If you want a whole-body exercise that is new, innovative, and effective, you should consider trying battle ropes. This workout routine uses fitness ropes with extreme movements to help build muscles throughout your body. Not only is the use of these weighted ropes good for fitness, but the act of thrashing and slamming them gives many people a particularly visceral joy as they work through frustrations and push themselves to their limits. Here’s a more detailed look at what battle ropes are and how you can incorporate them into a total-body fitness routine.
What is a Battle Ropes Workout?
A battle ropes workout uses weighted fitness ropes combined with extreme, hard motions to help build strength and cardiovascular health. The name battle ropes comes from the fact that some of the motions can seem violent, this making it look almost like you are fighting the ropes during a workout. Despite the violent motions, there is also something intriguingly graceful about using battle ropes for a workout. The motions of the rope take on fascinating patterns and often resemble crashing waves. This intense exercise with elegant patterns makes for a beautiful and effective workout experience.
Whether you use battle ropes at home or at a gym, you will find the exercise very rewarding. Because the ropes respond well to your movements, you can see a visual confirmation of the effort your put into each exercise. If you don’t try your hardest, the ropes will barely move. On the other hand, the more force you put into the motion, the more of a reaction you receive from the fitness ropes. In addition to the beauty of the rope movement, many people like the battle rope workout because it brings them back to their experience in schoolyard games, making the exercise feel like play even when you are sweating and your muscles feel like they are burning.
Are Battle Ropes Worth It?
Cost-wise, battle ropes can run as little as $60 or as much as $300, making them an affordable addition to most home gyms. However, some people view them with skepticism because of a number of reports that they are ineffective, cause injury, or otherwise don’t function properly as a full-body workout. The truth of the matter is that, while battle ropes are more challenging to use than other fitness equipment, they are definitely worth it to somebody who is committed to doing the right exercises.
Battle ropes function as one of the most effective full-body workouts out there, but you need to make sure that you know the exercises that go with them. Many critical reports of fitness ropes come from people who use them without proper training or discipline, resulting in a sloppy and ineffective workout. If you use the battle rope exercises outlined below, you should see results very quickly. Used well, battle rope workouts leave you feeling exhausted but fulfilled as you get a complete workout for every muscle in your body.
Starting Out with Battle Ropes
As with any exercise routine, there are beginner workouts and more advanced workouts. When you begin a battle rope workout for beginners, you should remember that relaxation and breathing is important. You don’t want to grip the ropes too tightly, because tensing your muscles leads to faster exhaustion. You also need to maintain good breath control, because you will wear out very quickly under this high-intensity workout if you don’t breathe properly. Once you have those basics in mind, consider the following beginner battle rope exercises.
The most basic battle rope exercise is the arm wave. Begin with your feet hip-width apart, your toes pointed forward, and your knees bent slightly. Your palms should face the floor as you grip the ropes. For a single-arm wave, move one arm up and down at your full range of motion, keeping a brisk pace and repeating for 30 seconds. For a double-arm wave, move both arms in sync with one another, again focusing on a 30-second interval for the exercise. As you get used to this exercise, consider adding a squat and observe how this changes the waves made by the ropes.
Once you have reached a point where you can consistently generate enough power to get a wave all the way down the fitness rope and to the anchor point, it’s time to see how long you can sustain the movement. Using a single arm at a time, try to create consistent waves that go all the way down the fitness rope and keep those waves going for a full five minutes. If your arms start to hurt, you can rest and slowly work your way up to a five minute interval. Once you are able to consistently manage this, try going further by using both arms and creating an alternating wave pattern. This exercise will build up strength throughout your body while also boosting your stamina, endurance, and cardiovascular health.
In this exercise, you move your arms in simultaneous waves, similar to a stagecoach driver. You can begin with 30-second intervals and work your way up to five minutes at a time. The stagecoach position uses an overhand grip on the battle ropes, but you can change to an underhand grip if you have problems. Your ultimate goal should be to maintain an overhand grip for five minutes at a time. In order to achieve this goal, you need to place special emphasis on your posture and movement. While the waves should come from your arms and shoulders, your foot placement and hip movement are equally important. The stagecoach maneuver showcases how battle ropes truly provide a total-body workout.
Once you have mastered the creation of waves, try increasing your range of motion. In this exercise, you twirl each battle rope to the outside, moving from your shoulders and creating a pair of circles. If you do only one at a time, it should look almost like you are turning a jump rope. Even if you are already used to the wave and stagecoach exercises mentioned above, creating these circles will likely require you to build up as you work toward five minutes of continuous movement. This exercise uses the same muscle groups as the ones listed above, but utilizes a completely new motion that might take a little getting used to.
One of the most difficult beginner exercises is the rainbow. To do this, bring your hands close together as you hold each rope. From there, make a large circular motion that brings your hands over your head and to the other side of your body. This creates a rainbow effect from the ropes. Your feet should be positioned about hip-width apart during the exercise, and your toes should stay pointed toward the anchor. The movement comes not only from your arms but also your hips as you swing the rope from one side to another and then back again.
Done properly, battle ropes are an incredible exercise that provides a full-body workout while also creating beautiful, almost Zen-like effects. Start with the exercises listed above and then build into more advanced routines. The end result is a workout that targets all of the important muscle groups in your body.