The IMPOSSIBLE Guide to the Salmon Ladder
So one of the most important thing about doing something impossible is doing stuff that looks cool. And, the Salmon Ladder looks really freaking cool.
If you’re reading this, add this to your impossible list, then start training. Let’s get after it.
The salmon ladder is a obstacle originating from the show American Ninja Warrior. The salmon ladder gets it’s name from a “fish ladder” - which is a way for fish to move between dams or other artificial barriers.
It’s essentially a plyometric pull-up. You grab a bar like you’re doing a pull-up, but as you get to the top of the pull-up you jump the bar to the next set of rungs. You repeat this, moving up to the ladder until you can complete it.
This is primarily an upper body workout, although you need to have incredible core control to pull it off.
It’s easily one of the coolest looking impossible challenges you can do - assuming you can pull it off.
Here’s one of the best tutorials on completing a Salmon Ladder from Drew Dreschel with Crossfit.
Training tutorial coming soon...
While you might - your best bet is either a ninja-specific gym, a gymnastics studio, or a parkour gym. You might also just be better off making a DIY salmon ladder on your own if you’re really committed to the idea.
Since it became an obstacle, the salmon ladder has become increasingly popular and whether it’s true or not is often seen as one of the harder obstacles to complete on American Ninja Warrior.
So what’s behind it’s popularity?
ANW definitely launched the salmon ladder in to the spotlight. Here are a couple of the most memorable moments of the salmon ladder in ANW history.
Mike Bernado’s Salmon Ladder Climb
Sean Brian on the Salmon Ladder
All Star Skills Competition - Salmon Ladder
Besides ANW - Steven Amell’s “Green Arrow” character on the CW’s show “Arrow” also gained quite a bit of popularity. It became a bit of a meme that anytime someone walked into the Arrow’s lair - he was doing the Salmon Ladder.
He even did a short tutorial on how to do the salmon ladder himself
Amell actually learned how to do the workout himself (no stunt doubles here),
Bring it full circle, he actually did the American Ninja Warrior course himself once -
And of course - when it came to the salmon ladder portion - he dominated it.
If you’re not satisfied - here’s a couple other solid resources we found around the web about salmon ladders: