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Health and Fitness News

Slam, Wave, and Whip

What are battle ropes and how can you use them in your workouts?

You’ve used a jump rope plenty of times, but have you ever used a battle rope? You may have seen them at the gym or online and wondered what they were. Battle ropes come in various thicknesses and lengths, but a common size is around 50 feet long and one-and-a-half inches thick. Special ropes can be purchased from athletic goods stores or you can make your own from a generic rope anchored around a post.

You may wonder what a big rope can do for fitness. The exercises that use battle ropes are known to sculpt and strengthen muscle while providing a full-body cardio and strength-training workout. Different types of exercises work different muscles, some focusing on upper body, others on your core or legs. Changing the amount of slack in the rope adjusts the intensity of the workout. The shorter the rope, the greater the intensity. Make the rope longer and you reduce the resistance and intensity.

Want to give battle ropes a try? Here are a few beginner exercises.

The Wave

A simple exercise to get your workout started is the wave. Stand facing the anchor and hold an end of the rope in each hand, palms facing in. Slightly bend your knees, tighten your core, and raise and lower your arms at the same time. This should create a wave in the rope.

Make Alternating Waves

This time you’ll be making two waves instead of one. Stand facing the anchor and hold an end of the rope in each hand, palms facing in. Raise your right arm up to shoulder level. As you lower your right arm quickly raise your left arm up to shoulder level. Continue making waves by alternating your arms.

Increase the intensity and incorporate additional muscles by bending your legs into a squat position, by doing jump squats, by doing reverse lunges behind you, or by shuffling back and forth in a squat position all while continuing to make waves.

Work Your Shoulders

Looking for effective shoulder exercises? Try making snakes on the floor using the ropes. For stability, stand with your feet placed wider than shoulder-width and lower into a squat. Face the anchor and hold each end of the rope down by your sides. Now raise your arms out to either side, so your arms are parallel to the floor. Move your arms toward each other in the middle of your body then back out the sides. The ropes should look like snakes slithering on the floor.

A second way to work your shoulders using battle ropes is similar to the overhead press. Rest the ropes on your shoulders, and then lower into a squat while using your hands to lift the ropes above your head. Return to standing and lower the ropes. Repeat.

Slam

Stand facing the anchor and hold a rope in each hand. Raise both arms over your head and slam the ropes down as you lower your body into a squat. As you slam the rope, use all your force. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Work your side muscles with a variation. Hold a rope in each hand and raise them over your head. Instead of slamming straight down, bring your arms forcefully down toward the left side of your body. Raise them again and then slam down toward your right side. Continue alternating sides. Increase the intensity by slamming one arm at a time.