Is there anything that screams “badass” more than wrangling battle ropes for fun, I mean, fitness? Sure you can lift heavy weights, push a tire, do a pull-up, but there’s something about battle rope workouts that take things to another level. Not only do they look cool, but using them is actually really challenging, just ask Naomi Campbell.
“Battle ropes are an extremely versatile piece of exercise equipment that can be used to train your full body, whether your goal is conditioning, explosiveness, or even strength. They take up relatively little room to store at home, can be used indoor or outdoor, and are priced affordably,” says Heather Marr, certified personal trainer. “A battle rope is a long, heavy piece of rope that is anchored in the middle to create two smaller pieces to hold in each hand. They can be purchased in varying lengths, widths, and materials to suit your needs,” says Marr.
The options and variations for using battle ropes in your workout are endless. According to Marr, you can use them in a warm-up, as a killer finisher, or use them for the entire workout. “They’re a tool often used for HIIT training to add some excitement, fun, and variety to a program,” says Marr. When you use battle ropes, you’ll target your upper body, core, and you can also use them to work your lower body. “They’re great for working on your grip strength and, of course, your symmetry,” says Marr.
The best battle ropes to fire up your workout routine
“The TRX Battle Ropes are the best quality,” says Bowman. “They’re super durable and come with a six-year warranty,” she adds. These also have rubber grips to keep your hands from getting rope burn and give you a more comfortable grip.
“This is an excellent choice for those with limited space wanting an extra thick rope. This poly rope is 2.5 inches in width and has rubber handles. It is not for the faint of heart: The extra wide grip proves to be challenging even for very advanced fitness levels,” says Marr.
“This poly rope comes complete with an anchor and is covered in nylon to prevent fraying. It has extra long 10-inch handles for a comfortable grip even with sweaty palms. It’s 1.5 inches in width, 50 inches long, and is 26 pounds, making it great for cardio workouts or beginners,” says Marr.
“This is an excellent choice for advanced fitness levels. This 50-inch length rope weighs 41 pounds and is two inches in diameter. It is a durable three-strand twisted poly rope with heat shrink ends for a solid grip. And it comes with a one-year warranty,” says Marr.
“This durable poly rope (1.5 inches wide and 30 inches long) is perfect for beginners, or those with limited space. It comes with a protective sleeve at the anchor point to prevent fraying and an attractive price tag,” says Marr.
“This rope is best for beginners and people with limited space,” says Bowman. “These ropes are only 20-ft (usually they are 50-ft). They also don’t require an anchor point so can be easily used anywhere,” she says.
“These are best for advanced gym goers and athletes. These ropes come in 2-inch or 1.5-inch. The 2-inch ropes are heavier and add a challenge for those who can handle the heat!” says Bowman.
At $50, this battle rope is a really good deal. It’s tried-and-true, with a solid 3.5 stars out of almost 4 thousand reviews. One reviewer said, “I use battle ropes in my gym so I’ve been missing them during Covid. I was surprised to see them on Amazon for such a good price…I set the ropes up in my basement and I’m happily back to slamming ropes a few times a week. A great cardio workout, and now I don’t have to go to the gym for it.”
Working out outdoors? You’ll want robes that can handle the elements—like this one from Rogue Fitness. “This is best for all weather. Can be used inside or outside with their protective cover and no slip anchor point,” says Bowman.
A beginner’s guide to battle ropes
“When first starting out, I would recommend using the lightest ropes available (usually 1.5 inches) and try adding in a fun finisher for the upper body workout, similar to intervals,” says Brittany Bowman, CPT and trainer at Dogpound Los Angeles. “As you get stronger and have more endurance, you can increase the time and or the weight of the ropes,” says Bowman. “Start with a smaller goal like 10 seconds of work 20 seconds of rest x 5.”
“Get comfortable using the ropes in a variety of moves and directions. While the standard wave exercise is of course tons of fun, don’t forget that the ropes can be used in all directions and to target different areas,” says Marr. When you’re using battle ropes, another way to challenge yourself is to adjust positions. “You can be kneeling, in a plank or even sitting. Add movement such a squat, lunge or a jump- the sky is the limit,” says Marr.
How to adjust the resistance and intensity
“The resistance can be adjusted by simply changing where you stand. The closer you are to the anchor, the harder the exercise is going to be. Standing further away from your anchor point will reduce the resistance. If you’re finding an exercise too difficult, then simply back up,” says Marr.
Your speed also determines how intense the rope workout feels, so you can always slow things down or speed them up when you need a change. “The faster you go, the more intense and difficult the exercise will be. If you’re finding an exercise too difficult, slow down,” says Marr.
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