British Steeplechase competitor Mila Stanzani recently returned from Hungary where she represented the UK at the European Championships. This elite athlete, who also appeared in the UK edition of Ninja Warrior, does stunts and has a rapidly growing following on social media - her incredible speed and power make her a guru when it comes to grip. Stanzani even plans to set a new world record for two-finger pull-ups. So who better to partner with M&F Hers to bring you a ninja training program suitable for obstacle course enthusiasts of all levels?
Luckily, you don't need a local ninja-style gym to try this for yourself. To improve your own grip strength and holding time, chances are you have everything you need at your local gym.
"I was always very active as a kid, but when I was 16 I got a really bad relationship with food and ended up in the hospital because of it," says Stanzani. "That was my turning point. I started watching fitness influencers on YouTube enjoying their food and working out, then slowly but surely I focused on my own fitness journey and fell in love! w I want to pass on my knowledge and love of fitness and show that the gym doesn't have to be boring!” Stanzani is by no means boring, but regularly wows her followers on TikTok and Instagram with her insane skills. Hanging from a bar with one arm while doing dumbbell shoulder presses isn't a problem. How about just two fingers on each hand? Hold her protein shake!
The closest I come to is flying 🦅💅🏾 #flyingbars #flyingbar #ninjawarrior #ninjasport #obsticlecourse
♬ Don't Let Me Down (feat. Daya) – The Chainsmokers
“When I walked into my first ninja gym, I knew straight away that this was the path I wanted to take,” says Stanzani, who is a regular at ninja gym True Function in Swindon, England. “And the sport of ninja completely took over my training. I enjoy explosive moves like salmon ladders and flying poles, and I challenge myself with new obstacles or variations.”
Of course, for us mere mortals, the superhero-like feats that Stanzani puts on might be off the scale, but that doesn't mean we regular gym-goers shouldn't incorporate obstacle course training into our own routines.
"It doesn't matter what level or how good you can get," she says. "Ninja training is so versatile, it can be anything from balancing, climbing, pull ups, the rings, absolutely anything." It's always good to try new things, otherwise you never know if you'll enjoy it or not!"
To get the most out of an obstacle course competition or any type of fitness program, you will benefit greatly from working on your grip and pull-up strength. This type of activity improves the strength and mobility of your arms, back, shoulders and core, making it a worthwhile pastime for any athlete. So why not give it a try?
To build strength for tasks like pull-ups and monkey bars, you should incorporate a combination of exercises that target the muscles involved in those activities, according to Stanzani. For best results, you should perform the following workout two to three times a week. In the beginning, you may find that you cannot complete the entire workout. If this is the case, break it up over several days until you feel like you can do it in one session.
As you progress through the workout, you can gradually increase the resistance, number of sets, or difficulty of the exercises by reducing assistance or increasing the weight. Consistency, progressive overload and proper form are the keys to success. You may feel that you need to allow at least one rest day between each workout to allow your muscles to recover and adapt.
Recovery is just as important as the workout itself. Whether you test your newfound grip and strength on a ninja-style obstacle course is up to you, but either way, following this routine is sure to improve your hangtime.
Mila Stanzani's Workout for Grip and Pull-Up Warm-Ups: Begin with 5-10 minutes of light cardio such as B. Jogging to get your blood flowing and warm up your muscles. "Perform some wrist and ankle rotations," suggests Stanzani, noting that you'll rely on it for hanging and landing. Assisted pull-ups: 3 sets, 8-12 reps
Begin assisted pull-ups with a resistance band or assisted pull-up machine. This will help build the traction needed for full pull-ups. As with all of these exercises, focus on maintaining proper form and control with each repetition. Lat Pulldown: 3 sets, 8-12 reps
The latissimus dorsi, the largest muscle in your upper back, is essential for pull-ups, slouches, or overhead bars. So, use a lat pulldown machine and gradually increase the weight/resistance as you progress and feel comfortable. Reverse Row: 3 sets, 8-12 reps
Lie on the floor or on a bench, place a barbell on a squat rack or Smith machine, making sure the bar is positioned above your waist. Grasp the bar with an overhand grip and pull your chest toward the barbell. Keep your body straight and tense your back muscles. The reverse row works all types of back muscles, including the lats, trapezius, and rhomboids. This exercise also improves bicep strength, which is essential for lifting and controlling body movements when performing pull-ups or moving around the monkey bars.
Mila Stanzani's ninja workout routine
In the beginning, don't try to compete with anyone other than yourself. "The most important thing is to have fun and have fun!" says Stanzani, who is now training even harder for the upcoming Steeplechase World Championships in Belgium.
Hanging Leg Raises: These target the core muscles, which is vital for stability. Hang from a pull-up bar with the overhand grip and raise your legs while keeping them straight.
Shoulder blade pull-ups: Improve your shoulder extension with scapular pull-ups. Hold the bar shoulder-width apart and hang it up first. Then engage the lats by pulling the bar down to raise your body. As you do this, rotate your shoulders outward and then back towards your ears as you lower.
farm walk: This exercise is great for improving your grip, forearm strength and overall upper body conditioning. If your gym doesn't have a trap bar, keep a pair of heavy dumbbells or kettlebells by your side.
Want to see more of this warrior's epic abilities? Follow Mila Stanzani's journey to the top of the steeplechase competition on Instagram TikTok