• Justin Lewis

Obstacle Highlight: The Lache

Updated: Aug 6, 2019

The Obstacle


Let me introduce you to a movement. While in most of our other obstacle highlights we’ll talk about actual obstacles, in this article, we’ll showcase a movement that is absolutely essential to most of the other obstacles you’ll encounter on any ninja warrior obstacle course.


This movement is in almost everything!


That’s why we wanted to tackle it.


In reality, the movement is really very simple, however it does take practice. Once you’ve got the lache down, you’ll be able to successfully attempt many other obstacles.



Before we get into it, let’s talk about open gym. If you want a way to practice these obstacles, get fit and find some friends, come down to the gym during one of our open gyms sessions. Anyone can come and it’s really a great time.


Now, let’s talk about the lache.


The Movement


To do this movement, you want to find two horizontal bars that are at the same vertical level, but are far enough apart that you can’t reach one from the other. 5 feet is generally a good distance to get started at.



Essentially you grab the first part and start swinging toward the second bar. You want to swing far, almost to the point of making your body parallel to the ground. At the optimal point you let go, allowing your momentum to launch you towards the second bar. You catch the second bar, using your core and your arms to cushion the landing, and continue onward.


That’s the lache.


Prepare


To prepare for the lache, you’ll really want to do a few things.


Practice. More than anything, you just want to practice this obstacle before attempting it in a competition. The movement requires a certain technique that you’ll need to hone.

Improve your grip strength. Spend a strategic amount of time hanging on bars. Also chalk up your hands if that helps you.


Do many pull ups. You’ll definitely want to improve your shoulder and back strength. When you swing your legs do a lot of the work, but so do your shoulders. Having the ability to use them will make the movement easier.



Improve your core. When you swing, you use your core to keep all of your body moving together at the same time. You’re only as strong as your weakest link, and your core is what links your legs to your arms.


Pitfalls to Avoid


There are generally two ways that people fall of the obstacle. They slip on the launch bar, probably because their grip strength was not up to snuff. Sometimes they also slip when trying to land on the catch bar. Grip strength and lack of core strength are to blame here as well.


In order to avoid the previously mentioned pitfalls, you’ll want to work on the above mentioned preparation tactics. Most importantly, you’ll want to practice.


Muscles to Focus On


If you’re having trouble with this movement, there are a few muscles that you can focus on to improve your performance.

Core: Something you’ll want to work on regardless of practicing for the lache or not is your core. Your core holds together everything in your body. In full body movements, if your upper body and lower body are up to the task, but your core is still weak, you will not be able to accomplish the movement. The lache is no different. Specifically v-ups or toe touches will be really good for this one.


Shoulders: Because you are swinging on your shoulders, doing pullups or other shoulder workouts like them will really prepare you well for the lache.



Grip: As stated before, some grip exercises are in order. For this you could do sets of hanging from the bar. You can also add some shoulder shrugs, farmer carries, or wrist curls.


The Lache


That’s the lache in all of its glory. It’s a simple maneuver, but it’s essential. If you can do the lache, you will have a better chance at accomplishing all the other obstacles in the course. Come down and try it out. We’d be more than happy to offer any pointers.

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