Sometimes the most effective workouts are the simplest workouts. Battle rope training is no exception to this rule — who could have imagined that throwing a couple of ropes around could be an entire body workout?
The benefits of battle rope training are numerous. The concept of using ropes to train and build muscle can be credited to legendary strongman John Brookfield. According to Brookfield’s website, he drew inspiration from a hurricane when coming up with the Battle Rope training program. “…the constant flow of the waves gave him the idea to create a series of waves with the ropes,” the website says. “With other methods such as barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells, gravity takes over as the weight goes back towards the ground. During this time when gravity takes over, momentum is used which gives the body and mind a chance to relax. With the Battling Ropes training velocity is used and must be maintained throughout the training. This forces the user to train or compete at a higher level of intensity which will last longer durations of time.”
What Are The Benefits of Battle Rope Training?
Battle Rope Training Forces You To Train At A Higher Level of Intensity
When Brookfield developed the battle rope training concept, he did so because you can’t use gravity to your advantage while working with battle ropes. With no momentum or momentary weightlessness, you’re body is forced to grind through, increasing the intensity of your workout as well as the workload. So it’s sort of like burpees, but with no chance to catch your breath in between. The higher the intensity of the workout is, the more benefits you’ll see — everything rom more calories burned to better cardiovascular endurance.
Battle Rope Training Will Help You Sustain Intensity Over Long Periods of Time
When you first begin training with battle ropes, you may find that you can only exert force for a very short period of time. After a few minutes (let’s be real — seconds for some of us) you’ll feel fatigued and out of breath. However, as you continue to train with battle ropes, you’ll find that you are able to sustain your velocity for longer periods of time, which will cross over into more endurance and stamina in other aspects of fitness.
Battle Rope Training Is Low Impact
If you struggle with joint problems or an injury, battle rope training is a relatively low-impact exercise that still provides a whole-body experience. It can provide a creative fitness outlet for someone recovering from surgery, a torn muscle, or a broken bone and also help them build strength during the recovery process.
Battle Rope Training Is Flexible
All you need to train with battle ropes are….well, ropes. That means you can train outside, inside, on the road and more. You can also get creative with different ways to use the battle ropes. For a plain old rope, battle ropes are extremely versatile. See below for some ideas on the different kind of battle rope movements you can do.
Battle Rope Training Can Be Used to Correct Improper Movement Patterns
If you struggle with a dominant side of your body — for example, I’m much stronger on my right side — you can use battle ropes to correct that. As you train with battle ropes more frequently, you should see more strength symmetry between both your dominant and non-dominant size.
Battle Ropes Are Scaleable
Like any good exercise option, battle ropes can be used by beginners and advanced fitness buffs and everyone in between.
How Do I Battle Rope Train?
There are several different ways to use the battle ropes to exercise, most of which can either be done with one side of the body or both. To maximize your benefits from battle rope training, do high-intensity interval training with different battle rope movements to increase strength and stamina.
You can do waves with one arm or both. You can also alternate or do a combination of the three for an awesome HIIT workout targeting your arms, core and legs.
Rope slams can also be incorporated on one arm or both arms for a workout targeting your legs and trunk in particular.
If you’re looking for a movement that will absolutely toast your back, lats and core, try a few sets of figure 8s with the battle ropes. Be sure to stay tight during this exercise.
For more great battle rope exercises and techniques, check out this article from Greatist on 20 epic battle rope exercises.