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Battle Ropes: Your Ultimate Guide (With Workout)

by Alexandra Parren

battle ropes gym workout

Chances are you've seen people thrashing around ropes in your gym and you may have wondered how they work and how they can benefit you. Here's your ultimate guide to battle ropes with a battle rope workout included at the end.

What are battle ropes?

Battle ropes are large, heavy ropes that are anchored to a single point and used for a powerful, dynamic workout. Using battle ropes in your workout can torch fat and build muscle in your arms, chest, shoulders, back, core, and legs. Using battle ropes can be hard work and will really get your heart rate up and have you breathing heavily, enhancing cardiovascular function and improving your overall fitness.

battling ropes workout gym strength

Which muscles do battle ropes use?

There are many different moves you can do while using battle ropes, and each move will use different muscle groups. It's possible to employ every muscle group in the body while using battle ropes and to get a really good full body workout done.

The main muscles used are always the arms, shoulders, and chest, as you are using your arms to move the ropes. You will also use your back as a secondary muscle group and squeezing your core throughout the workout for proper form will get that burning too.

muscles gym workout battle ropes

How many calories can you burn using battle ropes?

Battle ropes are a really tough workout and are not for the fainthearted. According to a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, a 10-minute battle rope workout can burn up to 112 calories – that's as much as running!

Battle ropes are a very high intensity workout and so you may also benefit from the after burn effect, whereby your body continues to burn calories after the workout is finished. This can last up to 72 hours!

core strength workout battle ropes

How to add battle ropes into your workout

There are many different variations to battle rope workouts and you can adjust a battle rope workout to fit your goals and your current fitness level. As they can be so high in intensity, you'll want to take it easy if you're a beginner or are starting from a low base fitness. Be warned: many people start to feel nauseous after a particularly intense battle rope workout!

battle ropes battling ropes gym workout strength core

Battle Ropes Workout

Battle Rope Waves

  1. Stand with your feet hip width apart.
  2. Bend your knees slightly and keep your back straight.
  3. Hold one rope in each hand and wave them up and down, alternating between each one.

Keep your core tight and don't move your body, only your arms. Make sure you remember to breathe throughout! Try to last 30 seconds at first and build up more time the fitter you get.

Battle Rope Slams

  1. Stand with your feet hip width apart.
  2. Bend your knees slightly and keep your back straight.
  3. Hold one rope in each hand and slam them up and down in unison.

This should be a powerful and dynamic move. You can move your body along with the movements, bending and straightening your legs as necessary. Try 30 seconds at first and slowly build up to 60 seconds as you get fitter and stronger.

Battle Rope Slides

  1. Stand with your feet hip width apart.
  2. Bend your knees slightly and keep your back straight.
  3. Hold one rope in each hand and wave them widely outwards then inwards, repeating constantly.

This exercise will challenge your body laterally; working your lats, shoulders, core, obliques, and legs. Remember to breathe and don't let your arms drop as they get tired.

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