Battle ropes are great unconventional tools that have become more popular in mainstream fitness in the past few years. In essence, battle ropes are long braided ropes that range in length and weight that can be used to work multiple different muscle reps while generating a cardiovascular effect as well. They are great for athletes who are short on time and need a quick burst of high intensity interval training, as well as athletes dealing with lower body injuries that can’t utilize other cardiovascular exercises that place a strain on the lower limbs. For athletes training in a small facility or at home, the battle ropes don’t take up more space and are easy to store and provide tons of great workouts with just one piece of equipment.
Here are 4 great exercises using battle ropes that will help you work your body from head to toe!
The full-body slam will get the heart rate up, work the muscles in the shoulders, abs, glutes and quads, and increase the body’s overall ability to generate explosive power. Grab one handle of the rope in each hand, and begin by raising both arms up and slamming the ropes down hard onto the ground.
As the ropes come up off the ground, use the power in your glutes, legs, abs and arms to raise the rope up high, and then use explosive power to bring them back down again.
The rope circles focuses more on the use of the shoulders, biceps and triceps to do the work. Grab one handle of the rope in each hand, and begin by circling the ropes in towards each other toward the midline of the body. Circle them outward away from each other toward the outside of the body, and then bring them back in and up toward the body’s midline. You should feel your shoulder blades and arms powering the movement.
3. Waves With an Alternating Reverse Lunge
This third battle rope exercise will not only get the heart rate up and work most of the major muscle groups in the body, but it will also challenge your balance, stability, and coordination. Begin with the handles of the battle rope in each hand, and slowly start alternating slamming the ropes down so they begin to make waves.
Once you have a steady flow of waves going, engage your abdominal muscles, glutes and quads as you step one leg back and drop into a lunge. You want to focus on making sure the chest stays upright, the abdominals and glutes stay engaged, and that your arms and lat muscles are still powering the waves. Bring that leg back up so you are in a full standing position, and repeat the motion on the opposite side.
4. Alternating Plank Waves
The alternating plank wave is great for work your stabilization and abdominal muscles. Begin in a plank position on the hands; your shoulders and wrists should be in alignment, your spine should be in one long line, you should be actively pulling your belly button up toward your spine, and you should be engaging your glutes, quads and hamstring muscles. Shift your weight slightly over into one arm so that you can grab one handle of the battle rope with the opposite hand. Keeping your plank position stable, begin making small waves with your one arm. Work this for anywhere from 15-20 seconds and then switch to the opposite side. Your main focus should be on keeping your plank position stable and keeping your belly button facing the ground the entire time.
To regress this movement, simply drop down to the knees while still keeping your wrists and shoulders aligned, your spine in one long line, your abdominals engaged, and your glutes and legs activated.
Work these four movements with the battle ropes and you’ll get in a great full body exercise in a short amount of time!
Lauren Weiss is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor based out of Long Beach, CA. She specializes in kettlebell training and unconventional workouts and has been working with both types of fitness for over a year. Lauren has her BOLT Kettlebell Sport Certification through the USA Kettlebell League and has expertise working with kettlebells, barbells, dumbbells and several unconventional fitness tools. Lauren received her BA in Journalism and uses her writing expertise to craft thought-provoking articles about trending fitness, health & wellness topics. Follow Lauren on her website, Facebook, and Instagram.
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