A Salmon Ladder is one of those things I'd almost forgotten about until I saw the ads for the television series Arrow, where he's putting one to work. I'd love to build one for the home gym here (or more likely, the backyard) - but how? There are a couple of basic approaches.
I'll detail those in a minute, but first, a spot of history :
What is a Salmon Ladder? How Did It Come About?
Think of a Salmon Ladder as an extra challenging pull-up variation, with a little Kipping and Plyometrics thrown in. The video below will show you exactly what it is.
As for the origin : as far as I can tell, the first time a Salmon Ladder was shown to the world was in competition 18 of Sasuke (shown in many countries as 'Ninja Warrior'); held in Spring 2007. The course was greatly modified following competition 17 (which was considered 'too easy' by some), and a number of new obstacles - notably the Salmon Ladder - were introduced.
To give you a taste, here's the Salmon Ladder being tackled admirably in a later Sasuke competition (Sasuke 27) :
As you can see, it's a fairly simple idea; though certainly a challenging obstacle. In fact, the first time it appeared in a Sasuke competition, only 50% of the competitors succeeded in negotiating it.
"How do I get my forearms bigger!?!" is a question I hear a lot at the gym and when I talk to clients who are unhappy with the size of their lower arms. What is the answer to the mysteriously huge forearms of the pros? The wrist roller! This is the easiest, most effective (in my opinion) exercises for building forearms like Popeye without all of that crazy canned spinach business (no disrespect towards Popeye of course!).
I've been working out for quite some time now and have spent quite a bit of time in local gyms and commercial gyms when I've been away from home. The thing about commercial gyms and membership facilities is that they are not in the most convenient place you know, your home.
A friend asked me this morning about instructions for home-made plyo boxes, and Today Fitness reminded me of a piece in the CrossFit Journal a couple of years ago. If you're looking to construct a couple for yourself, grab the free PDF. Superb.
This is an easy design for an eight-foot square platform that will stand up to your heavy weightlifting for a long time to come. Protect your floor, your weights, and your knees by lifting at home on a proper training platform.
If you ever wake up with that 'just run over by a truck' feeling, you need a copy of Tim Hull's Functional Correction Manual. Not only will it help you to locate and repair the problem, it'll help prevent it happening in the future.
When it comes to body transformation - whether that's an increase in strength, packing on a bit of muscle or losing a bit of excess fat - this is the perfect place to start. Dr Berardi's Precision Nutrition.
If you've ever watched a Bruce Lee film and marveled at his strength, speed, agility, endurance, flexibility or muscularity, this book should take pride of place in your collection. Unlike many other writings covering everything from Lee's training methods to nutrition, this book is based not on the recollections of people around him; but on Lee's own notes. Brilliant.
For a full list of what we're reading and watching at the moment, just head over to the Recommended Books & DVDs page. See you there.