What Is Battle Rope Workout? Get To Know This Is One Workout You Should Know About!

Have you always wanted to know what is battle rope workout? Like myself, you’ve probably heard or read about how these giant ropes are gaining popularity. Well, the workout has many reasons to be popular!

Battle ropes are thick, heavy ropes that you can use to burn up to 10 calories in a minute. That’s even more than what you lose from squats and burpees!

They’re the best to try if you’re running out of time to lose all the extra fat you’ve gained during vacation. Or, you can also use them just to gain muscle strength and get a good fat burn.

Not only that, but battle rope workouts also allow you to work on many different muscle groups at the same time! So, what are you waiting for? Scroll down to learn more about these fat-busting ropes and the exercises that use them!


What Is Battle Rope Workout?

Battle Rope Workout

Battle rope exercises activate your body and get you moving, but they’re not easy. From what I found out, they are not for the faint-hearted. The original battling rope system was founded, developed and created by John Brookfield, a fitness world record-holder.

The ropes can be from 1.5 to 2-inch in diameter and 50 to 100 feet in length. The weight of these ropes generally range from 25 to 50 pounds but can be heavier. These badass ropes are anchored to a wall, beams, poles or sturdy heavyweights.

The workout routines involve but are not limited to movements of the arms and hands while holding the ropes. Some exercises incorporate the usual squats, jumping jacks, or burpees with arm waving during intervals.

Based on a study conducted by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, you can burn up to 112 calories by just swinging battle ropes for ten minutes! Also, battle rope exercises are low-impact and help even out your muscle tone and proportion.

A trainer and ACE-CPT at the Sports Center at Chelsea Piers in New York City, Max Tapper, said that battle ropes are one of the most effective fifteen-minute workouts for the whole body.

Tapper added that battle rope workout fires up your leg muscle and thigh muscle by moving or squatting. It also requires a strong core for stability. All of these are an added plus to your shoulders and arms being worked directly by the ropes. Basically, it’s an all-around workout!

Battle Rope Workout Basics To start, let’s get you through some of the basic things you’ll need. For the ropes, you can use the ones at your local gym or buy and make your own that you can use at home. Generally, 50-feet, 1-inch thick ropes work best for most people.

To make your own, you can buy the generic 1 ½ - or 1-inch ropes and anchor them firmly. You can even use thinner ropes already available in your home. Just wrap them together until you get the desired thickness. Then, use electrical or duct tape for the ends to keep them together.

To begin training using battle ropes, you must remember the following simple rules based on an interview with John Brookfield himself.

1. Have A Wide Range Of Motion

Try to move around in as many directions as possible and do not just use the ropes in up-and-down movements. This will help you work for all your muscle groups and also develop skills. This will also enhance the effects of the workout.

As an example, moving the ropes from side to side can emphasize your core and hips and improve your stability. Going around in circles, on the other hand, enhances the motion range and mobility of your shoulders. It also reduces your risk of injury and fosters athleticism.

Additionally, training sessions that shuffle routines and motions are the best. This will not only keep things interesting but also help you develop practical strength.

2. Use Battle Ropes Throughout The Workout

Rather than using ropes as a conclusion or part of a circuit or exercise group, use them for the whole workout. Battle ropes can provide a great and complete workout. You can do each exercise for 10 to 20 minutes each.

Brookfield himself said that doing a task for prolonged periods help you focus and assist your body in getting rid of lactic acid. Since it also extends the time of muscle tension, this can help you build muscle while shedding fat.

3. Adjust The Rope Load

The looseness of the rope determines the load. According to Brookfield, moving away from the anchor point diminishes the intensity of the exercise and vice versa. So, make adjustments to challenge yourself in completing each set.

While doing a battle rope workout, Brookfield recommends to alternate between two minutes closer and one minute farther from the anchor point. This way, you get a minute of active recovery.

A Few Examples Of Battle Rope Exercises

Battle Rope Workout

The two most important battle rope exercises you need to master are the battle rope waves and crossovers. Most rope exercises incorporate these two or are variations of them.

1. Battle Rope Waves

First, hold the two ends of the rope, one in each hand. Hold them in front of you right around the hips and with your hands, shoulder width apart. Tighten your core and slightly bend your knees. Alternately raise and lower your hands forcibly for 1 to 20 minutes.

2. Battle Rope Crossovers Or Side-Slams

For crossovers, you smash the rope to the floor instead of making waves. With your feet flat and firm on the floor, raise the rope ends above your head in an arc to one side of your body. Then, slam the rope hard on the other side. Switch sides and repeat doing so for 1 to 20 minutes.

3. Shoulder Circles

Shoulder circles strengthen the shoulders, which athletes especially swimmers and boxers could use. To do these, stand with your knees slightly bent and feet shoulder-width apart. Grab hold of the rope ends with each hand.

Next, lift your arms in front of you and move them around in big circles. First, do some outward circles for thirty seconds and then do inward circles for another thirty seconds.

4. Snakes On The Floor

Stand with your feet a little wider apart than your shoulders. Hold the rope ends by your sides. Then, lower into a squat and pull your arms wide, parallel to the ground. Move your arms in and out without crossing your hands.

The goal is to make the ropes look like they’re two snakes moving on the floor. Your arm movements can go faster, slower, wider or narrower depending on your preferred intensity.

Try to alternate or mix these rope movements up with each other or some other exercises. These include lunges, jump squats, pushups, burpees, side jumps, and footwork such as shuffles. You can also do variations like low alternating waves or double simultaneous waves.You can further amp up the intensity of exercises such as jumping jacks, back squats, and Russian twists by holding the ropes in your hands while you do them.


Now, you know what is battle rope workout and how intense it can get. The only question that remains is if you’re up to the challenge of trying it. However, with the significant and quick benefits it can offer, I think it’s worth a shot!

Another good thing about the battle rope workout is that you can start light and then improve the difficulty of the exercises. That way, you can get the hang of it and gradually get creative with your routines.

Do you have any questions or probably some insights regarding the battle rope workout? Leave your inquiries and suggestions in the comments below! I’ll be glad to respond to them there.

Emily Brathen

Hi there! I'm Emily Brathen. I am a fitness and yoga instructor and a mom of one. Despite my hectic schedule, I still find time for doing the thing I love most - fitness and yoga. I love doing and teaching fitness and yoga because in my own little way, I am able to encourage people to take health and fitness back into their own hands.

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