As a runner, the battle rope program is one of the best training systems out there that can help you get stronger and faster in the most convenient way. In fact, this training program is one of the most effective, high intensity, total body workout you can do.
The ropes are intense, challenging, and will push you outside of your comfort zone, especially if you are not used to high intensity training.
But they are worth the effort.
Therefore, today I’m sharing with you some of my thoughts on the ropes, as well as 8 of my favorite battle rope training exercises that will, literally, whip you into shape.
Image Credit – Inner Fight via Flickr
Benefits of Rope Training
So why use the ropes in the first place. Here are some reasons:
Ropes are low impact. This comes in especially handy for runners, and we all know about running’s high impact nature. If you run regularly, then the last thing you want is more impact. The ropes are the ideal crosstraining exercise you can do without placing too much stress on your joints because all the force is applied to your muscular system instead.
Burns mad Calories. Study shows that rope training burns as much or even more calories than heavy resistance training, sprinting and high intensity interval training. So it’s a good addition to your training program if you looking to shed some weight.
Works the core. As a runner, you can’t afford to have a weak core. Good news is rope training works your entire core from the upper abs to your glutes and quads, both stabilizing spinal movement and applying power from the core.
Safe to use. You battle the ropes as long as you can, then you just drop them on the floor when you can’t go any further. And as long as you are keeping good form, then there are no safety concern, unlike training with dumbbells and other weights.
Take minimum time. An effective rope training workout can last nothing more than 15 to 20 minutes. This comes in handy if you are short on time, and you just want to add a short workout after a run.
User friendly. You can take the ropes with you to the trails or the track where you run. All you need a sturdy object, like a pole or a tree, then loop the rope around it. No technical knowledge required.
Image Credit – Christopher Endeavor via Flickr
How to Pick the Right Ropes
Battle ropes training is very convenient. All you need is a 1.5 to 2-inch thick 50-foot rope, weighing up to 40 pounds, depending on your personal choice and fitness goals.
The fastest way to get your hands on some training ropes is to just hop on Amazon.com and shop according to your own budget and personal preferences.
In case you are looking for something on the cheaper side, then check out these two brands:
You can also ask around and join local gyms, or fitness bootcamps where there are groups that use the battle rope system.
You can also make your own by getting 50ft of generic one to 1/5-inch rope then wrapping the ends in electrical tape.
For high intensity training, opt for a 1.5” diameter battle rope. In my experience, these ropes are ideal for a circuit training workout and will also help you keep a solid grip while you are waving, slamming and whipping the ropes as hard as you can.
For the anchor, you just loop the ropes around a pole, a sturdy beam, weights, a wall or a box.
The Best Battle Rope Exercises
Battle rope exercises are not rocket science. So unlike other fitness programs, CrossFit for example, there is no need for technical jargon or complicated instructions.
To do them, you just hold the rope by the ends and move your arms up and down (or in whatever way you like), as fast and as hard as you can, for the given number of reps.
In other words, you are battling the ropes.
Here are a 8 of my favorite battle rope exercises.
1. Battling Waves
Hold the ends of the rope at arm’s length in front of your hips. Make sure your hands shoulder-width apart. That’s your starting position.
To perform the battle waves, alternately raise and lower each arm explosively and as fast as you can, creating waves in the ropes.
Keep alternating as fast you can with good for form for one to two minutes to complete one set, then move to the next exercise.
2. Power Slams
Begin by standing with feet hip-width part and hold the ends of the rope in each hand.
Next, extend your arms and bring them both overhead, then, while getting into a quarter-squat position, slam the ropes down into the floor as hard as you can. To build force, make sure to hinge at the hips and bend the knees.
Return to starting posting by extending at the hip, straightening your legs and moving to the next rep.
3. Alternating Waves with Lateral Lunges
Start out with the alternating wave, then take a step out to your right side, lower yourself in a side lunge position with the heel down and knee in line with your toes. Next, push back up to starting position, and switch sides.
Keep performing the lunges as smoothly as possible with good from. Make sure to keep your chest and head up the entire time.
Do 8 to 10 side lunges on each side to complete one set.
4. Star Jumps
Begin by standing in a narrow squat and grab the ends of the ropes in each hand.
Next, jump up as high as you can, kicking your legs out to the sides and swinging your arms (while holding the ropes) out to the sides and over your head to create waves with the ropes.
Make sure to land softly in a squat position, then repeat as fast as you can without losing form.
5. Side Slams
Tighten your core and hold the ends of the ropes on the right side of your body, then move the ends of the rope in an arc above your head.
Next, lift the ropes up over your shoulder height, then rotate to the left and slam it down into the floor as hard as you can. Then, lift the rope to the right side this time, and then slam it down hard to the left to complete one rep.
Keep alternating slamming the rope on each side for one to two minutes before you move to the next exercise.
Assume an athletic position with the ends of the ropes in both hands, then swing the arms together side-to-side, making the rope slither like a snake.
You can do this by brining the ropes in toward one another (without crossing) and immediately back out as hard and as fast as possible with good form.
7. Alternating Wave with Squat
Grab one end of the rope in each hands and stand facing the anchor with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
Next, while keeping your back straight and core engaged, assume a squat position and start bringing the right rope up as you move the left rope down as fast as you can, creating waves in the ropes.
8. Russian Twist Slams
Sit on the floor, facing the rope anchor with knees bent, heels resting on the ground.
Next, hold both ends of the rope with both hands in front of your chest, embrace your core, and lean slightly back. This is your starting position.
To perform Russian twist slams, rotate only your arms and upper body to your right side and slam the ropes into the floor, then rotate to the left side and slam them on the other side.
Keep rotating the ropes as fast as you can with good for one full minute to complete one set.
The above battle rope workout is super intense, so pace yourself and stay within your fitness level.
In the meantime thank you for reading my post.
Please feel free to leave your comments and questions below.
Featured Image Credit – Escape Fitness via Flickr.