6 Ways to Fight the Battle Ropes-And Win

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Battle rope workouts are more popular than ever, and a staple for personal trainers and coaches—and for good reason. These low-impact, but high intensity training ropes are simple but useful tools, and one of the few pieces of equipment that allow you to strengthen muscles, improve cardiovascular endurance, and burn a ton of fat at the same time. Not to mention you look like a total badass when they’re flying.

Okay, here are six great battle rope training exercises to get you started, people!

Tips Before You Get Slamming

  • Battle ropes come in various lengths and thicknesses. The correct ropes for you depend on the type of workout you’re after and how much room you have to work with.
  • Twenty good “slams” is an awesome icing-on-the-cake way to wrap up any workout and push your gains to the next level.  
  • Here, we show you a handful of options that you can use for a complete workout, because while battle rope exercises are great for your upper body, they can be used for a lower body and full body workout too, strengthening your abs, glutes, core and
    arms!
  • There isn’t a “wrong” way to use battle ropes. People say they can feel awkward at first, but a few tweaks in form can maximize each movement in different ways.
  • Just in case you had a bad day, take it out on the ropes! Getting some slams in is a great way for people to relieve stress. Plus, it’s fun. Win/win.
  • Before you start any battling-rope workout, it’s important to maintain an athletic stance with your knees slightly bent, pelvis tucked, core tight, and chest upright.

Double Waves

The first. The classic. And the most popular rope exercise in high intensity interval training workouts. To perform the double wave, start with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and your arms in a position that looks like you are driving a horse and buggy. Naturally. Keep your arms out with your hands holding each end of the rope at shoulder height, then flick the ropes up and down to create waves. We are after speed here, people, so keep those ropes moving as fast as you can for the duration. Perform 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off, for 5 rounds. Heads up, it’s a serious challenge.

Rope Slams

Time to make some noise, people! Use your posterior chain (backside), shoulders, and arms to get the ropes above your head before slamming them to the ground as hard as possible. So throw your hands in the air, then slam those ropes down like you just don’t care. Come into a semi-squat position at the bottom of the move. This one really services your lower body, too. Instead of going for time, treat this like a strength training exercise and perform 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps with 30 seconds rest between sets. Grunting is encouraged. People say it helps!

Alternating Waves

Starting with the same general technique as double waves, move your arms in the opposite direction (right hand up, left hand down, and reverse) as fast as you can to create alternating waves. Don’t be afraid to play around with wave size. Smaller waves will get your heart rate up faster, while larger waves may work your arms and shoulders a bit more. 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off, is a great work-to-rest ratio, but you can always decrease the working time depending on your fitness level and range-of-motion. At this point, you should be feeling the fire. You are entering beast mode. Keep it up!

Snakes

The name says it all here. We want the ropes to look like two snakes hovering above the floor. To achieve this, you’ll move both your right arm and left arm out horizontally and keep them parallel (to each other and the floor). This one makes many people say, “Man, these are heavy ropes,” but it’s a great workout. It helps with form to think about clapping your hands with straight arms. Keep that core tight to prevent your back from arching, your knees bent, and your legs shoulder-width apart. Perform 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off, for 5 rounds. And slither on blast

Push-Up Planks - Single Arm Waves

Some people call this impossible, we call it “Push-Up PlankSingle Arm Waves.” And you’ll feel it in your entire body. While holding a push-up plank with your feet hip-width apart, balance yourself on one arm, grasp the end of the rope with the other, and use it to create small waves. A key point to remember in this exercise is to keep your shoulders squared and pelvis facing the floor—no twisting. (So if you’re holding the rope in your left hand, try not to lean into your right arm.) Yes, it’s one of the trickier battle rope exercises, but they call it a workout for a reason. You’ve got this. Perform 15 seconds per arm for a total of 30 seconds, with 10 seconds rest between 3 rounds.

Side Plank Waves

To form a proper side plank, start in traditional plank then rotate to one side of your body on a bent elbow and stack your legs and feet. Be mindful to keep your hips elevated, then grasp the end of the rope and pull it taught from the anchor point with your free hand. Keep the movement of your working arm between the shoulder and waist to create small waves parallel to the floor. These should look similar to the snake waves. Increase the challenge a bit here by performing 40 seconds on, 20 seconds off, for 3 rounds, with no rest between rounds. Way to battle!

You Did It!

We hope you loved this workout as much as we loved putting it together. Battle rope training should be fun, and, as you can see, ropes can be used in a variety of ways to achieve a wide range of benefits. The intensity is real…but the results are, too. So now that you know how to use battle ropes, find your favorite exercises out of these, or others you learn about in your travels, and get after it! And remember, you can always take advantage of our incredible personal training and coaching services and get your battle on with some extra love and encouragement.

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