While there are a trillion exercises you can do to prepare for Ninja Warrior, I think these 3 exercises to master for Australian Ninja Warrior are the most useful.
Let’s just jump straight in!
1.) Hangboard pullups
There is so much to like about the hangboard. It’s very easy to install, and it develops your finger strength, grip strength, forearms, biceps, triceps, lats, back and core. Of anything I’d purchase for my training for Australian Ninja Warrior, this would absolutely be first. The hangboard usually has a number of different grips, so you can basically work your way from big to small as you get stronger and more hardcore. If you just have no where to put one and no access to a hangboard, then pullups at the gym would be okay, but it’s never going to develop your finger strength in the same way.
Finger strength is important for obstacles like the Ultimate Cliff Hanger. Grip strength is required for pretty much every obstacle that isn’t a balance obstacle. An advanced move is an explosive pullup (like a clap pullup but without the clap) where you lift your hands off the hangboard and then catch it on the way down. This is great training for the salmon ladder and any obstacle where you may have to catch yourself on bars or cargo nets, etc.
2.) Precision Jump
A parkour precision is where you jump from one object to another, and you land on the second object without overshooting and falling off. It develops your balance, and your jumping/leaping muscles (quads, hamstrings, ankles & core). This leaping exercise will help you conquer the very first obstacle, the quad steps (At this point we’re assuming Australian Ninja Warrior will follow both Sasuke and American Ninja Warrior in starting each course with a quad step variation obstacle). This leaping power will also help on the Warped Wall. Once you can do a precision jump from a standing position, start moving back and jumping at a run.
3.) Monkey bars
Unfortunately, just doing hangboard pullups isn’t enough. All of the upper body obstacles require you to traverse from hold to hold. You need to do pullups to develop the strength in the big muscles, but you’ll need to play on the monkey bars to build up all the other stabilising muscles. Swinging around requires a whole lot more effort than pulling up, and you’ll also need to train your body to swing. You’ll see in competition when people get hung up and don’t swing their body to use their momentum. Train your body so that you’re always assisted by moment… brute strength will only get you so far, but with technique you can accomplish anything.
Once you find some monkey bars, go forwards and backwards, go sideways along the side, swing and skip a couple of rungs… whatever it takes to toughen up your hands and muscles to create a swinging superstar!