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Battle Rope Workouts – Add Rope Training to Your Routine

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Battle rope workouts? What’s that?! Battle ropes themselves aren’t really new, but they’re kind of a new thing. They were developed by a fellow named John Brookfield. He didn’t call them battle ropes, but actually referred to the activity as battling ropes. He developed the system for himself originally, but it got out and now you see it everywhere.

So at what point exactly it became a thing, I don’t know. I just know I hear about battle ropes all the time now. And for good reason! Rope training is an amazing alternative to cardio and a fantastic exercise to supplement a weightlifting routine.

So What is a Battle Rope?

battle rope workouts - replace boring cardio

This is battle rope training. Originally it was referred to as battling rope.

If you have never seen a battle rope (and the pictures didn’t give it away), they are massive ropes that are usually about 50′ long and about 2″ thick weighing about 20 pounds (there are other varieties of length, width and weight). They are intended to wrap around some form of anchor like a basketball post, tree trunk, lamp post, whatver. Then you take both ends of the rope, place yourself about 20′ away from the post, and well… whip the rope around in waves. Sounds lame the way I describe it, but believe me, it’s intense.

Here’s what makes battle rope workouts so cool. They are high intensity workouts that target practically every muscle in your body, but hit your arms, back, shoulders and core really hard. I’d say it’s the equivalent to sprinting for your upper body. Also, the workouts are short. You can be done with your workout in as little as 20 minutes. Sound like a short workout? It’s not. You will definitely know tomorrow that you worked out – and worked out hard.

Rope Training Burns TONS of Fat!

rope training keeps you trim

Battle rope workouts burn a ton of fat compared to just jogging or eliptical workouts.

For those of you that use cardio equipment in gyms, or have heart rate monitors that track your calories, you know how slow calories come off during normal cardio exercises like jogging and rowing and so forth. It can be discouraging to see that after an hour of cardio, you burnt no more calories than whats in one of those crazy Starbucks drinks (no coffee drink should have 700 calories, but whatever).

Well battle rope training is very much like Crossfit. It’s high intensity training, and it burns a ton of calories. It’s not unusual to burn upwards of 1000 calories per hour doing battle rope workouts (I should say 500 calories per half hour since most of us can’t whip ropes around for an hour). Either way, we both know the treadmill at the gym set to 5 mph isn’t burning anywhere near that. The treadmill will also never give you any mass, while rope training will.

Need another reason to get training with battle ropes? How about because cardio on machines is boring. It’s sooo boring and nobody likes it. How good is a workout that involves watching television anyway? How focused could you really be? Battle rope workouts are hard! It’s a challenge, it takes focus, but it’s fun. You will be blown away how fast you get your heart rate up.

Rope Training for Strength

Rope training with chains? That's nuts!

Here’s one way to take it to the next level. Turn rope training into chain training (that’s hard to say).

So ok, it makes for a better cardio workout than the machines. How about for strength and power? Well battle ropes have you covered there too. The standard battling rope weighs about 20 pounds, sometimes more (turn it up to 11 and use chains instead). Whipping a heavy rope around is strenuous to say the least. The idea is to maintain your maximum speed and force for your entire set. You will see strength gains – and in unexpected muscle groups. For instance, your forearms are going to be blasted doing battle rope workouts.

I don’t know about you, but I have problems with gains in my shoulders. I have an exclusive shoulder day every week just as I should, but they grow slow. Rope training helps with that. I cannot even begin to explain to you how sore my shoulders were the first few times I ever used a battle rope (and it wasn’t even for very long).

One more thing worth mentioning before I let Joe show you some sample workouts with ropes. Battling ropes are safe. It’s a low impact exercise that doesn’t require any spotters, safety mechanisms, or rubber flooring. You go for as long as you can then you just stop, or let go. It’s nice that there is a workout this intense that isn’t dangerous in the least.

20+ Battle Rope Workouts

The video below is great. Joe will show you over 20 variations of battle rope workouts.

So there you have it… battle rope workouts! Grab a rope and try it. Unless you’ve got a problem with being trim and sexy.

bulldog strength training and cardio rope

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Dylan Lincoln February 25, 2016, 12:55 pm

    I have a 1.5″ X 30′ battle rope that I would like to add some weight to without having to buy another expensive longer rope. Is there any way to add weight to a rope I already have?

    • jburgeson February 25, 2016, 2:36 pm

      There are such things as rope clamps – basically the metal clamp at the end of a climbing rope. There may be a variation of that clamp out there that allows the merging of two ropes so that you could add however many feet of rope you wanted, but I have a feeling this wouldn’t be all that much cheaper than buying a longer rope, or a 2″ rope. I can’t imagine what you could do to the rope itself to make it (evenly) heavier though. It may just be time to Craigslist yours, get what you can, and use it for an upgrade.

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