The idea of using heavy ropes for workouts is generally credited to John Brookfield. Incorporating ropes into fitness gained popularity quickly and has been used in military training and by various amateur and professional sports teams.
If you think working out with battle ropes is just swinging the ropes around, you're wrong — athletes and fitness dabblers alike can glean plenty of benefits from the practice. There are many exercises you can do, and you can work out on your own or with a partner.
Battle rope workouts are intense. They work multiple muscle groups, take focus, and the movement required to keep the ropes moving discourages slacking off.
You may become frustrated at how quickly you run out of stamina the first few times. It can be particularly tough to take if you work out regularly and assumed you were in great shape.
Stay after it. Battle rope workouts are most likely different from anything your body is used to. It may take a while to get comfortable, but it is worth it.
Well-rounded physical fitness involves more than cardiovascular health and strong muscles. Balance and mobility are important as well. Working out with battle ropes allows you to improve your balance and stability while getting a tough workout.
Battle ropes strengthen not only the muscles you use to move the ropes but other muscles that stabilize the body throughout the movement.
It can be difficult to recognize muscle imbalances when you work out using machines or free weights. Once you pick up a pair of battle ropes, any discrepancies between the sides of the body are easy to feel.
You may feel discouraged when you notice these imbalances. The good news is, regular battle rope workouts will naturally strengthen your weak areas, bringing your body back into balance.
There is no faking the intensity of your workout with battle ropes. Watching the ropes swing and wave provides instant feedback on the intensity and tempo of your workout. After a few battle rope workouts, you will start to take pride in creating a perfect wave through your entire set.
This is a big one. Don't overlook the fact that battle rope workouts are fun. Thank goodness, otherwise, it would be tough to convince yourself to stick with this rigorous workout.
Battle ropes feel more like play than exercise. The ability to include a partner or workout on your own, stack exercises in a different order, and build your own workout add to the enjoyment. It is easy to keep your workout fresh when using battle ropes.
The following exercises will help you get started, but it's always a good idea to have a fitness professional walk you through the first workout to ensure your form is correct, to minimize the risk of injury.
This is a partner-based exercise. Stand facing each other. You will both hold a rope in each hand, bending your knees slightly into a shallow squat. Lightly pull back so there is tension on the ropes. Then, at the same time, quickly snap the hands together, whipping the rope so that it winds around itself.
Allow the ropes to wind around each other, then reverse the action. Rotate back and forth, winding the rope and allowing the momentum and tension to unwind.
When doing this or any of the other battle rope exercises, you may find they flow better if you do them by time, rather than reps. So, starting out you may do each exercise for 15 seconds. As your stamina increases, so can the amount of time you do each exercise.
You can do this on your own with your battle ropes anchored or with a partnersecuring them.
Gripping the end of the rope in each hand, lower into a squat. Create an up and down motion with your arms, pushing one arm up as you pull the other down. Push the rope down hard enough that it snaps onto the ground at the bottom of the movement.
With the end of the rope in each hand, perform traditional alternating lunges. As you step into the lunge, raise your arms overhead, meeting above your head. This exercise can be tricky at first due to the balance demands. Take it slow and concentrate on your form. Focus on keeping your torso long and your eyes forward.
Sit on the floor, knees bent, heels on the floor and toes pointed toward the ceiling. Both ends of the rope should be beside your left hip. Grasp one end of the rope in each hand, twisting slightly and reaching across your body with your right hand.
Lean back slightly and whip the rope up and over your knees to your right side. Reverse and return the rope back to your left side. Keep the motion fluid and do all your reps without stopping.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold one end of the rope in each hand. Raise both arms above your shoulders at the same time, straightening your legs and shifting onto the balls of your feet. Immediately reverse the motion, swinging your arms down, slamming the rope onto the floor. Again, reverse the motion, raising your arms and extending your legs.
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