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What is lock-off strength and why is it important for Ninjas?

Being able to lock off is very helpful for climbing obstacles and other upper body challenges when you might lose your grip with one hand.

American Ninja Warrior - Season 7 Photo by: David Becker/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

“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:

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.