Battle ropes are a staple of many CrossFit exercises, but they can be equally effective when done standalone.
They're an easy way to add intensity to your strength training routine, increase heart rate, burn calories, and improve balance and coordination. If you're new to this type of workout gear (or just want some new moves), there are a few battle rope exercises that can get you started:
Battle Rope Exercises for Beginners
Here's a look at five such exercises:
1) Battle Rope Slam
Battle rope slams are a great way to start your workout with the ropes. With this exercise, you will be able to work on your conditioning and explosive power in a short time.
Here's how this exercise is done:
- Start by grabbing a light rope — you want one that's long enough so that when you're holding it at chest level, each end touches the ground.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and hold the rope in both hands at chest height.
- Slam the rope down with both hands hard enough so that it touches the ground behind you without losing any momentum.
- Repeat this motion continuously for as long as you desire or till fatigue sets in (if using heavy ropes).
2) Battle Rope Wave
This exercise is one of the best battle rope exercises for beginners. It's helpful to have someone to spot you or hold your feet so that you don't lose your balance, but if that's not an option, make sure to stand in an area where any fall would be safe.
Here's how this exercise is done:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and slightly turned out (about 10 degrees).
- Hold both ropes about three inches from their ends in each hand so that they cross each other in front of you at chest level.
- Brace your abs as if someone were about to punch them, and keep them braced throughout the exercise.
- Keeping elbows bent at 90 degrees and palms facing inward towards each other (the ropes still crossed in front), raise both hands straight up till they're above head level.
- Keep your wrists bent back towards the ears. Lower your hands down into the starting position under control while keeping the wrists aligned with the ears throughout the movement.
- Repeat for 30 seconds or as many reps as possible before fatigue sets.
- Rest 30–60 seconds between sets of four rounds.
3) Battle Rope Alternating Waves and Slams
Battle rope alternating waves and slams are a great way to work the core, shoulders, and arms.
Here’s how to do them:
- Hold the battle ropes in each hand while standing with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Keeping your back straight, bend your knees a bit, and lift the ropes overhead till they are parallel to the floor.
- Squeeze your glutes as you lower both ropes down towards the right side of the body. Bring them back up all the way above your head before repeating on the other side.
- Continue alternating sides for 60 seconds or more.
4) Battle Rope Double Wave
The battle rope double wave helps work on your coordination and improve core strength.
It can be done with one or two battle ropes at a time, but it's recommended that beginners start with just one rope so that they have time to get used to the movement before adding another rope into the mix. This exercise can also give you a great cardio workout
This is a great warm-up exercise if you plan on doing other exercises with the battle ropes.
5) Battle Rope Side-to-Side
Battle rope side-to-sides are a great exercise for improving conditioning and increasing strength. This exercise can also be performed with both hands, which challenges the core and arm muscles.
To do a side-to-side battle rope,
- Swing the rope from side to side mimicking a bending stream.
- After swinging the ropes in this manner, bring them overhead, and move them back down in front of you to complete one rep.
- Swing it from the left to the right as you keep your back arched and legs stable.
Finding the right battle rope exercises to start with can be a challenge, but the aforementioned workouts are a great place to start. You will be able to get some basic movement patterns down and work on building strength.
A good battle rope routine can help you build tremendous arm muscles and skyrocket your stamina. Remember to train hard, and stay true to your routine.