Tuesday, November 30

“Super Mario Ninja” explains the turntable and plank walk in the tutorial

From newbie to ninja? No problem! If you have the motivation and the strength, you can now learn the technical tricks at sport.de. Ninja athlete Christian Balkheimer explains what the obstacles are all about. Part 3 of the ninja tutorial shows two obstacles: the turntable and the plank walk.

Both obstacles can be seen in the forthcoming fourth preliminary round at Ninja Warrior Germany – and both cause sweat even among ninja celebrities, as was already evident in the first show of the current season.

What are the obstacles? How do you feel your way slowly? How hard are they to conquer? Christian Balkheimer knows the answers! In the video tutorial, he gives some professional tips and explains what is important with the two obstacles. He shows step by step how to approach these movements.

The professional

One thing is clear: “Super Mario Ninja” knows what he’s talking about. The 28-year-old is a permanent guest at Ninja Warrior Germany and has been part of every season so far. He has already made it to the finals twice, including once in the Swiss Ninja Warrior edition. He was also in the first Allstars season.

He not only prepares for the TV shows in various ninja competitions, but also trains in his own hall, the Free.Ground Academy.

What makes Christian Balkheimer a good ninja trainer in addition to his experience, he reveals with a smile: “My training partners usually do better than me!” Daniel Gerber, Lukas Kilian and Yasin El Azzazy belong among others to this group.

In the first two sport.de tutorials, he also has the step by step Ladder to heaven and the Chaos balls explained.

The obstacles

  • Of the Planken-Gang – Walk The Plank in English – made its sixth season debut on Ninja Warrior Germany. The plank is a seesaw that the ninjas take with a few steps and, at best, jump to a pole and to the other bank. If the timing is not right when running or jumping, however, you will end up in the water.

  • the turntable – the spinning wheel – on the other hand, in recent years some ninja veterans have earned the reputation of being the number one fear barrier. Here the athletes have to: press themselves against a downward rotating disc and hold out for a few revolutions, with only handles and bars for their feet at their disposal. This makes the obstacle very different from the motion sequences that are required in other sports.

Fun Facts

  • Both obstacles are in the Free.Ground Academy with Christian Balkheimer – and, to his knowledge, this is currently the only public opportunity in Germany to train the plank walk and the turntable.

  • Nobody in the Ninja Hall has ever made the first attempt at the plank walk – and whoever falls, often makes a spectacular finish.

  • The plank gang was first seen in the eleventh season of American Ninja Warrior and made it to the German show this year.

  • The turntable is a fear barrier for many ninjas; Arleen Schüßler and Christian Kirstges were really happy in episode 1 when they mastered the obstacle dry.

  • Two-meter-man Kirstges has made the turntable for the first time ever, according to his own statement on the show. In an interview with sport.de in September 2020, he said: “If the obstacle comes, I can go straight home.”

  • One thing is clear: the taller you are, the more difficult it becomes to stick to the turntable. Women often find it easier to face the obstacle in Christian Balkheimer’s training because of their height and mobility.

  • Season 4 was also the end of the turntable for Christian Balkheimer.

Ninja level: medium

So how difficult are the plank walk and the turntable on a scale from easy to ninja professional? Ninja expert Christian Balkheimer says in both cases: still moderately difficult! However, both are trickier than, for example, the previously introduced Chaos Balls or the Ladder to Heaven.

Christian Balkheimer fell into the water at the turntable in season 4

Christian Balkheimer fell into the water at the turntable in season 4

The subjective assessment is confirmed by the success rate determined for the US Ninja Warrior edition. According to this, almost 62 percent of attempts to conquer the turntable were successful on the show; the success rate for the plank course was somewhat higher at around 67 percent.

Christian Balkheimer (video) and Maike Falkenberg


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