The Cooper Institute
 

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH

Loading
 
 

Battle Ropes

Written by
Michael Harper, MEd
Posted in
Fit Tips

Thursday, Jun 16, 2016

Most anyone will tell you that performing rope exercises continuously for even just a few seconds can take your breath away. Fountaine and Schmidt (2013) concluded that using 15-second intervals of rope exercises provided an effective, vigorous intensity workout comparable to other forms of interval training. The interval workout utilized in their study consisted of a double arm wave exercise performed for 10 intervals with 15 seconds of work and 45 seconds of rest, totaling 10 minutes.


There are many ways that battle ropes can be utilized for interval work. The exercises in this video include:
  • Rainbow Side Slams: Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart facing the anchored ropes. Hold the end of one rope in each hand with palms facing in. Prepare for the movement by engaging the core, lowering the body into a half-squat position, and placing both ropes to the right side of the body. Pressing through the floor, quickly rise up out of the squat simultaneously raising the arms overhead. Then, forcefully bring the arms down to the left side of the body while lowering the body into a half squat. The ropes will “slam” to the ground to the left of the body. Continue alternating sides.
  • Rope Circles: Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent facing the anchored ropes. Hold the end of one rope in each hand with palms facing in. Prepare for the movement by engaging the core and extend the arms so that they are parallel with the floor. Vigorously move the arms as one unit in a circular manner while trying to avoid movement in any other part of the body. After a period of time, perform in the other direction.
  • Alternating Waves with Lateral Shuffle – Standing with the knees slightly bent facing the anchored ropes, hold the end of one rope in each hand with the elbows bent and the palms facing in. While shuffling side to side, alternate raising and lowering the lower arms while keeping the elbows bent. This will create alternating “waves” with the ropes. Side-shuffle a few steps and then change direction while continuing to move the arms in the alternating pattern.  
  • Double Arm Waves: In a quarter- or half-squat stance, hold the end of one rope in each hand in front of the body. Vigorously lift both arms up in front of the body to slightly above shoulder height while simultaneously rising up out of the squat. Forcefully bring the arms back down toward the ground while lowering the body back into a quarter- or half-squat. Continue repeating the up and down movement pattern.
Other exercises, such as jumping jacks, claps, or figure 8 circles, can become intervals in a rope exercise workout as long as proper safety principles and biomechanics are utilized. One important biomechanical principle to monitor when using battle ropes is alignment of the spine as it is easy for the momentum of the ropes to pull the body forward out of alignment.

Share your favorite exercise with the battle ropes on our Facebook page.

Fountaine, C.J. and Schmidt, B.J. (2013). Metabolic cost of rope training. J Strength Cond Res. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182a35da8