There are psychological and physical benefits of obstacle courses of camps for children in early childhood all the way up to their teenage years and beyond. From enhancing physical strength, decision-making, self-esteem, and just offering sheer fun, an obstacle course with parkour can truly leave a lasting impact.
If your kids want to run, jump, tumble, and practice skills like parkour or play on Ninja Warrior obstacle courses, you’ll be pleased to know there are a few local obstacle course gyms and classes offering parkour training for kids. Below is our list of the best parkour gyms and indoor obstacle course training near Arlington Heights.
Choose the Best Obstacle Course Class for Your Child in Arlington Heights, IL
Hot Ground Gym in Arlington Heights is a 5-star rated obstacle-course gym devised to teach kids cognitive and physical skills in a safe, indoor environment. Each 45-minute kids’ fitness class encourages vigorous play, team-building, and problem-solving to build strong minds and bodies.
#1: Authentic Ninja Warrior Classes
Based in Naperville, Ultimate Ninjas offer a unique and fun way to help your kids exercise and build confidence. Designed and led by American Ninja Warriors, they offer structured classes and open play that are great for kids who want to explore an obstacle course gym. Structured classes are 55 minutes long, including a warm-up, coaching, endurance practice, and free time.
Ultimate Ninjas break up their classes as the following:
- Preschool: Ages 3-5 years-old: A focus on developing coordination and strength through simple physical activities like balancing, hanging, jumping, climbing, and running.
- Beginner: Ages 6-10 years-old. Kids start to tackle obstacles seen on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior. Instructors set goals and challenges to help students develop skills.
- Intermediate: Ages 9-12 years-old: Building on the foundation of Ninja Warrior strength, kids learn how to ascend an eight-foot warped wall and complete ring swings and balance beam activities.
- Advanced: Ages 12 years-old and up: Members of this class learn complex obstacle techniques and become more confident in their abilities to master tougher indoor obstacle course challenges.
#2: Windy City Ninjas
Using American Ultimate Ninja as a starting point, Windy City Ninjas have developed a special curriculum tailored to skill levels of different aged kids. Each of their 55-minute classes incorporates multiple circuits focused on developing targeted skills like strength, agility, and endurance.
Windy City Ninjas offers the following obstacle course-based classes:
- Lil Warriors Parent & Tot: 2-4 years old
- Lil Warriors: 4-5 years-old
- Emerging Warriors: 6-8 years-old
- Ascending Warriors: 9-13 years old
- Advanced Skills Class: 10 years-old and up
- Teens Classes: 12-16 years-old
Young kids’ classes focus on developing motor skills through simple exercises like rolling balls, balancing, and jumping, while older kids learn how to rock climb and swing from place to place. The older kids get, the more challenging circuits become, demanding increased discipline, perseverance, and strength.
Windy City Ninjas also offer freestyle gym play, where kids can practice in their own time under adult supervision. Children also have the opportunity to compete in national leagues (UNAA and NNL), as well as internal competition if they’re seven years or older, although promising 6-year-olds may be eligible to join.
#3: Ninja Zone & Parkour
With the motto, “Turning Energy into Ambition.” Ninja Zone’s parkour classes include training on an obstacle course gym, martial arts, and freestyle movement. They believe that parkour helps kids channel their energy towards a goal, which in turn yields important life lessons about endurance, hard work, and focus.
The aim of their parkour classes is to take kids with backgrounds in gymnastics, martial arts, as well as tramp and tumbling, and train them to safely use their skills in a freestyle gym environment. Ninja Zone also offers tumbling, tramp, martial arts, and freestyle movement classes, where kids traverse an indoor obstacle course by running, vaulting, jumping, climbing, rolling, and more.
Ninja Zone hosts open gym nights on Fridays whereby kids gain access to all gym equipment, including trampolines, tumble tracks, foam pit, and gymnastics equipment. Parents also have the option of enrolling kids in a year-round program with no-long term commitments. Often compared to American Ninja Warrior, Ninja Zone fuses obstacle course training and other movement disciplines for holistic physical training.
#4: Superhero Parkour Program
Parkour is a form of gymnastics, street acrobatics, and free running that can be compared to American Ninja Warrior, military obstacle courses, and CrossFit. The Superhero Parkour Program includes running, jumping, catching, rolling, flipping, tumbling, martial arts, strength training, and more.
In addition, this program utilizes obstacle course amenities such as a foam pit, climbing wall, warp wall, walking beams, and jump boxes. Suitable for 3-18 year-olds, and run by instructors certified by the World FreeRunning and Parkour Federation, the Superhero Parkour Program is designed to explore a wide variety of movements and skills.
It is one of the best parkour gyms, offering classes based on age and ability:
- Pre-kour & Kinder-kour
- Parkour junior
- Parkour homeschool
- Stunt Crew
- Parkour Viral Video
The Superhero Parkour Program offers a full-body workout that helps students gain strength, agility, flexibility, speed, and, most importantly, confidence.
Among all of these great programs, Hot Ground Gym remains the best option for parkour and obstacle courses. Founded by military veterans, HGG’s unique philosophy and training methods offer a holistic and fun learning approach that complements schooling. Your kids will make new friends and develop core skills like discipline and creativity. Suitable for 5-14-year-olds, HGG’s fun and active classes teach kids more about themselves and life. Enroll your kid in a free trial.