If you’re a regular in the gym or you consistently pound the pavement you’ve probably gone through phases when you were extremely bored with your fitness routine. The same old weights and machines. The same old scenery. In fact, adding variety to your workouts is an excellent way to burn extra calories as your body is forced to adjust to something new. Next time you’re looking for a change cruise your local ‘fitness boot camp’ and you might discover the battle ropes workout.
The battle ropes workout is a fairly new craze in fitness boot camp training groups. It involves lugging huge lengths of shipping rope and performing whipping motions (waves) or dragging the ropes around. The benefits for strength and endurance training are awesome. And it’s a lot of fun.
WHAT IS A BATTLE ROPE?
A battle rope is simply a length of industrial strength rope. Typically battle ropes are 10-15m long and approximately 5cm thick weighing up to 20kg. You’d be forgiven for thinking that some scrupulous personal trainer had raided a shipping dock in the dark of night and snatched the rope right off a ferry. In fact, battle rope is now being sold in specialist fitness and boot camp training stores.
BATTLE ROPES TRAINING
Battle ropes training is usually conducted in fitness boot camp groups. It is actually not a very common sight though, probably owing to the difficulty of obtaining battling ropes in most areas. If you are lucky enough to be able to get involved with a group offering battle ropes training, make the most of it.
Battle ropes training is hard. Not only is dragging a 20kg rope demanding of your upper body strength and endurance capability, gripping the rope itself while you wave it around is going to activate forearm muscles you never knew you had. Get ready to be sore the next day after you attempt it for the first time.
BATTLE ROPES EXERCISES
Battle ropes exercises are usually performed with the workout ropes attached to a secure anchor point at one end. The rope is then stretched out and held at the other end. Battle ropes exercises are then performed by lifting the end of the rope and whipping it and producing a wave in the outstretched length. The goal is to maintain waves in the rope applying the principles of interval training.
Performing battle ropes exercises over an interval produces a very intense workout. You’re aiming to maintain maximum force and speed for as long as possible or until the next rest period starts. As with all high intensity interval training (HIIT) battle ropes exercises burn fat fast and produces a rapid rise in your body’s metabolic activity. It also produces great strength gains and is an awesome overall fitness activity.
BATTLE ROPES WORKOUT FITNESS BENEFITS
The battle ropes workout is a safe, low impact training method that focuses on the muscular system while putting only a small amount of stress on your joints. It’s also the kind of resistance apparatus you can safely drop when you reach your limit. It burns fat as effectively as sprinting HIIT and heavy resistance workouts. You’ll also get a fantastic core workout from your knees to your chest because of the need to stabilise yourself as you create the waves.
The battle ropes workout is hard, but lots of fun. It can help you to improve your athletic performance because it works the neuromuscular system from your core out to your extremities. It is also effective in giving participants functional strength, particularly by improving your grip and strengthening your shoulders. And psychologically… as with any kind of ‘good pain’ you force yourself to endure, it’s going to give you the power to overcome all kinds of obstacles in your life.
SAMPLE BATTLE ROPES WORKOUT
If you can manage to get your hands on some battle ropes here’s an example of the kind of battle ropes workout you could put yourself through. This workout uses the principles of interval training for producing maximum fat loss. Each interval below is performed 15 seconds on and 15 seconds off. Adjust the intervals to suit your needs as appropriate.
Single waves intervals x 3.
Double waves intervals x 2.
Reverse lunge single waves intervals x 3.
Wide squat double waves intervals x 2.
60 second break.
Double rope slams intervals x 3.
Lateral waves intervals x 2.
Star jump pulls intervals x 3.
Lateral double waves intervals x 2.
90 second break.
Moguls intervals x 3.
Jump slams intervals x 2.
Crossovers intervals x 3.
Double waves intervals x as many as you can do until you drop the rope!
Waves: keep a wave in the rope for as long as possible.
Slams: lift the rope high and slam it down to create as big a wave as possible.
Jump slams: jump up and down to wave and slam.
Moguls: jump side to side to create horizontal waves.
Crossovers: horizontal waves while crossing arms.
Lateral waves/slams/pulls: stand at 90 degrees to the rope.
Pulls: pull on the rope so it’s tight.
WHERE TO GET BATTLING ROPES?
Seriously, the best way to get your hands on some workout ropes is to just jump on Amazon.com (click here to go directly to the results for searching ‘battle ropes’ on Amazon). Alternatively, you could call around your local fitness boot camps, gyms or personal trainers and ask them if there are any groups in your area that use them. Then get involved. Apart from that, maybe cruise your local shipping docks and ask around.