Battle rope workouts are a fantastic training tool that will get you fit fast. Great for putting on muscle and building conditioning, battle ropes are not for the faint of heart. This article will cover everything you need to know to get results from battle rope workouts.
Designing Battle Rope Workouts
Battle ropes are best used at the end of a workout – not as a workout in itself. The thing about battle ropes is that you need to maintain quality to get results. Because the exercises are so challenging, it’s often best to use them as “finishers” as they can leave you too fatigued to put in quality work on other exercises.
Here are battle rope variations to include in your workouts:
This is a simple exercise that is a good starting point for a beginner. Grasp the ropes with your palms facing each other (neutral grip) and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Tighten your abs and whip your arms up (to shoulder level) and down at the same time; this action will create a wave in the rope.
Assume the same position as the double wave, but alternately raise your arms up and down to create waves in the rope. Research has shown that this form of rope exercise more strongly works the external oblique muscles of the trunk, whereas the double wave more strongly works the erector spinae muscles of the spine. With this exercise, and many others, you can perform the exercise from a half squat to increase the work of the quads.
If you play a sport that involves powerful rotation of the shoulders, such as swimming or tennis, this is the rope exercise for you. Grasp the ropes with your palms facing down (pronated grip) and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Move your hands in large circles, first clockwise and then counter-clockwise.
Another unique shoulder exercise, grasp the ropes with a neutral grip, position your feet shoulder-width apart, and lower yourself into a half squat. Move your hands together and apart such that the ropes move in a snake-live wave on the floor.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold the ropes with a neutral grip. Lift both arms up, higher than shoulder-level, then slam the ropes hard onto the floor, bending your knees to increase the force of the slam. Return to the start and repeat.
This is an explosive movement that strongly involves the legs. Grasp the ropes with a neutral grip and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lift both hands up (as with a double-wave exercise) while jumping. Then slam the ropes down and descend into a half squat. Repeat, jumping up and descending into a half-squat with every rep.
Iron Mike Double-Slam
Rather than jumping from a squat position, with an Iron Mike exercise you jump while alternately splitting your legs. Grasp the ropes with a neutral grip and assume a split position. Whip the ropes in a double-wave fashion while splitting your legs front to back.
Battle rope exercises cannot be performed for long periods without sacrificing technique. Beginners should use short work periods combined with longer rest times. For example, you might perform 15-20 seconds of work followed by 60 seconds of rest for 5-8 sets.
A great way to keep motivation high and maximize your results with battle rope workouts is to train with a partner. For example, you perform 10-15 seconds of an exercise, give the ropes to a training partner so that they can perform 10-15 seconds of an exercise; then repeat.
Incorporate these battle rope variations into your workouts to get great conditioning while building muscle.