As much as your kids would love to live in the ninja gym, at some point you have to go home. So when the ninja energy runs high in the living room, bring the ninja gym to them with the same type of games, activities, and obstacle courses they do during their training. You don’t have to have a warped wall or rope swings to exercise like a ninja – there are many fun activities you can do with just what you have around the house.
One of the easiest ways to get your ninja moving is to create an obstacle course like the ones they run at NinjaZone. You don’t even have to have a huge space to do obstacle courses, though a big backyard is fantastic for when the weather is nice! It’s not just the running of the obstacle course that makes this fun – the planning and building of the course can be a great family time activity that shows ninjas how much can be accomplished by working together.
Outdoor Obstacle Courses
Outdoor obstacles can incorporate existing things like monkey bars to swing across, swings to jump over and through, and slides to use as your ninja’s own “warped wall”. Cones are an inexpensive way to mark off areas of your course. Pool noodles are great for jumping over during a run or they can be incorporated as a javelin to throw in your course. During warm seasons, include water balloon tosses and a small kiddie pool to run through. Add extra giggles by running a sprinkler over your obstacle course, just be careful when including water on things like monkey bars.
Indoor Obstacle Courses
For cold weather obstacle courses that have to be run indoors, you can easily use a hallway or a family room to build a more contained obstacle course. Use things like couch cushions and pillows as hurdles to jump over, balloons as obstacles that hang down from the ceiling, and painters tape makes a great balance beam and can also be used on walls without damaging anything. For extra fun, add the elements of the classic game “the floor is lava” and watch your little ninjas get creative!
Focus on Footwork
Training for older ninjas can look a little different than it is for the younger crowd with more of a focus on footwork and being light on their feet. Some tools that may be of use when it comes to older ninjas are things like agility ladders, hurdles, training rings, and cones. All of these can really help improve an older ninja’s footwork. Some of these things can also be used for younger siblings, but the best start to good footwork is hopscotch.
Step Out of the Ninja Box
The crossover happens between all types of sports and is extremely beneficial to the athlete. It’s funny to picture football players learning ballet, but it makes them lighter on their feet. Ninjas can easily cross-train too! Not only does trying other activities and workouts help your child be a better ninja, but it can prevent injuries caused by overuse. Some cross-training exercises that we think are great for ninjas to practice are:
Yoga and pilates for balance
Meditation for focus
Soccer for faster feet and agility
Playing catch for better grip strength and reaction time
Regular exercise like jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, and running with a parent because it sets an example that physical activity is important at all ages.
Become the Student
After teaching your ninja some crossover exercises that will help increase their ninja training level, have them teach you what they know. You might be surprised at how hard their workout can be. These can be exercises they’ve learned at ninja training, from physical education at their school, or help them create new exercise activities together and get moving. Setting the example that fitness can be fun while also teaching that it is important can be a key lifelong lesson for them.
It doesn’t take a fully equipped ninja gym for your little ninjas to train like masters. There are so many fun ways to train at home. All you need is a little imagination and creativity. Anything around you can be a great way to get a ninja workout.
Written By Robert Helfst