These Battle Rope Exercises Will Fry You – No Joke

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Those who are new to battle rope exercises often ask “What type of workouts can I do to work my whatever?” Well, if you’ve used battle ropes even once before, you know that the ropes work your whole body. But you can get some isolation.

Let’s look at some of the most useful battle rope workouts.

The quintessential Battle Rope Exercises

Do these classic battle rope workouts as warm-ups or cool-downs. They also work great as standalone workouts. Either way, they’re are the standard for full-body HIIT battle rope routines.

Outside Spiral

Are you ready to work your back, shoulders and rotator cuffs? Well, we’re going to anyway.

Stand straight with your core tight. You can work one arm at a time or both simultaneously. Bring your arms to just below chest height. Make big outward circles. Go for 20 seconds with a 20 to 30 second rest. Repeat three to five times per workout.

For an extra challenge, try this in a half-squat.

Biceps Wave

Start out in a quarter-squat. Make big vertical waves. The trick is to keep your elbows still. That’s a little difficult at first. Just be conscious about your movements. Your biceps should be doing as much of the work as possible. Make waves for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-second rest. Three to five sets per workout is good.

Lateral Whip

I often recommend this one to people who want to improve their posture. It also works your rear delts and back.

Grab an end in each hand. Your elbows should be slightly bent. Raise your arms, then slam the ropes down. See how fast you can go with your lateral raises. Try 30 seconds at a time with a 30-second rest. Can you repeat four times?

Lying T

Now it’s time to work all of your traps, rear delts and shoulders. Lay face down with your arms forming a “T” and a rope in each hand. Now raise and lower your arms parallel to the floor for 30 seconds at a time, as fast as you’re comfortable with. Do 30-second rests and shoot for three to five sets per session. Warning: You’re going to feel the burn in your shoulders.

Full Body Battle Rope Workouts

These workouts work your entire body in the most intensive way. See how hard you can push yourself.

Alternating Wide Circles

The proper form is in a shallow squat with tight abs. You want to keep your legs out of the equation as much as possible. Your back is going to get a really good workout here, and you’ll see almost right away how your grip will be enhanced.

Start with your ropes right in front of you at about chest level. Your hands should be almost touching. Bring your hands up and out, then down and in. Keep those circles going. Do 30-second reps followed by 30-second rests. Three of four reps are enough for a workout.

Squat To Shoulder Press

This one works the same muscles as a barbell clean and jerk. The goal here is strength and bulk, rather than cardio. And form is absolutely critical. If you don’t use proper form here, you’re wasting your time.

Stand with your feet just a couple inches wider than hip-width, holding the ropes on your shoulders. Lower down into a low squat. Stand up out of the squat while straightening your arms, as if you’re lifting a bar. Then lower yourself back into a low squat as you bring the ropes back to your shoulders.

This should be a fluid motion. Your arms should reach full extension at the same time as your legs, and the ropes should hit your shoulders at the same time you hit full squat. Repeat 10 to 15 times, followed by a 45 to 60-second rest. Three to five sets should be all you can handle.

Jumping Power Slams

Adding jumps to power slams gives you a full-body workout that will push you to fatigue very quickly. This exercise is no joke, and it’s probably not best for beginners.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with one end of your rope in each hand. Your arms should be relaxed and at your sides. Lower into about a quarter squat. Tighten your core. Explode into the air while bringing the ropes up over your head.

Fall back into a quarter squat while bringing the ropes down hard. The end should be you sinking into the squat while slamming the ropes to the ground, making a big wave. Go 30 seconds with a 30-second rest. Do three to five sets per workout, if you can handle it.

Jumping Jacks

Here’s jumping jacks with a battle rope spin. You’ll work your shoulders and core much harder than you would with regular jumping jacks.

Start with your feet hip-width apart with one end of your rope in each hand. Your arms should be at your sides with your elbows bent slightly. Jump, moving your feet out and your arms up to shoulder height. Come down moving your feet and hands down to their starting position. Do this for 30 seconds. Rest for 30. Try three or four sets per session.

Alternating Jump Waves

Push your shoulders, arms, legs, back and glutes with alternating jump waves.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. With one end of the rope in each hand, moves both of your hands over to the right side of your hip. Get into a half-squat. Jump with all of your might, swinging your arms up, over and down to your left hip while falling back down into a half-squat.

Repeat, bringing your hands back to your right hip. This is one rep. Push yourself for 30 seconds, then rest for 30. See if you can do four or five per workout.

Battle Rope Workouts For Your Core

The twisting and stabilization that you’ll demand from your abs and back will work your core and get you ripped. These can really help you get the six-pack you’ve been after. And you may be surprised at how quickly your obliques pop.

Full Circle Wave

Don’t face your anchor. Stand facing at about a 45-degree angle to it. Grab a rope end in each hand. Make the biggest circles you can. The idea is to make some big, smooth circles. It’s actually pretty fun. Do 12 clockwise circles, then 12 counter-clockwise ones. Give yourself a 30-second rest. Aim for three or four sets per workout.

Two Point Wave

Get into a nice straight plank with your core tight. Grab a rope end in your right hand and lift your left foot off the floor. Make waves for 15 seconds. Then switch it up, with the rope in your left hand and your right foot off the floor. Rest for 30 and repeat three or four times.

Side Plank Wave

Start out in a right side plank with your legs straight. Your weight should be supported by your right forearm. Make waves with your left arm for 15 seconds. Then get into a left side plank and go for another 15. Take a 30-second rest and repeat five times.

Battle Rope Workouts For Your Upper Body

All battle rope exercises are pretty much full-body workouts, but these ones isolate your upper body. You’ll work all of your arm muscles as well as your chest, shoulders and neck.

Lunge Slam

This one is easy to perfect, but it combines side lunges with power slams.

Start out with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise your arms and slam the ropes down full-force while lunging to one side. Repeat, lunging to the other side. Do 15 reps per set, four or five sets per session.

Wrestler Throws

Hold a rope in each hand, with the ends of the ropes pointing up toward the ceiling. Whip the ropes up and over while rotating your body to the right. Repeat, rotating your body to the left. Try 15 reps at a time with 15-second rests. Aim for four or five sets per workout.

Alternating Whips

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Posture is important. You want to be straight and tall with your core tight. Simply make a single wave with one arm, then a wave with the other. Keep alternating like this, building your speed as you go. Challenge yourself to see how long you can keep it up. Take rests equal in length to your wave time.

Battle Rope Exercises In Summary…

As you can see, there are numerous benefits to battle rope exercises. Check out this post to see all that battle ropes can do for you. So get you a set of ropes. You can even make your own. See how here.

Do you have any questions about these battle rope workouts? Ask below.

Battle ropes give you a full-body workout, but you can isolate to some degree if you know which exercises to do.

Battle Rope Exercises FAQ


Check out these articles for more helpful battle rope information.

Jeff Carpenter

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