8 Best Battle Ropes | March 2017
- used by the military for training
- video tutorial available online
- may fray with excessive use
- will not damage gym mats
- handcrafted design
- extra-long sizes are a bit expensive
- soft material will not rap knuckles
- shrink caps keep both ends tight
- yellow tracking lines
- handles provide a strong snap
- easy to transport or store
- great value for its cost
- great flexibility for speed drills
- should last for years
- resistant to uv degradation
Who Uses Battle Ropes (& Why)
Most people associate battle ropes with strength training, which is accurate. But anyone who has used these ropes will attest to the fact that they are great for burning fat, and they provide an intense cardiovascular workout, as well. The majority of battle rope drills involve some form of repetitive motion, with the constant rhythm of both ropes forcing a wide range of muscles to respond.
This might explain why boxers and wrestlers use battle ropes for arm strength and overall conditioning. Mixed martial artists, in particular, use battle ropes to perform side-to-side drills, many of which simulate the grappling motion necessary to lift an opponent, and then flail him to the ground. A lot of football players use battle ropes for a similar reason (i.e., to simulate the strength and motion necessary to tackle a running back, head-on).
Swimmers and rowers use battle ropes to tighten up their coordination and timing. Battle ropes, much like swimming, possess the ability to work both the upper- and the lower-body. Battle ropes also possess the ability to harness resistance-based strength, which is a requisite part of rowing in the water.
Everyday fitness enthusiasts enjoy battle ropes because they represent a one-stop shop for burning fat while building muscle and endurance. Beyond that, battle ropes are a tremendous resource for sneaking in a full-body workout even if you're on-the-go.
Several Basic Battle Rope Drills To Get You Started
The simplest way to get comfortable with a pair of battle ropes is by doing a bicep exercise called The Double Wave. All that's required for The Double Wave is to move both arms up and down in unison, as if you're handling the reins of a stagecoach. Keep your arms and feet parallel to your shoulders and practice that same up-and-down motion until you've hit a rhythm. If you're doing this exercise correctly, both ropes should be moving like a pair of parallel waves toward the wall.
Once you've gotten comfortable with the Double Wave, you can work on coordination - along with your abs - by bringing one arm up to shoulder-level, then dropping that arm just as you raise the other arm. This is essentially the same motion as The Double Wave with the only difference being that your arms are alternating. Assuming your form is correct, both ropes should look like dueling waves - one chasing the other straight down the line. You can work the glutes and obliques by squatting lower as you go.
Assuming you want to work the shoulders, start doing the Double Wave while moving both arms outward, slowly. Once you can't stretch any further, start bringing both arms in (until your wrists are about to touch). This is a difficult exercise, and it may require some practice. For the time being, just concentrate on getting in a handful of repetitions while demonstrating proper form.
As your skills improve, you may want to attempt a battle rope drill called The Slam. Start out in the same resting position as all of the above exercises, then bring both ropes up as high as you can, before slamming them down to the ground. Lift back up, hold, and then slam both ropes back down again. Now you're working the forearms, the biceps, the shoulders, the glutes, the hamstrings, and the lower back. This drill has remarkable benefits. But beware. It's a lot more punishing than it seems.
What Do I Need to Consider Before Buying a Pair of Battle Ropes?
The first thing you'll need to consider before purchasing a pair of battle ropes is space. Yes, battle ropes come in different sizes, but in order for these ropes to have any impact, you'll need a pair - and a space - that runs at least 20 ft. wide.
Next, you'll need to find something capable of anchoring these ropes to. More often than not, this means casting iron hooks - or an iron bar - into a wall. If you have a weight bench that's been soldered to the floor, then you may be able to use that bench's forks to anchor a pair of battle ropes. The bottom line is whatever you use to anchor battle ropes, it needs to be immovable and secure.
Once you've squared away logistics, you'll need to give some thought to weight. Choosing the correct weight for a pair of battle ropes is a bit like by choosing the correct weight for a set of kettlebells. The goal is to strike a balance between a weight that you feel comfortable starting at and a weight that you'd eventually like to work up to.
Most battle ropes are available in increments of 10 lbs (i.e., 20, 30, 40, etc.). Generally speaking, you'll want to purchase a pair of ropes that are heavy, as heavy ropes allow for leaving a few feet of extra weight on the ground. As your upper-body strength increases, you can continue to challenge yourself by either performing more difficult battle rope drills, or performing the same drills for an extended period of time.