Once isolated to the cross training and sports performance gyms, battle ropes have become a staple in most commercial gyms across the country.
As the name implies, battle ropes are a long and durable piece of rope that has been coated and sealed, making it safe to use for exercise. Advanced variations of battle ropes are thicker and weigh more, helping you to add more resistance to your workouts.
Want to learn the basics of battle ropes? Curious about how you can incorporate battle ropes into your routine? Let’s review the benefits and basic exercises of battle ropes for beginners.
BENEFITS OF BATTLE ROPES
What makes battle ropes so unique and ideal for the beginner to fitness? Let’s take a look at the benefits of battle ropes and how they can help you achieve your fitness goals.
Total Body Workout: It’s easy to assume that battle ropes only target your upper body since you’re holding the battle ropes in your hands. But battle rope workouts also require your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, especially during jumping variations. One battle rope workout will hit all major muscle groups.
Builds Core Strength: Battle rope workouts can be especially useful for increasing core strength and endurance while building muscle. All movement originates from your core. Whether you’re slamming, twisting, turning, or jumping with the battle ropes, your core is going to be involved and it’ll help to shrink your waist.
Perfect Cardio Workout: Battle rope workouts are typically based on the number of seconds you are performing and not the number of repetitions. Good luck trying to count those rapid-fire waves. Since it’s based on a circuit formation, it’s considered a type of high-intensity interval workout. HIIT workouts have been shown to skyrocket fat burning, improve cardiovascular health, and boost endurance. HIIT workouts are also important for spot reducing fat. (1)
Beginner Friendly: Battle ropes are one of the best pieces of fitness equipment to use if you have no experience in the weight room. They range in size and weight. They are easy to learn to use. And they are far safer than a barbell or dumbbell looming above you.
BATTLE ROPE EXERCISES FOR BEGINNERS
There’s no need to feel intimidated when you see those battle ropes coiled in the corner. Take them out, wrap the center on a strong base like a pillar, and try the following battle rope exercises for beginners.
Alternating Waves: Bend your knees but keep your hips elevated. Straighten the back and elevate the chest. Holding one end of the battle rope in each hand, extend the arms forward but keep the elbow slightly bent. Begin by lifting the left hand and lowering the right hand. Simultaneously elevate the right hand as you lower the left hand. Repeat this back and forth motion, making sure to keep the core tight.
Double Rope Slams: Maintain a slight bend in the knees, an upright posture, and a tight core. Holding one end of a battle rope in each hand, bring both hands up and above the head. In an explosive motion, slam the battle ropes on the ground and immediately bring your hands above your head. Repeat this slamming motion for the prescribed repetitions.
Figure 8s: With a tight core, begin this exercise by bringing both hands across your body to the left side and down. Once both hands have crossed your body, move the battle ropes up then down and across to the right side. Again, bring the ropes up, across and down to the left. Imagine you are drawing the infinity sign with the ropes.
Jumping Rope Slams: Once you feel comfortable with the three battle rope exercises above, you can give this intermediate-level exercise a try. Maintain a slight bend in the knees, an upright posture, and a tight core. Simultaneously, bring both hands above the head as you jump. As you land, slam the battle ropes on the ground. Immediately repeat the movement, bringing your hands above your head and jumping.
If you’ve never used battle ropes before, consider asking a trainer at your CrossFit gym to watch you perform these exercises and give you feedback on form and execution.
BEGINNERS BATTLE ROPE WORKOUT
Ready to get started with a battle rope workout? Once you complete each of the following exercises for the prescribed time, that is one circuit. Rest for no more than two minutes and begin again. Complete up to four circuits.
- Alternating Waves: 60 seconds
- Double Rope Slams: 60 seconds
- Figure 8s: 60 seconds
- Jumping Rope Slams: 60 seconds
Perform this battle rope workout for beginners for a month then assess your progress. If you feel like you can push yourself even more, consider adding another circuit or two. You can also extend the length of time that you are performing each exercise. We recommend 10-second increases.
INCORPORATING BATTLE ROPE EXERCISES INTO OTHER WORKOUTS
If you have experience in the gym and you’re currently following a traditional weightlifting routine or a CrossFit program, you can easily incorporate battle rope exercises for better results.
If you’re a weightlifter, use the battle rope workout above as your Cardio Day workout. You can also use it to complement a day that focuses on upper body exercises. We recommend using it at the end of a workout that focuses on chest, shoulders, and arms.
If you’re a CrossFitter, use this battle rope workout for beginners on your off days. It’ll promote better blood flow for recovery while supporting the progress you’re making at your box.
WILL YOU START USING THESE BATTLE ROPES FOR BEGINNERS EXERCISES?
Which is your favorite battle rope exercise? Will you incorporate these into your current CrossFit workout? Have any questions about the exercises? Have pictures of yourself using battle ropes? Tag us on our Instagram.
- Reljic D1, Wittmann F, Fischer JE. Effects of low-volume high-intensity interval training in a community setting: a pilot study. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2018 Jun;118(6):1153-1167. doi: 10.1007/s00421-018-3845-8. Epub 2018 Mar 19.