our ninja warrior course

Our blog is the on-going story of a not-so-average-anymore 1950's ranch, a passionate-designer-girl {me}, and a ingenius-carpenter-guy {Jordan}. Over the last decade, we have been making crazy improvements to our humble abode. And we have successfully re-worked it into a more beautiful, functional space.  We love to be authentic, original, and exceptional all while working within our budget.  Check out our craft room post (enter through the hidden bookcase), our deck/pergola that is our outdoor sanctuary, and our madeover bathroom!

But today I am sharing with you our very own Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course!  

We like to have a good time we like to stay active as a family but in a way that it comes naturally and without it feeling forced.  What better way to have fun with fitness than by making an obstacle course?  More than just watching American Ninja Warrior, we wanted to try it for ourselves.  First things first, we needed a solid structure to build off from.  Instead of building something from scratch, we brought home a swing set someone had offered Jordan to be used for the main support system.  

(Tip: If it's got good bones, it's worth using!  You can make it cute later!)

Next, the acutal structure of the course starts to take place....

The height of this structure is 13ft.
And then some beams to connect the two together.  Jordan also added holes for the pegs (like a peg wall), a salmon ladder, and some rings!  The rings are adjustable so the whole family can benefit from them.  We found them online and we bring them inside in the winter and hook them up in the basement where we can continue to use them.  (Read more about that here!)  Jordan took the balls from our bocce ball set and drilled holes through them.  Can you guess what these are for?!

Cannonballs!!  Jordan's always figuring out better ways to do things: He hooked up this hook part onto his drill to more easily spin and set the balls into place.
See what I mean?  (Imagine the drill is spinning and the hook is twisting the eye bolt into place. Pure genius!)

We bought rope and braided it ourselves with a strange kind of braid, a speed rope braid.  We found a braiding tutorial online.
Our kids have always been exceptional rope climbers!!

Jordan added more height to the salmon ladder since he quickly mastered it and needed more of a challenge.  
All of the piping you see is 1.25in galvanized conduit and it has worked well for all of the use it gets.

Jordan added many more holes on the peg wall so that he can work on his stamina of going up, across, down and even down/up the angled boards to the far side.  The kids can do it for a few pegs, it's a workout!  It's especially challenging because the pegs are staggered.  If you wanted less of a challenge, you could drill the holes side by side.

And then there are the monkey/pull up bars!  Easy peasy, right?!  Not for me, they TWIST!  There is the option of stable bars that don't twist but where's the challenge in that, right?!  The salmon ladder doesn't twist so it works well for pull ups. There are also straps lining the opposite of the cannonballs that you can swing to and fro on.

It's a bit camouflaged so it's not an eyesore to the neighbors or to our backyard-facing rooms!
It has been so good for our family.  Our three oldest kids had the ability to climb the rope right away, (the youngest being four at the time!) and they have gained even more strength since we've had this built!  
So far our obstacle course has peg walls, a 12 ft rope, rings, salmon ladder, monkey/pull up bars, straps, and cannonballs.  We hope to add a rock wall for the kids next spring, a slack line, an even taller lookout tower on the original play structure, and a warped wall of course!  It's our custom playground with something for everyone!


  1. I think my husband and I are going to try and take this project on. Do you have any more
    plan details written down? Also, do you have a rough number for about how much you spent? Thanks for your time!!

  2. I would like to build this also do you have any blueprints or details you used to build this structure?
    please email me at pgronau1@cox.net with any and all help being appreciated.


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