Battle rope training has gained enormous popularity in the last few years and for good reason. This fun and versatile piece of equipment is an excellent way to boost your cardio while building strength and endurance. However, for beginners, the technique and endless number of exercises you can do with battle ropes can feel overwhelming. Below are some tips and exercises you can use to start incorporating battle ropes into your routine next time you hit the gym. 

3 important battle ropes tips for beginners

  1. Use your whole-body strength – While most battle rope exercises seem to focus on the upper body, they actually require the strength of your whole body to maximize your power and efficiency. Consciously engage your lower body and core during your workout to get the best results.
  1. Relax – Tensing up and gripping the ropes too tightly can make you burn out too quickly. Focus on keeping your arms, shoulder, and torso engaged but relaxed and you will be able to maintain the intensity of your workout for longer. 
  1. Breathe – Holding your breath during a battle rope workout can keep you from performing at your maximum level, not to mention have you turning blue. Try to match your movement to a consistent breathing pattern throughout the entire exercise and adjust your breathing as you alter the speed or intensity of your movement. 

3 ways to use battle ropes in your training 

1. Waves

If you’ve seen YouTube videos or commercials of people using battle ropes, you’ve probably seen them doing wave exercises. A killer cardio workout, waves are meant to be done continuously with 100% output for a period of time, but can be done in intervals, especially when you’re just starting out. A good way to start is to Wrap a 50-foot rope around an anchor to male two 25-foot rope lengths (one for each hand) and to perform each exercise for 20 seconds each. As you get stronger, you can increase the duration and change other variables to make your workouts more challenging. 

Try adding these 5 wave exercises to your workout:

  1. In-out
  2. Stage coach
  3. Alternating waves
  4. Outside circles
  5. sidewinder

2. Pulls

Pulls are a great way to get the workout you would get from a rope climb even if you don’t have the space for a climbing rope. Pulls work your whole body but are particularly good for building upper body strength. Adding these exercises to your workout once a week will give you noticeable results. 

Try adding these 3 pull exercises to your workout:

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  1. Front pull
  2. Facing pull
  3. Side pull

3. Partner exercises

One of the best things about battle ropes is their versatility. Whether you prefer to work out alone, with a partner, or in a group, there are plenty of interesting exercises you can do. Partner workouts really challenge you to work with the weight and friction of the rope as well as the power that your partner is putting in. Using battle ropes with a partner can be a lot more challenging but also a lot more fun, especially if you’re motivated by a little friendly competition. 

Try these 5 exercises with a partner:

  1. Tsunami battle
  2. Double rope movement
  3. Forward plank pull
  4. Reverse plank pull
  5. Side plank pull 

Whether you are doing waves or pulls, working out alone or with a partner, you can keep your exercises fresh and challenging by changing a few simple parameters. 

Try varying these four things to get the most out of your battle rope workouts:

  1. The size of the rope – Typical battle ropes are 50 feet long and 1.5 inches thick, but there are larger ropes available that are heavier and more challenging. 
  2. The size and speed of the wave – Challenge yourself by making your waves bigger and faster.
  3. Body position – Work different muscle groups by changing from standing to kneeling, squatting, lunging, or a plank position.
  4. Distance – The closer you are to the anchor point, the more power it takes to get the wave to the end of the rope. 

By starting with these few basic exercises and variables, you can make your battle rope workouts as complex or challenging or complex as you want. Whether you’re working out alone, with a partner, or with your squad, you can enjoy intense cardio and total-body strength training that is as fun as it is effective.