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Skyhook Ninja Fitness
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What’s to Love: Billed as “Portland’s Premier Ninja Warrior Gym,” Skyhook Ninja Fitness (SNF) brings fitness into the future by offering obstacles that involve strength, dexterity, finesse, stamina, and brain power. Running a course and/or practicing skills and obstacles is a total body workout, and most of all, it’s REALLY FUN! This is the ideal place for an entire family to workout together. I visited recently with my two sons (ages 8 and 13) during an “open gym,” and we all had a blast creating our own mini-courses, practicing front-flip progressions, jumping on the trampolines, and climbing. If your family likes the show American Ninja Warrior (ANW), get in your car and head over to SNF immediately!

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This is the type of place where I could go on and on. There were really no downsides to this spot for my family. We are climbers and love watching ANW, so we can’t wait to go back for some more! Owner Cody Knope-Jenkins got us checked-in, and let us explore with his careful guidance. Cody has a tremendous amount of experience both as a gymnast and personal trainer. He’s even training training to be on the ANW television program! With a background in engineering, Cody was able to fabricate a modular design for many of the obstacles where they can be moved around to create customized courses. It truly is remarkable to see in person.

Although we were able to explore and experience on our own, Cody was helpful when we were not sure what to do with an obstacle or skill. As an educator myself, I found his instruction to be excellent. He was very good at communicating specific things that would improve performance. My kids learned more about front flips in just 20 minutes than they’ve ever learned anywhere else. Personally, I was so excited to see the famed “salmon ladder.” Let’s just say it was WAY harder than they make it look on TV. My kids enjoyed practicing running up the “Warped Wall.” There are techniques critical to understanding how to run up the wall and how to exit. Watch in the clip below as Cody teaches and demonstrates.

There is so much inside this very big space out in Tigard including: rope climbs, bouldering, trampolines with a giant air bag for landings, tumbling-style trampoline, ladder climbs, spring-loaded tumbling floor, and more. The possibilities for fun and fitness are limitless. Check-out the schedule (click on image below) revealing all kinds of fun for the whole family: Parkour, ANW classes for adults and kids, gymnastics and tumbling – there is something for everyone!

Caveats: Before showing up at Open Gym, their website advises, “You must have been to one class or attended a safety seminar prior to going to open gym. There are no exceptions. We offer safety classes at the start of most nonmember open gym days, so come to that, or schedule a private lesson with an instructor to get cleared for open gym.” Indeed, this is very important! We learned about the various setups, moving pads, spotting, and general information about safety. It’s critical to making your visit fun and injury free!

Website: Skyhook Ninja Fitness

Distance from Portland: It’s only about 10 miles away from downtown Portland, but beware of traffic! It was a bit difficult to find. Have the number handy, if you get lost.

Recommended Ages: Ages 6-100 listed on the website. For kids 5 and under, there currently are no offerings, which makes sense when you consider the difficultly of many of the obstacles.

Parental Stress Factor: If your whole family attends an open gym or class, it might be a bit stressful. Kids can get high up on obstacles, and it’s not always easy watching this as a parent. If you’re concerned, I would definitely start with some of their basic classes. That way, they can learn requisite skills, safety, and gain a better understanding of their strengths and limitations.

Physical Difficulty: Hard! Even some of the easier skills most people will find difficult. Climbing a rope ladder is not easy, if you’re not used to that type of exercise. Practicing front flips made me really dizzy! If you can keep at it, this will help you gain strength and agility. It will improve your ability to move. Give it a try!

Family Fun Factor: If your family is physically active, this might become your new go-to place for family adventure. I wanted to go back for more the second we left. For kids struggling in their bodies, this just might be the ticket for a new sense of confidence and accomplishment.

Weather Considerations: Excellent indoor activity!

Insider Info: Check-out their pricing for classes and memberships here. This page has a few videos that will give you a better idea of what it’s like to take a class or visit open gym.

Family Tips: Plenty of space for family gear (water bottles, snacks, extra clothes, etc.). If your kids want to do open gym, make sure you’re prepared to accompany them while out in the the gym. Kids need to be supervised by their parents or adult-guardian during open gym. In terms of family amenities out that way, your options are limited.

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