Battle rope training has been growing in popularity in many fitness circles and for good reason.
They are a low cost, functional piece of workout equipment that can provide you with a killer full-body training session.
These ropes can provide you with an efficient workout to maximize fat loss in a short amount of time utilizing them with high intensity interval training sessions.
You can modify your training with these ropes and get various sizes to make them appropriate for all fitness levels.
The longer and thicker the rope, the more challenging it will be to use.
The beauty of battle ropes is you have the ability to move them in any direction (up/down, side/side, circular, diagonal, etc.) and the more movement directions you utilize, the better it will be for your shoulder mobility and core strength.
The main 3 exercises that are most commonly used are:
- Waves - Alternating motion up and down with the force going towards the anchor
- Slams - An explosive motion with the force going down to the ground
- Whip - Moving the ropes side to side with the force going towards the anchor
The two hand grip options are hand shake (most common) or flipped like you are holding a glass of water.
5 Powerful Benefits of Battle Rope Training
Here are 5 reasons you should consider incorporating battle ropes into your fitness routine.
1. Burn More Calories
Energy expenditure through exercise is certainly a key factor when it comes to losing weight.
On average women burned 45 calories in just 4.5 minutes of using battle ropes and men burned 82 calories in under 6 minutes.(1)
Most folks don’t have extra time to spare for exercise with their busy lives.
In fact, lack of time is one of the most common excuses for not working out more often.
This is why efficiency is important and burning more calories in less time means spending less time exercising to reach your fitness goals.
Utilizing ropes for high intensity interval training is a excellent strategy to shed those extra pounds while building lean muscle and reaping other health benefits.
When you use battle ropes for high intensity workouts you will also reap the benefits of EPOC (excess post workout oxygen consumption), which is burning more calories long after your workout is over!
2. Provides Dual Force Effects
This may be the main reason why battle ropes are such an effective training tool.
Most resistance training exercises are utilizing gravitational force effects. For example, doing a squat or push-up you are creating resistance by going against gravity.
Well, battle ropes can be heavy (weight varies based on size of ropes) so you are getting the gravitational force load by lifting them and moving the ropes around.
They are so unique because they also provide you with the force created by the waves in the rope. The wave force.
This dual force (both gravity force and wave force) causes a new physiological adaptation to occur in your body which will improve the signaling pathways for muscle growth and cardiovascular conditioning.
Mixing up types of resistance is key for building muscle and improving your overall fitness.
"Many battle rope movements challenge your core stability, which can be one of the best ways to build functional core strength."
3. Low Impact, Less Injury Potential
Finding low impact exercises is very important for people starting out, especially if they are overweight or elderly.
Even for young fitness enthusiasts, high impact activities put stress on joints and can lead to potential injuries and problems long term.(2)
The dual force qualities of battle rope training can also provide the body with superior physiological adaptations that can lead to a decreased risk in injury.
Any time you are improving your physiological adaptation to physical stressors, you are improving your bodies resilience.
4. Mobility and Stability
Due to the wide variety of motions that can be performed with battle ropes they can improve your mobility.
The movements are also unique and unlike other traditional exercises, and by incorporating ranges of motion your body isn’t accustomed to, you are able to increase mobility of certain body parts.
Mobility is essential for functional fitness and must be addressed to build a solid foundation.
Stability comes next and is very important to avoiding injuries.
Many battle rope movements challenge your core stability, which can be one of the best ways to build functional core strength.
Lifting heavy weights doesn't necessarily imply functional strength.
It is critical to focus on your mobility and stability to develop functional fitness and battle ropes are an awesome tool to accomplish that.
5. Strengthen Weak Body Parts
It’s very common for people to have imbalances in their musculoskeletal system.
The dual force resistance of training with battle ropes can really help with strengthening certain areas on your body that don’t typically get much attention.
Due to the full-body nature of these exercises, you really have to activate many body parts to perform the movements.
Combining that with the dual force resistance can result in improving many major and minor muscles that aren’t worked with traditional weight lifting exercises.
What Size Battle Ropes Should You Get?
Battles ropes come in 2 main thicknesses: 1.5 inch and 2 inch.
Although it doesn't sound like half an inch would make much of a difference, trust me when I say it's night and day.
If you are at an advanced fitness level and very strong then 2 inch thickness would be appropriate for you, but for most of the population 1.5 inch thickness would be a better choice.
The 3 common lengths of battle ropes are 30 ft, 40 ft, and 50 ft. The length you get depends on how much space you have. Having longer ropes will make the battle rope training more challenging so beginners should get 30 ft, but folks with experience training with battle ropes can get 40 ft or even 50 ft.
Battle Rope Workout For Beginners
The first thing to consider when using battle ropes for the first time is the thickness and length of the ropes. The thicker/longer the ropes, the heavier they will be, making the exercises you do with them far more challenging.
It's important to start out with thinner ropes (1.5 inch or less) to minimize your chance of straining a muscle or injuring yourself.
When starting out, be sure to keep your movements very controlled and don't go to full fatigue. Going all out effort can lead to improper form and increase your risk of injury, so be sure to get the proper form down before doing really high intensity battle rope training.
Waves are typically a good place to start. Slams are more taxing and can lead to lower back strain if done incorrectly.
It's always very helpful to work with a qualified professional when starting out to learn proper form and technique.
While high intensity exercise is incredibly helpful for weight loss and improving your health, the importance of movement can’t be overlooked. Check out our article on how walking can burn belly fat and add years to your life.