How to Use Battle Ropes To Tone Up Your Body

How to tone your body with Battle ropes?

Battling ropes have gained popularity over the last few years due to their benefits and the fact that they can replace cardio workouts.

This sports equipment can be used for almost 50 distinct exercises and will boost your endurance and power, besides getting you in shape and building muscle mass.

Knowing how to use battle ropes will allow you to diversify your gym routine and develop your forearms, arms, pectorals and back.

By including this type of exercises into your training sessions, you'll get in shape faster and lose almost 500 calories in only half an hour.

What Are Battle Ropes?

Just like their name says, they are a type of specially designed ropes for training. By allowing you to move each arm independently, you'll eliminate strength imbalance, while sculpting your muscles.

They come in various sizes, thicknesses, and lengths and can even be homemade, as long as you have a bar to wrap them around it.

Exercising with battle ropes is fun and implies making waves or circles with your hands while having a firm grip on the ends of the rope.

How Did This Trend Begin?

John Brookfield has created a rope system called "Battling Ropes" which has been used by many sports enthusiasts, including NFL players, for obtaining the best results in the fastest time.

There was even a DVD, in which John Brookfield demonstrates all the different exercises you can do with battle ropes, with the aid of Ingrid Marcum, a team player of the US Olympic Bobsled.

Many sport equipment manufacturers have perfected the initial "Battling Ropes" to boost strength, stamina and muscle mass of its users. Some ropes are known as battle ropes, while others go for heavy ropes, muscle ropes or workout ropes.

Nowadays, according to your purpose, losing weight, staying in shape or building muscle mass, there's a particular type of ropes created just for that.

How Does a Battle Ropes Exercise Work?

By moving the ropes around, you'll work the muscles of the upper body, starting with the muscle groups in your hands, forearms, abs, and back. Combining battling ropes with jumping Jack's, lunges or squats, you'll also work your legs, so these ropes have an overall beneficial effect on the body.

Battling Ropes Benefits

Battling Ropes Benefits

It's time efficient

Not everybody can spend 2 hours at the gym each day, and battling ropes represent a quick and tough exercise routine that will leave you breathless and full of endorphins. A 20-minute session will have a better effect on your whole body than lifting weights or doing cardio exercises. The effect will last for a longer period.

You get a full training

These ropes will ensure that you're not just increasing the muscle mass in your upper body, but also work out your hips and legs. Every athlete should make the most of a workout session, and battle ropes are the answer for that. By moving around and jumping, you'll obtain lean muscles all around your body. If you begin to feel your legs stiff, simply combine each wave with a jump.

You'll lose fat

A High-Intensity Training workout will burn up to 500 calories in only half an hour. It's highly effective especially if you don't feel like running around the block for a couple of hours. In addition, the after-effect of battling ropes will actually improve your metabolism for 36 hours. Also known as the EPOC or the afterburn effect, you'll burn calories a long time after you've completed your workout routine.

It's a great cardio replacement

A ten-minute session with battle ropes will boost and improve your heart rate while increasing the overall endurance of your body. Instead of lifting weights for over an hour and then do cardio exercises for another hour, combine the lifting with the cardio through a series of battling ropes exercises.

Increases muscle mass

This type of equipment will ensure that you have a full body workout in only half an hour, by working all your muscle groups. Starting with your hands and all the way to your back and legs, the pressure and effort will help you build bigger muscles while eliminating the fat tissue that surrounds them.

It can prevent boredom

Every athlete was faced with mental exhaustion at least once in his life. This doesn't mean that he won't overcome it and get on with his training, but it does mean that his head won't be in it. The advantage of battle ropes is that you can constantly increase the tempo, change your routine and thus, prevent mental exhaustion and boredom.

Will improve core strength

Unlike other exercises, the force applied to move the cords begins in your core and then extends in your extremities. Cardiovascular and muscle endurance will improve due to the rapid movements, and you'll also gain a powerful grip. Basically, the six pack you'll get will be a bonus compared to addressing each muscle in your body, even without realizing it.

You can work outdoors

Due to only requiring a sturdy bar to wrap them around, you can easily avoid going to the gym, while taking in some fresh air, giving your body a heavy dose of vitamin D and enjoying a thorough workout session. Any park will do the trick, and the best part is that you're not tied down to the same place for your training every day.

Offers a variety of exercises

A simple search on YouTube will show you that there are over 50 types of battle ropes exercises you can do. So, you don’t have to worry that they will lose their appeal or that you’ll get bored too soon. You can choose to work your arms simultaneously, independently, throw in some jumps, squats, lifts, basically everything you could think of while knowing that your body will thank you for it.

It has great results

Battle ropes work because they appeal to your natural range of motion. This means that you can easily create a workout routine that will benefit you, without adding extra pressure to your joint or muscles. There are even fitness ropes and CrossFit ropes, so according to your favorite sport, there's also the perfect rope for you.

You’ll have a fun training

Battling ropes can also be used for playing a team sport, which means extra fun for you. For example, heavy rope workouts will be easier to do if you've got someone to cheer you on. A training session doesn't last very long, and it doesn't have to be a solitary exercise, so why not enjoy some time with your buddies, while building up your stamina?

Basic Battle Ropes Exercises

Waves: you'll work each arm and increase tension and endurance by holding the ropes for extended periods

Start by getting a firm hold of the end of the rope and keep them at arm's length from each other. Bend your knees and begin to raise and lower your hands explosively. The movement will produce waves and when you feel ready, start to move both your hands in tandem, this will increase the difficulty level.

Slam: you'll put to good use your arms, shoulders, core, abs and back while maintaining a good posture.

Lift both ropes over your head and then, by putting all your force into the movement, slam the ropes back down. This explosive impact exercise will boost your force not only in the moment but also in the long run. These rope exercises for back require a balanced and good posture so remember to watch your stand.

Circles: Your arms and shoulders will benefit the most from this exercise due to the tension and pressure you'll put on your arms.

You'll still move your hands independently, but instead of doing waves, you'll move each of your hands in a clockwise or counterclockwise movement. Also known as inside or outside circles, this battle ropes exercise can be done even by holding and moving both ropes at the same time, in the same motion.

A Guide on How to Do Battle Ropes at Home

Guide on How to Do Battle Ropes at Home

Gym ropes are efficient, but most places only have one or two battle ropes, so you could end up waiting a long time to exercise with them.

So, now that you know how to use ropes at the gym, you can make your own equipment by either looking around your garage or taking a trip to a hardware store. As long as you can get your hands on a rope that's around 50 foot in length, you'll do great!

Garden hoses

Garden hoses are great not just for watering the garden, but also for replacing a commercially battle rope. Use it empty, or fill the hose with sand if you're looking to step up your workout routine. Just make sure to cover the ends with some plugs, to keep the sand in and start training.


Found at every hardware store, ropes come in many sizes and with different thicknesses. Check them out and pick the ones that are suitable for you, according to how experienced you are with battle ropes or conditioning ropes. Keep in mind that a thicker rope will also weigh more. Thus you will need more force to work with it.

Just roll some duct tape around the ends, and a decent length of rope will last you for a long time.

Fire hoses

Take a trip to your local fire department and see if they don't have an old fire hose that they don't use anymore. Just like everything else, a fire hose won't last forever, so save yourself some money and take one they don't need anymore.

Fold the ends, so you'll have a better grip and secure them with duct tape. At first, they'll seem heavy, but in time, you’ll get used to them. You can even fill them with sand for some extra challenge.

Climbing ropes

A climbing center or a rock wall gym might also have some old equipment laying around that is no longer suitable and presents a risk for climbers, so by contacting these places, you could find what you need.

The advantage is that a climbing rope is thin. So, you can braid several of them and make a battle rope with the perfect weight and thickness for you.

How to Make an Anchor Point

Regardless of which one of these DIY battle ropes you choose, all that remains is to create an anchor point that will secure your equipment and allow you to train whenever you like.

1. Wrap the rope around a bar or a tree

This is the easiest way to train with battling ropes and, in addition, you can use this technique whenever you'd like to train outside. Find a sturdy bar and wrap the battling ropes around it.

2. Fill a basket with free weights

Grab a medium size wire basket and start filling it with weights, then attach the battle rope to it. Keep in mind that you'll need a lot of weight to ensure the basket's stability.

3. Find a heavy dumbbell

A single dumbbell can resist to a free range of movements using battle ropes, as long as its weight is heavy enough. Another option is to pass the rope through several dumbbells at once.

4. Install a stake

You can also drive a stake in your backyard and attach the rope to the metal loop, or find a sturdy wall that's able to sustain some force. A carabiner will also work great and provide a roomy loop for your rope.

When you're looking for the perfect set of battle ropes, keep in mind that regardless of how flexible or sturdy they are, they won't actually last you a lifetime and you may be required to change them once every couple of years. A set of DIY battle ropes, for example, will likely resist for up to a year.

Many people ask themselves "what battle rope size should I get?" Well, although it comes different sizes, it's best to start with a lighter one that will allow you to train for at least 10-15 minutes.

When you'll get used to these exercises, you can increase the number of reps, work for longer periods of time, or invest in a thicker rope.

The best battle ropes will hold well to abrasions, UV rays or weather, besides coming with benefits for your entire body.

Being able to see visible results while improving your overall health are only some of the battling rope benefits you'll get to experience.