Salmon Ladder – classic crazy Ninja Warrior obstacle (1st attempt)

American Ninja Warrior - salmon ladder

Salmon Ladder Ninja Warrior training

For those that don’t know, the Salmon Ladder is an obstacle on American Ninja Warrior that’s been around since the start, is incredibly hard, is in every version of the show and forces veterans and rookies alike to get dunked in the water.

I tried it myself for the first time last Sunday, and it is so much harder than I ever imagined!  I fell off so many times… which was slightly terrifying given we were on a hill and the bar is solid iron.

For those that don’t know, basically, you grab hold of a bar, and then with a kind of pull-up jumping motion, you jump the bar (and yourself) to the next rung. My trainer only has 3 rungs, and it’s a metal bar on metal rungs, so it’s loud.  It echoes throughout the suburb.

Surprisingly, I didn’t struggle on the strength requirements, it was the coordination that did me in.  My left side found the rung every time, but my right side often missed… which is weird because I’m definitely stronger on my right side.  I didn’t actually make it up all three rungs, and my very first attempt was easily my best….  it’s brutal on the hands.  You basically have to throw the bar out behind you, and up, and then forward, in a way that’s completely perpendicular to the frame .  Makes this so much more impressive, 35 rung Salmon ladder!  I barely got up 3 rungs.

I now have even more appreciation for the athletes that compete on the show, and given how unco my attempt was, I think it’s crazy to try and compete without mastering the Salmon Ladder first, strength is important but technique is everything!

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