Battle ropes: a supersize workout

battling ropes man at gym workout exercise
Battle ropes can liven up your cardio routine. (

Do you easily get bored with your daily workout and are always on the hunt for something new to try? Have you noticed at your gym, these long ropes anchored to a wall or pole, but didn’t know what they were for? The supersize nature of these battle ropes provides you with added resistance to work your muscles. Although they vary in weight, length and thickness, they can be up to 100-feet long.

A recent article in, talks about the benefits of adding battle rope exercises to your workout regime.

Benefits of battle ropes

Exercising using these ropes offers an intense workout, conditioning your whole body—abs, arms, shoulders, legs – but without putting undue stress on it. According to, research has shown that even a 10 minute workout using battle ropes can produce results. You will be burning about 10 calories per minute, which is more than even burpees and squats.

Brian Maher, owner of Philly Personal Training and a sports doc panelist offered us his advice on battle ropes.

“If you’re looking for an alternative to your boring cardio routine, consider trying battle ropes. Battle ropes are great for strengthening your abs, arms, and shoulders, all while engaging your legs and giving you a tough cardio workout.

He also added, “Using battle ropes can be beneficial for those who want to avoid injuries associated with high impact exercises, since using the ropes is relatively low impact on the joints.

Here are some of Maher’s top suggestions for exercises with battle ropes.

Alternating Wave

Stand facing the side where the rope is anchored with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Grab the ends of the rope so that your palms face in. Raise one arm to shoulder level and then quickly lower back to start, raising the other arm to shoulder level as you do so. Continue alternating as rapidly as possible without losing form.

Muscles Worked: shoulders, biceps, abs (cardio)

Power Slam

To start, stand with feet hip-width apart and grasp the ends of the rope in each hand. Bring both arms up overhead, and then forcefully slam the ropes down into the ground, lowering into a squat as you bring the ropes down. Straighten up to return and repeat.

Muscles Worked: lats, legs, abs (cardio)

Horizontal Rope Climb

Many gyms don’t have a rope you can climb for liability reasons. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t climb rope. You’ll need either a wood floor or a series of mats that you can slide on, lined up in a long line. Anchor the rope and lay it down on the floor or along the mats. Lay down on your back with your head towards the anchor. Tuck your knees into your chest and assume the “rope climbing” position. “Climb’’ up the rope until you reach the anchor, get up as fast you can and jog to the end again, and repeat.

Muscles Worked: lats, shoulders, biceps, forearms (cardio)

Another great thing about these battle rope exercises is the way they can be tailored to both beginners and advanced athletes so there is no excuse not to give them a try. Have we roped you in yet?


Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.