The Basics of Using Battle Ropes
Battle ropes are a great tool for developing strength and coordination while getting a killer cardio workout. A lot of people use battle ropes to end a workout, as they are a great finisher, but they can also be used for a workout of their own.
Train in Intervals
Battle ropes are best used in interval training, so have a timer handy. Use them for two minutes then have a quick breather, or better yet do some bodyweight exercises in between. Don’t rest too long though; 30 seconds or a minute should do it, then go back for more. Try doing this with varying movements for 20 to 30 minutes and you have had a great workout.
Adjust the Resistance
The amount of slack in the rope determines the resistance and difficulty. Moving further away from the rope’s anchor point will decrease the resistance and intensity of your workout, while moving forward will increase the slack and therefore the difficulty of your training.
While you’re doing your intervals, try starting at a distance and moving in closer to increase the resistance as you go, or alternate between close and far and give your body one harder working set, matched with a slightly easier set with less resistance.
Make Some Waves
In what is the classic battle rope exercise that you will see most people doing - use your arms alternately to make waves in the ropes. Lift your arms as high as possible to work the full range of your shoulders and back and keep the rope moving smoothly and continuously.
Brace your core and keep your knees bent so you are almost in a squat position. This will also work your quads and stabilizers as you work the ropes.
Get Your Breathing Right
Using battle ropes quickly tires your whole body. Getting your breathing right will help you work harder and for longer. Some beginners hold their breath as they work the ropes, this of course means they can only last a few moments until they need to exhale and lose all their power and momentum with it.
There is no down phase when using battle ropes, so you need to breath consistently from the get go. Get a rhythmic, strong breath working so that you are feeding your muscles the oxygen they need. This will also help your body relax as much as possible so that you can concentrate on the motor skills aspect of the workout.
Once you feel confident using the battle ropes from a standing point, try moving as you are working the ropes. Move from a standing position to a kneeling one, all the while keeping the ropes waving. Using the ropes from a kneeling position will give your shoulders and lats and killer workout, as well as strengthening your core.
There are other variations you can try, such as squatting while using the ropes or lunging. It can feel a bit like patting your head while rubbing your tummy - so don’t rush into these variations as they can be off putting and take away from the workout if you’re not ready. Another way to add variety to your intervals is by trying to go for 2 minutes or longer as fast as you can go. Varying the pacing will ensure you get the most out of your workout and don’t get lulled into a rhythm.
Battle Ropes are a great tool for building strength, and endurance. Use them to end a workout, or try adding some variations and doing 30 to 45 minute session of intervals. You’ll be dripping with sweat and burning from the shoulders down afterwards.