to grip than the dark blue ledges on our traverse boxes, and start with the smallest transfers. If our setup is feeing easy for you, try skipping holds.