These days, you don't have to visit a CrossFit gym to see battle rope exercises in action. What used to be reserved for certain fitness niches and professional athletes is now used in home gyms, outdoor workouts and boot camps.
The simplicity of battle rope exercises makes them a popular choice for general body conditioning; All it takes is two ropes and you'll lose fat, build lung strength, and gain strength and endurance.
This head-to-toe training method is perfect for people of all fitness levels and ages. "The battle ropes are great even for seniors, and they can be done while seated in a chair until you build enough strength to support yourself over time," explains Athena Sprouse, a certified personal trainer and stretch therapist.
Whether you're an avid athlete, just starting out, or just looking to add conditioning to your workout routine, the Battle Ropes are a fantastic tool to increase your fitness level.
If you've never fought ropes or are wondering how to incorporate them into your routine, Sprouce lays the foundation to help you fight your way to a stronger body!
A Brief History of Battle Ropes
Battle ropes first appeared in 2006 when John Brookfield, a multiple world record holder in strength and fitness who held records in nail bending, map tearing and semi-trailer pulls a full mile distance, developed the system in his backyard.
And as impressive as that is, so are the benefits of battle ropes. This low-impact, high-intensity training method not only increases grip strength, but also provides a variety of benefits for the body.
"There are numerous benefits of using battle ropes, including fat burning, muscle building, total body strength training, endurance training, coordination, and stability," says Sprouce. And the great thing is that you can conveniently use them in your own gym, garage, backyard and home gym.
The Basics of Battle Rope Exercises
When you start battle rope training, it's good to start with the basics. "The first key focus should be maintaining good, strong posture," says Sprouse. This helps prevent injury and provides a solid range of motion.
Proper posture should look like this: "Maintain a neutral spine position throughout the exercise and keep a tight core throughout the exercise while making sure you're breathing," says Sprouse.
Holding your breath during reps will keep you breathing in the foreground of your mind as you fight on ropes.
And while it may be tempting to just beat your heart out, it's best to start slow and maintain a steady pace. To start, Sprouse recommends starting with 30-second intervals while maintaining a steady pace. Increase your time and pace over time to continue your progress.
Battle Rope Beginner Tips
For battle rope beginners, Sprouce recommends incorporating it into your workout at least once or twice a week. "At the end of your workout, start with alternating single-arm slams as a great finisher, then add variation exercises (jumping jacks, double-arm slams) on week two to keep challenging yourself," she says
Over time, increase your intensity and the time you spend exercising to about 3 times a week to continue progress. "There are no hard and fast rules about how often they should be done," says Sprouse. However, a good rule of thumb is about three alternate days per week, as this allows for recovery after such an intense workout.
When to stay off the ropes
Although people of all ages and fitness levels can benefit from battle ropes, there are some contraindications. "Battle ropes are not recommended for individuals with compromising shoulder or back injuries," says Sprouse. Consult your doctor or physical therapist before hitting the ropes to avoid further injury.
"Limiting movement at the core and maintaining correct posture during each exercise is key to preventing injury," she says. A reminder that proper form is important for each individual exercise.
- Battle ropes increase strength, endurance, lung power and stability and burn fat.
- Battle ropes are suitable for all fitness levels and ages (you can use a chair if you need to build more physical strength).
- Battle ropes fit into all types of workout routines, from bodybuilding to running.
- Start slow and keep good posture when you start.
- If you only lift weights, ropes will help you get better overall condition and break through plateaus.
- Use controlled breathing, don't hold your breath during battle rope exercises, and practice good posture.
Battle rope exercises and training for beginners
There are a variety of battle rope moves, but here are some top notch exercises and how to perform them.