Battle Ropes have fast become one of the most popular new pieces of functional equipment in the last few years, particularly after being used prominently on shows like “The Biggest Loser”. For those not familiar with this piece of equipment, there are endless variations of Battle Rope exercises, but the general idea is to create an undulating pattern with the Battle Rope or Ropes - what we call Undulating Training.
The benefits of Undulation Training with Battle Ropes include:
- Improved Cardiovascular Fitness through Anaerobic Interval Training
- Metabolic Acceleration leading to body composition changes and fat loss
- Improved grip and forearm strength and strength-endurance
- Improved Strength, Strength-Endurance and Power-Endurance of the core, upper and lower body muscles
- High energy expenditure leading to metabolic acceleration and fat loss
- Improved Co-ordination, Proprioception and Core Efficiency
- Can be used Indoors or Outdoors
- As a Variation from Conventional gym based training methods
Battle Ropes are used to provide an exciting, dynamic and enjoyable challenge to standard fitness programmes. This ultimate unconventional training tool can be used by men and women, all ages and all levels, in personal training sessions or as part of group classes, or to maintain strength and fitness during rehabilitation of lower body injuries.
A good tip to start to learn how to make a wave is as follows:
- Take the Battle Rope in one hand and hold towards the end.
- Imagine you are holding a garden hose and want to make a ‘wave’ that gets all the way to the tap at the other end.
- Lift the hand up and down very quickly to create a flick – this will create the wave.
- Keep your wrist relaxed but ‘connected’ to the rest of you for optimal technique.
- As the wave moves away, pull back on the Battle Rope to accelerate the wave all the way to the other end.
- Repeat on the other hand
The first basic exercise to learn is the Double Wave:
- Take hold of each end of the Battle Rope, one in each hand
- Pull the Battle Rope taut
- Take a large step forward so that there is slack in the rope
- Lift both hands up and flick downwards simultaneously
- Repeat in a continuous pattern with the waves rhythmical and equal
- The waves should look symmetrical left and right and you integrate the upper and lower body together to produce the wave, rather than just with the shoulders or arms
- Continue for 30s or until technique falters
Other Wave variations include:
- Alternating Waves (one hand goes up whilst the other goes down)
- Lateral Waves (the Battle Ropes make a “snake-like” pattern along the ground)
- Circles (the Battle Ropes make a circular pattern - inwards or outwards)
- Double Waves with Reverse Lunge (the standard double wave pattern, but you perform continuous reverse lunges without disrupting the rhythmical eave pattern)
- Grappler Throw (a rotation style wave, mimicking a martial arts throw)
- Seated Rotations (a really hard rotational core exercise)
Use the Correct Weight
- This type of training usually requires you to perform multiple repetitions for 20+ seconds, improving more strength endurance than strength.
- Jordan nylon covered Battle Ropes are available in 32mm and 50mm thicknesses.
- The 50mm thickness will provide a significant challenge to the grip and forearm musculature – perfect for athletes, fire fighters, police and armed service personnel or advanced users.
- Beginners and smaller users should start with the 32mm Battle Ropes and progress to the 50mm only if necessary.
- Ensure there is sufficient space in‐front and to the side of you for all of the ropes drills you are going to undertake.
- Ensure that there is enough space between you and anyone else before training, and avoid training in a thoroughfare.
- Focus on correct technique throughout each and every set.
- Be careful not to over‐recruit your upper trapezius muscles (seen as shrugging) when you get fatigued.
- Ensure that the anchor point, which you wrap the rope around or attach to, is stable and will not move during use, such as a wall or floor anchor.
Lower Body Injuries
- Battle Ropes can be used to help maintain or even improve cardiovascular fitness if you have sustained some types of lower body injury.
- The wave‐like undulating training can be undertaken whilst in a seated position, to unload certain lower body injuries. Consult with your physician to see if this type of training is suitable for you.
Example Battle Rope Workout
A1 Double Rope Waves 30s Work 60s Rest Repeat x 6
B1 Alternating Rope Waves 30s Work 30s Rest
B2 Kettlebell Swings 30s Work 30s Rest Repeat x 5
C1 Seated Rope Rotations 30s Work 30s Rest
C2 Hanging Leg Raises 30s Work 30s Rest Repeat x 5
But the best thing about Undulating Battle Rope Exercises is that they are fun. When you include Battle Ropes within a programme, you never have a client or partner say “I didn’t enjoy today’s session”
Have fun battling!