This is our second blog post that helps identify all the functional equipment we are now seeing in and around the gym. Today’s focus is “Battling Ropes”, those thick tug-of-war ropes you see wrapped around the base of strength equipment. Battling ropes fall under the definition of “old school becomes new school”. That’s where old training methods of 30-40 years ago now become trendy in our quest to do the latest and greatest to meet our fitness goals. Take a look at any Gatorade or Under Armor commercial and you’ll see high end athletes pushing sleds, swinging kettle bells, flipping tires, and yes, banging these ropes feverishly. The old-school methods are tried and true for ultimate fitness provided they are used appropriately. So let’s take a look at some great reasons to incorporate the Battling Ropes into your next workouts.
- Fast, Efficient, and Effective – Almost everyone can use these ropes. They come is varying lengths and thickness to accommodate any fitness level. Because these workouts are higher in intensity, you can burn a great number of calories in a very short period of time. In addition to the heart rate rise you generate, these drills require a total body effort. From the grip strength holding the rope, to the shoulders, back and core required to stabilize and generate force. Your legs create a strong base as you leverage gravity in creating the wave patterns most used in battle rope works. You have major muscle involvement in a very short period of time!
- Burn Fat- If you are doing a HIIT (high intensity interval training), ropes are a perfect fit. Ropes have been proven to burn as many as 500 calories in as little as 30 minutes. This type of training creates the metabolic effect known as the “afterburn, or EPOC”. EPOC standing for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption – meaning you can burn fat at a higher rate for up to 36 hours after a workout. Battling ropes are an excellent tool for short burst training and can blend into any plan.
- Low Impact and Great for Circuits– Most high intensity exercises require forms of leaping, hopping, or jumping know as plyometrics. These forms of exercise tend be high impact and can be detrimental to untrained joints. Many of the rope drills do not require this impact and still generate the intensity desired. Rope drills are friendly to other joint issues as well. You are able to tuck your elbows into a neutral position to protect shoulders, and the standing core activation is great for low back issues. One of the best introductions to ropes is to include them in your strength circuit. After doing a strength exercise, insert a rope drill then stretch and repeat. You will reap benefits and can build to more progressive drills over time. A great starter circuit is to do a upper body exercise like pushups, then do a lower body exercise like squats, then add the rope drill for 20-30 seconds. After hydrating and stretching repeat 3 times. Below are the most basic rope drills to start off with. Try it with a circuit as mentioned above or use as a cardio kicker at the end of the workout. Once you’ve mastered these, you can youtube battling ropes and you will see endless drills you can add to you routines. Here’s to doing battle!
Small Wave Singles
Small Wave Doubles
Big Wave Singles
Big Wave Doubles