Lock Off Progression

Hey AcroCafe #squad! Let’s do some one arm lock offs!

What is a lock off? A lock off position is essentially the very top of your pull up. A one arm lock off is where you do that same position using only one arm (beast mode). Personally, lock offs help me with rock climbing, circus arts, ninja warrior obstacles and obstacle course racing.

Rock spheres are especially loved in the ninja warrior community for training and used often on the courses. They can come in all kinds of shapes and sizes which makes training on them even more challenging.

Training Equipment

  • 2 rock spheres (Video shows: Three ball climbing 3.5″ spheres)
  • 2 locking carabiners (Video shows: Cheap screwing caribiners, not sure the brand)
  • 2 nylon runner (Video shows: 60 cm Black Diamond runners)
  • Over the door pull up bar*

The 60cm nylon runner can be shortened by twisting the loop, folding it over, then hooking both layers through the carabiner. The runner can be attached to the pull up bar by doing a “cow-hitch”, or folding the loop over the bar and pulling the hold through to cinch it. Check out the video at the end of this post to copy my set up.

*Asterisks indicate affiliate links. If purchases are made through them I receive a small commission at no cost to you – please see the full disclosure policy for more details.

Lock Off Progression

This lock of progression in this post consists of 5 levels. Skip ahead to what you know you can do and work from there! Or, skip straight to the video to watch & learn.

1 – Assisted Pull Up

Get a training buddy, chair, or elevated surface underneath the bar for assistance. Hang from the rock spheres, with the metal hardware between your ring and middle finger, and place your feet on your chair, partners hands, or elevated surface. Push down with your feet to help you do a full pull up. Put less weight into your assistant/prop each time until you are doing it mostly on your own.

2 – Negative Pull Up

On your own, jump or step into the top of a pull up position and slowly lower yourself down into the negative pull up. Repeat just this negative motion until you can do it 5 or more times in a row.

3 – Pull Up

On your own, start a pull up with arms fully extended and pull all the way to the top of the pull up and lower down. Keep working on this until you can do it 5 or more times in a row. Allow the rock spheres to rotate toward your shoulder naturally as you get to the top of the pull up.

4 – Type Writers

Go up to the top of your pull up and try to shift weight to one side while pushing out the arm (and rock sphere) on the opposite side. Consider crunching the leg on the side you are putting weight on to to engage the oblique and stabilize the core. Try to get in 3 or more of these shifts on each side in a row. Increase the amount of weight you are putting on to the “lock off” side until it is almost 100%.

5 – One Arm Lock Off

Go up to the top of your pull up and try shifting weight with the same body position as the type writer, but let go completely on your extended side. Go slowly and pour the weight into your “lock off” side. Use that leg crunch to engage the obliques and stabilize the core.

Lock Off Progression VIDEO

What a workout! Take it one step further with this fun challenge I mentioned in the video: traverse lock off on s hook rings. Check out the short clip below to see what I’m talking about.

Enjoy the workout! & Stay DARING!

I share fitness inspiration for the daring and every day ways to get better on my blog, AcroCafe by Eliannah. I'm passionate about alternative fitness and doing what makes you feel alive. Life is better upside down!

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