Nov 22, 2017
Battle It Out

There’s no question that athletes can get bored doing the same workouts day in and day out. If you are searching for a way to switch up your strength training program, consider adding battle rope exercises. Commonly used for high intensity interval training, battle ropes are the perfect tool to add some excitement while increasing athletes’ power, explosiveness, and anaerobic and aerobic endurance.

There are many types of battle ropes to choose from, as they typically range from 26-50 feet long and one to two inches thick. The weight of the ropes also varies depending on these measurements. No matter what variety of battle rope you choose, the benefits are many. In an article for Boxlife Magazine, CrossFit Trainer William Imbo explains a few advantages of implementing battle rope workouts.

First, battle ropes are perfect for athletes who are returning from injury, as they are low impact. According to Imbo, this is because force is applied to the muscular system as opposed to stressing the joints. And their unilateral nature also helps fix imbalances in the body.

“When you train with battle ropes, you may realize that one side of your body may move differently than the other,” writes Imbo. “It may generate a smaller wave, be more uncoordinated, etc. One of the benefits of battle rope training is that over time, these differences will go away as your body starts to balance itself out.”

Another benefit of battle rope exercises is that they involve the entire body. They will help develop an athlete’s core, as well as muscles in their arms and legs. Imbo explains that battle ropes also assist in increasing power output, developing grip strength, and strengthening muscular and cardiovascular endurance. Furthermore, you can use battle ropes almost anywhere as long as there is a place to anchor the ropes.

There are many ways that battle ropes can be used. In an article for, NASM-Certified Personal Trainer Andrew Myers describes 10 battle rope exercises and their benefits, with suggestions on rope length and diameter. Here are four to get you started:

Battle Rope Slams

This movement helps build explosive power and strength and are perfect for athletes in sports that require quick bursts of strength and power. Myers suggests implementing these at the beginning of a workout due to the need for maximum muscle recruitment and technique.

  1. Anchor a 50-foot, 2-inch diameter rope.
  2. Stand with feet hip-width apart and grasp the end of one rope in each hand.
  3. Bring both arms up overhead and forcefully slam the roped down into the ground while lowering into a high squat position.
  4. Return to standing and repeat.
  5. Perform 3×20 seconds.

Battle Rope Rotational Slams

This exercise increases overall strength and power, while also strengthening the obliques and transverse abdominal muscles. It should also be performed at the beginning of a workout.

  1. Anchor a 50-foot, 2-inch diameter rope.
  2. Grab the ends of the rope with palms facing in, feet shoulder-width apart, and knees slightly bent.
  3. Brace your core and hold the ropes on the left side of your body.
  4. Raise your arms up overhead and explosively slam the ropes down to the right of your body.
  5. Repeat on the other side.
  6. Perform 3×10 on each side.

Battle Rope Claps

This movement focuses on muscle endurance and targets the biceps, anterior deltoids, chest, and core. Myers explains that it should be performed quickly for an extended period of time.

  1. Anchor a 40-foot, 1.5-inch diameter rope.
  2. Grab the end of one rope in each hand with palms facing in.
  3. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
  4. Externally rotate your shoulders and bring the rope in each hand out away from each other.
  5. Quickly internally rotate your shoulders and bring the rope in each hand toward each other.
  6. Keep your elbows tight to you sides and your core tight.
  7. Continue alternating in and out as quickly as you can without losing form.
  8. Perform 3×30 seconds.

To see the Battle Rope Alternating Claps in action, check out this video from MG Fit in Fitness.

Battle Rope Plank Single Arm Waves

This exercise requires more core activation than a regular plank, building core strength even further.

  1. Anchor a 40-foot, 1.5-inch diameter rope.
  2. Get into a standard plank position with your head facing the anchor.
  3. Grab the end of the rope with one hand with your palm facing in.
  4. Quickly lift the rope up and down creating a “wave.”
  5. Keep your core and hips tight, and be careful not to over-rotate your body when lifting the rope.
  6. Perform 3×15 seconds with each hand.

To see the Battle Rope Plank Single Arm Wave in action, check out this video from Chadash Fitness.

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