The Swinging Spikes first appeared in the Houston Qualifying Round of American Ninja Warrior 7, and later appeared again in the Indianapolis Qualifying Round of American Ninja Warrior 8. Both served as the fifth obstacle of their cities respectively.
It consists of eight nunchuk-like suspended spikes. Competitors use their hands to traverse the spikes and reach the landing mat. Some of the spikes move side to side, some move forward and backwards, and others which are attached to a bungee drop straight down. The spikes were modified in American Ninja Warrior 8, as the first 5 spikes were on a tilting S-shaped beam and after the first five spikes, there were two branching paths. One path had the more spikes, but the spikes were ascending, while the other path had a descending path, but fewer spikes.
The obstacle proved to be moderately difficult for competitors, as a total of 15 competitors failed it in qualifying. Eight finalists ended up failing it in the finals, namingly competitors like Evan Dollard, Andrew Lowes and Robert Ing. It had approximately a 27% knockout rate in the finals.
Few competitors fell on the Swinging Spikes in Indianapolis qualifying, but it ended off being the cutoff for the city finalists, as only three competitors who fell on the Swinging Spikes stayed in the top 30.