Cue the movie montage. The main character has a fight coming up… they need to prepare, to get strong and to push their body into shape before the big day. They are wearing the classic Rocky sweats, running up and down stairs in the designated downtown area. They are swigging water after downing some weird looking protein smoothie. And yes, they are waving battle ropes around—huge oversized ropes that are whipping back and forth with the strength of their arm movements.
Even if you’ve never tried using the ropes yourself, you’ve seen them on the big screen. The battle rope has long been a staple of gym culture, especially for the hard-core workout aficionados.
Battle ropes are essentially a twist on the classic game of jump rope. You may remember standing on the playground holding the ropes as a friend jumps double-dutch, singing along every time their sneakers hit the pavement. But with a battle rope you are dealing with a much heavier rope, and there isn’t going to be anyone jumping in between them. The goal is to move the ropes quickly and fiercely, giving your arms an intense upper-body workout.
Battle rope exercises are growing in popularity thanks to the rising interest in functional strength exercises. Unlike lifting weights, which is the old go-to for building muscle at the gym, battle ropes help you build muscle as you are in motion, targeting muscles in your arm and upper-body, absolutely, but also in your core and glutes. Due to the body movement required to thrust the ropes, there isn’t a muscle in your body that won’t feel the burn from the workout tactic.
Here are 3 Basic Beginner Battle Ropes Exercises to Mix-Up Your New Workout Routine:
1) Double Wave
Holding a rope in each hand, lift your arms straight over your head and then lower them back to waist level—as if you were in the stadium doing the wave along with the others fans at a football game. Doing this will cause a deep ripple in the ropes. You’ll see the wave going strong as you repeat the motion over and over again.
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2) Alternating Wave
Mix it up a bit by following the same principle motion as you do in the double wave, but throw a 70s-style under-the-sea dance move into the mix by alternating your arms, one goes up as the other goes down.
3) Shoulder Circles
This is a great move for strengthening your shoulders. Holding the ropes, move your arms in circles, keeping the ropes steady in your hands. Keep both arms going in one direction before switching after several reps.
Battle ropes may seem intimidating at first, but they are actually a great workout tool for all levels. These beginner battle rope exercises are a great cardio and strength building activity, making it a great add-on to any workout schedule. If you aren’t working out at a gym, this is an easy workout to bring home, too. Just get a couple of heavy ropes from your local hardware store and bring them into your backyard.