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16 Battle Rope Exercises for a Lean, Powerful Body

16 Battle Rope Exercises for a Lean, Powerful Body

The Battle Rope is a simple piece of fitness equipment that can help you accomplish great things. Use the battle rope strategically and you can create a body that is lean, powerful, and well-shaped.

Athletes typically add one or two battle rope exercises to their workout. However, it can sometimes be highly effective – and a whole lot of fun – to do a workout that is comprised of all battle rope exercises.

I encourage you to experiment with the battle rope workout listed below:

  • to adjust the difficulty of the exercise, play with the slackness of the rope, move closer to – or farther away – from the rope’s anchor point.
  • to make the workout more challenging, go faster and exaggerate the range of motion during each movement.
  • advanced athletes can take much shorter breaks between each exercise – as little as 30 seconds.
  • to make the workout easier, go slower and make the range of motion smaller for each movement.
  • beginning-level athletes can take longer rest periods between each exercise – as long as 2 minutes.
  • consider using your phone’s timer to monitor rest periods accurately.
 

The Benefits of Using a Battle Rope During Your Workout

Because the human body can adapt to movement, rep, and resistance patterns very quickly, you might find that your physique results hit a plateau – and you will experience little or no change to your body, fitness, or health (even though you’re exercising regularly and even though you were experiencing a rapid pace of progress before hitting the plateau).

When hitting a plateau, a smart course of action is to do a completely different type of workout with a completely different type of equipment.

Battle rope to the rescue!

A fit, 53 year-old athlete training outdoors with battle rope.

The Battle Rope Workout

The video lower in this article can help guide you through your battle rope workout. Be cautious of your shoulders. Warm-up beforehand, and if your rotator cuffs (shoulder joints) start to feel painful, stop the workout.

As always, consult with your own medical doctor before undertaking any significant lifestyle changes, including exercise.

1. The Battle Rope Crunch

On your back, direct your arms up over your shoulders – stabilize – then crunch.

Even though your crunching, try to maintain some length in your spine as you compress your top rib down.

Hollow-out your abdomen and pull the belly button down to the ground with intensity.

3 sets, 30 reps each.

2. V-Sit Arm Pumps

Sit with your legs up and your arms out, in a sort of V-shape. Keep your core muscles tight as you pump the rope.

3 sets, 20 reps each.

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3. V-Sit Side-to-Side Heel Taps

Focus here on the abdominal muscles located below your navel. Pull your lower-abdominal plate in with ferocious intensity!

Each end of the battle rope runs along side you, on the ground, so you can lightly grip it to secure your balance.

3 sets, 30 reps each.

4. Single-Arm Plank Front Waves

Now you’ll really begin to feel the kind of unique resistance that the battle rope provides.

At this point in the workout, you’re still warming-up the shoulder area, so take it easy (the intensity will increase as the workout continues).

3 sets, 10 reps each side.


 

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    5. Push-Ups

    Though not strictly a battle rope exercise, it is a part of this complete workout.

    As you push up, imagine pushing from your chest muscles especially (instead of initiating from the arms only). Beginners separate your feet wide; advanced-level athletes keep feet together.

    3 sets of 10 reps. Beginners can lower their knees to the mat. There are more push-ups coming later in the workout, so save some juice in your battery!

    6. Double-Handed Waves

    Here, be mindful of the placement of your feet. Your feet form the secure foundation for the entire exercise:

    • resist the temptation to roll to one side of your foot.
    • visualize yourself planting firmly into the earth by letting the entire soles of your feet make contact.
    • keep your knees very bent.
    • squeeze your buttocks a bit.
    • be mindful of your body’s powerhouse – keep your core muscles activated!
    • let your breath flow freely.

    3 sets of 20 reps.

    7. Standing Facing Pulls (“Tug of War”)

    If possible, have a friend or workout buddy help you on this one to provide a bit of extra resistance from the other end of the rope.

    3 sets.

    Muscled, older athlete demonstrates standing facing pulls with a battle rope, outdoors.
    The tug-of-war exercise with the battle rope targets the bicep muscles of the arms, the lat muscles along the back, and – of course – the all-important core muscles.

    8. Toddler Jumps

    Like the push-ups above, this is not strictly a battle rope exercise – however, it is a part of this complete workout. Toddler Jumps are a core strengthener, a calorie-burner, and – perhaps most importantly – a mobility maneuver that prepare you for more battle rope exercises to come.

    3 sets of 20 reps.

    9. Lateral Raises

    This particular exercise develops the deltoid muscles. However, if you feel any awkwardness is your shoulder joints, skip this exercise and move on to the next.

    Dane Findley, age 53, uses battle ropes as a way to keep workouts fun and effective.
    Dane Findley uses battle ropes as a way to keep workouts fun and effective.

    3 sets of 10 reps.

    10. Battle Rope Jumping Jacks

    Be mindful of your knees and feet. Knees slightly soft, and the entire sole of the foot lands.

    3 sets of 20 reps.

    11. Side-to-Side Forward Jumps

    This is a speed and agility drill that serves as a high-intensity interval. It also conditions your leg muscles.

    Be sure to pull your navel toward your spine, keep your knees slightly soft, glutes active, and allow your heels to land with each jump.

    3 sets, all the way down the length of the rope, and back.

    12. Jumping Wave Thrusters

    At this point in the workout, you might be tempted to hold your breath. Breathe through your nose if possible, or your mouth if your heart rate is really climbing.

    Remember to keep your core tight, and to be mindful of your shoulder joints – only lift your arms as high as your shoulder girdle comfortably allows.

    3 sets of 15 reps.

    13. Double-Handed Lunge Wave

    This one is great for firming and lifting your glute muscles. Consider this the high-point of your workout.

    3 sets of 20 reps.

    14. Clapping Push-Ups

    Proceed with caution. In between each push-up, add a clap over the battle rope. Beginner-level athletes can skip this exercise if they find it compromises their safety or is too challenging.

    3 sets of 10 reps. Beginners can lower their knees to the mat, and/or omit the claps.

    15. Supine Battle Rope Pull

    Lying face upward, engage your back muscles by pulling the rope toward you through your knees.

    Use your friend or workout buddy for this one, to provide a little extra resistance from the other end of the rope.

    3 sets.

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    16. Single-Leg Forward Jump Hop-Overs

    Careful here. Do not let your mind wander. Concentrate on the location of the rope and how your feet are landing.

    3 sets, all the way down the length of the rope, and back.

    Now that the hard part of the workout is complete, you might choose to do some cool-down calisthenics to gradually decrease your heart rate and limber-up your muscles.

    Take Your Battle Rope Anywhere

    Yes, you can use the battle rope in your garage gym, or use the one at your local health club. However, many people still don’t realize that you can take your battle rope outside! Keep a battle rope in your trunk, and take your workouts outside to your neighborhood park. There’s a lot to be said for working out in the fresh air. Wear your sunscreen and have a great time.

    The above battle rope workout is a serious calorie-burner. You’ll notice at times that your heart rate is accelerated and that you’re breathing very heavily. This is your indication that you’re burning your body’s fat stores for energy.

    Dane Findley

    Dane Findley

    Happy people over the age of 50 are relevant – and essential to a well-functioning culture. I help others achieve robust health so that they can look and feel better than they ever have before – with lean muscle, supple joints, and a trim waistline.

    I believe the second half of your lifespan should be the best half.

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