Fitness Friday: Battle Rope Workout
Battle Rope workout Benefits
They are FUN! You know I always stress you have to find what YOU enjoy. Using tools like the ropes is a breath of fresh air for most people; it creates excitement, it is unique, and it gets people “playing” again adding much-needed variety to a dull, repetitive workout plan.
Total Body Training. While you can definitely use the ropes for an upper body cardio movement, the entire body should be utilized to increase power and efficiency. Your legs help generate power through your core into and through the arms.
Unilateral dominance/imbalance – The waves tell a story. If you watch the movements carefully, you will notice that one side of your body may move differently than the other; It may generate a smaller wave, be more uncoordinated, etc. The cool part about Rope Training is that over time, these differences go away.
With just a few helpful tips to keep in mind, you can grab a heavy rope and start enjoying a full-body, ropes-based workout.
Starts with the Grip
There are two main types of grip used in heavy rope training:
- Handshake (overhand) grip
- Microphone (underhand) grip
Make Waves The visual feedback by the rope is a great indication of the quality of the effort.
- Slam – aggressive movement with the direction of force down toward the ground
- Waves – alternating, asymmetrical pattern with the direction of force toward the anchor
- Whip – symmetrical pattern with the primary direction of force toward the anchor
*It feels like playing a game even when you are working hard.
Rope exercises also feature the primary movement patterns: squats, lunges, pushes, pulls, and rotations… and move through the sagittal, frontal and transverse planes for a total-body workout.
These exercises can be used in a variety of ways, including various intervals for specific time and/or for distance. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. When trying the waves for the first time, 20 seconds will feel like an eternity. Let’s try for 5 seconds each and see how many I can do before going to commercial!
- Alternating Waves (Karate kid painting the fence)
- Waves (stage coach)
- Alternating Wave with Alternating Lunge
- Squat with Wave
- Snowboarder with Waves
- Slams / Jump Slams / Jumping Jacks / Figure 8’s, Grapplers throw
Move in Many Directions
Don’t just wave the ropes up and down. Try different motions to work different muscles and skills. Going from side to side, for example, places more emphasis on your hips and core, building total-body stability. Moving the ropes in circles improves shoulder mobility and range of motion, boosting athleticism and reducing your risk of injury. Switching among different motions in your training sessions will help you sculpt functional real-world strength.
TIP: Relax and Breathe
Learning to relax under stress is vital. Rope exercises are 100% output, meaning that there is no rest. Many people grip the ropes hard and tense up their bodies, leading to quick exhaustion. Grip the rope lightly, relax your arms, shoulders, torso, and even your face; you will be able to move faster and maintain intensity for longer periods of time. Novices to Rope Training tend to hold their breath and hurt their performance. Try and match your movement with your breathing pattern; as speed and intensity increases, your breathing should too.