There’s no two-ways around it: Battle ropes look fierce. Varying in thickness, weight, and length, the fitness training tool is right up there with kettlebells and dumbbells as a must-have for gyms and trainers everywhere.
But it's not just because using them can make anyone feel like a warrior—they’re super effective for total-body conditioning. “The ropes are a great tool for fat loss and overall strength because it allows anyone, at any level, to spike their heart rate in short bursts improving cardiovascular output; giving you a whole lot of bang for your buck,” Rachel Prairie, NASM-certified personal trainer at Anytime Fitness, tells Health. She adds that often times you’ll see battle ropes anchored to a wall, beam, or pole. (Just FYI: For this story, Health used the Hyper Rope, Hyper Wear's unanchored battle rope.)
Before you start eyeing battle ropes, though, you'll want to get acquainted with proper battle-rope position: “Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees bent in a half-squat, and hold one rope in each hand," says Prairie. "If you’ve played sports in the past, this is often referred to as the ‘ready’ position.”
Typically, battle rope exercises involve dynamic, fast movements. The range of these movements is wide, but you’ll want to get comfortable with the basics before moving on to more advanced work, says Prairie. “For beginners, keep it simple,” she says.
To help, Prairie came up with a great beginners routine for anyone looking to add battle ropes into their workout rotation regularly. Here, four moves you can do in the gym for a quick, heart-pumping battle rope workout.
Beginners: Two to three sets of 15 reps, resting 90 seconds between each.
Intermediate: Four to six sets of 15 reps, resting 90 seconds between each.
Advanced: Eight sets of 15 to 20 reps, resting 90 seconds between each.
Alternating Speed Wave
- Stand with your feet at shoulder-width distance in a quarter-squat, holding one end of the rope in each hand.Rapidly lower and raise your right arm to about chest height, causing a wave motion throughout the rope; repeat on the other side for one rep. Continue for 15 total reps.
- Stand with your feet at shoulder-width distance in a quarter-squat, holding one end of the rope in each hand with a thumbs-up grip.Bring both hands up and overhead, then down down to the right side of your body, ending at around mid-thigh height.Repeat on opposite side for one rep. Do 15 total reps.
- Stand with your feet at shoulder-width distance in a quarter-squat, holding one end of the rope in each hand.Rapidly lower and raise both arms simultaneously to about chest height, causing a wave motion throughout the rope. Your goal is to be explosive from the hips and keep the wave in a continuous motion, adds Prairie. Continue for 15 total reps.
- Stand with your feet at shoulder-width distance, holding one end of the rope in each hand.Rapidly jump your feet out to the sides while simultaneously bringing the rope up and out overhead, as if you were doing a jumping jack.Slam the rope down while bringing our feet back together for one rep. Do 15 total reps.
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