If you dream of becoming a Ninja Warrior, you know that each obstacle on the course is designed to require both strength and technique. That means you can’t just train your body and hope for the best.
In order to conquer each of the unique obstacles, you need to train the right way.
The Barrel Roll is one of the more challenging obstacles on the Ninja Warrior course. Introduced in season eleven, this obstacle requires immense upper body strength coupled with a strong grip and coordination.
If you want to be able to master the barrel roll, this Ninja Warrior training guide will get you started.
What Is the Barrel Roll?
The barrel roll was created by Tyler Rizzo, the 11-year-old winner of the obstacle design challenge for season ten of Ninja Warrior. His original design of three rotating cylinders with handles was slightly tweaked for its debut.
The final design requires the competitor to jump on a trampoline in order to spring themself up to the first cylinder. With a strong grip on the handle, the competitor must then swing themself to the next rotating cylinder.
Once they climb to the other side of the final cylinder, they must use the momentum of the rotation to launch themself onto the landing platform.
How to Conquer the Barrel Roll
This obstacle takes dedicated concentration, and the strength to hold on and climb must be a given. In order to conquer the barrel roll, work on upper body strength as the base to rely on.
Bodyweight exercises like pull-ups and push-ups are ideal to train for this obstacle. You need to be able to easily lift your own weight up the handles in a short amount of time in order to catch momentum.
Additionally, don’t neglect the importance of grip strength. Many of the Ninja Warrior obstacles require a strong grip, and this one is no exception. Build up your grip through rock climbing and ropes exercises so there’s no chance of slipping along the way.
Lastly, focus on keeping your body lean in preparation for this obstacle. The more muscle and less extra body weight, the better your chance of conquering the barrel roll with ease.
Tips for Increasing Speed
The key to increasing speed within this obstacle is all about momentum. If you are working against the rotating cylinders, you won’t make it through. The barrel roll is unlike other Ninja Warrior obstacles in that it doesn’t entirely rely on effective laching.
While you need to be able to use your hips and core strength to swing your body to the second cylinder, the dismount has to be timed with the rotation as well. Position your body for dismount at the top of the second cylinder so that you aren’t caught off guard.
To master the timing, repetitive practice is key. The more you can rely on muscle memory, the better. In summary, master the grip and strength required so that you can concentrate on timing the dismount.
Follow the Ninja Warrior Guide to Master Any Obstacle
The barrel roll is just one of the many obstacles to prepare for in the Ninja Warrior course. This guide provides a starting point for your training.
However, no Ninja Warrior is made without time spent practicing and training. If you’re looking for a Ninja Warrior gym, sign up for our adult or youth ninja training classes to get you prepared to conquer the course and learn more about training techniques on our blog.