“Locking off” is a term that those in the climbing community are probably familiar with, but might be new to others. It’s when you hold your arm in a bent position and hold it there while you reach for something else with your other arm. Another way to describe it is holding the top of a pull-up. It requires arm strength, a strong core, and coordination.
When it comes to Ninja, being able to lock off is very helpful for climbing obstacles and other upper body challenges—or if you lose your grip with one hand, having the strength to hold one with one arm could keep you from ending up in the water!
Travis Rosen posted an exercise that you can do to practice your lock-off strength:
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#strengthsaturday With the evolution of ninja obstacles, the “lock off” has become an increasingly important strength to have. But, you also need the coordination and quickness to be precise with your movements while in the lock off- for every additional fraction of a second spent hanging from one arm saps your strength in the big picture. That’s where these puppies come in to play! I used to do these regularly, but tried them out today for the first time in probably six months.... Surprisingly, I may have (somehow) gotten my record today?! ♂️ They’re hard but a great workout! Plus, the ease in which the chains/hooks dangle can make it extremely hard! Plus as an added bonus, these work your abs pretty well too!! (As with EVERYTHING ninja related, make sure you think safety first before you try it! Notice how low I am, WITH a big mattress under me.) • • • • #americanninjawarrior #anw #ninja #lockoff #strength #train #precision #hard #abs #biceps #lats #fun #efficiency #neverquit #overcome #inspire #motivate #leadbyexample #TR #travisrosen #GodIsMyStrength #thankYouJesus
Here are a few other ways you can practice your lock-off:
Note: If you are new to this and/or pull-ups are challenging, use an assisted pull-up machine, stand on a box, or jump up to the bar to do some of these exercises.
You’ll also want to include some dynamic movements with your lock-off training since many of the American Ninja Warrior obstacles require you to move quickly and efficiently. This article builds on what we’ve talked about here and includes loads of videos and training tips from Meagan Martin, Brian Arnold, Ian Dory, and Noah Kaufman. They cover using a campus board and hangboard, with drills and exercises for both beginners and advanced climbers.