How To Use Battle Ropes? Benefits, Exercises, And More

Shayla Whitter

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Battle ropes are used by athletes all over the world and it’s a great fitness tool for people who want to get in shape quickly. They’re versatile, portable, and can be used anywhere since they don’t require any electricity or weight training equipment.

The most common type of battle rope comes in lengths of 30 feet. With their durability and natural resistance to weather change, they’re perfect for outdoor workouts. They are also available in different styles and weights that will offer a new level of difficulty for you.

The best thing about using them is that even though they put pressure on your joints as you move around, it’s very easy on your body because you’re making full use of your entire muscle system when using them.

Battle rope training is a must-have tool in every workout because there are plenty of ways to use them. You can do full bodywork with battle ropes and they’re excellent for your cardio as well. 

There aren’t many training tools that can provide a complete and thorough workout as battle ropes do. 

They are hard to master, but once you learn the basics and master these monster cables (which is an exciting challenge for most athletes), you’ll be able to reap the benefits of these amazing training tools.

What Muscles Do Battle Ropes Work?

Just like other gym tools, battle ropes are highly effective for training due to their versatility. Battle ropes target your upper body muscles like shoulders and core. But for more clarity here is a list of muscles that are involved in battle ropes work.


Battle ropes work has a dynamic wave-like motion that keeps your shoulder muscles engaged. Anterior, lateral, and posterior deltoid muscles are fully involved during the motion. Battle ropes are highly effective if you aim to tone and strengthen your shoulder muscles. 

Biceps and Triceps

The battle ropes movement provides flexion and extension of your elbow muscles respectively. You can perform exercises of a wide variety with the help of these ropes which will improve your control of the movement. 

Hands and forearms

While you are trying to keep control of battle ropes, your hand and forearm muscles are participating. Battle ropes will gradually improve your grip and endurance. 

Latissimus Dorsi

Your upper back muscles are not directly involved in battle ropes work but rope exercises help in the stability of back muscles. 

Abdominals and Obliques

Battle ropes work best for core muscles. It creates a wave-like motion that contributes to the fixation of your posture and the strengthening of your core muscles.

The main target of upper body muscles is the upper half of your body, but with slight variations like squats, you can also stabilize your lower body. Other than targeting various muscles of the body, battle ropes are intense movements that improve your heart rate and health. 

How To Use Battle Ropes?

There are multiple techniques to use battle ropes. Here is a complete guide to it. 

  1. Equipment Placement

The most important thing is well-set equipment. Find a stable anchor point to prevent falls and injuries. The length of each rope should be the same. Keep a safe distance to perform different exercises. 

  1. Body posture

Stand in a way that you are facing the anchor point while your shoulders and feet are widths apart. Slightly bend on your knees and shift your weight on your core muscles for stability. 

  1. Firm grip

Hold the free ends of the battle ropes in your hands, and keep the face of your palms downward. For a smooth motion hold the rope tightly. 

  1. Wave motion

The most common exercise with battle rope is creating an alternating wave by slowly lifting one arm and then the other one. 

  1. Intensity

You can easily shift the intensity and speed of battle ropes work with the help of the movement of your wrists and forearms. Keep giving your body enough time to recover between high-intensity bursts. 

  1. Variation

There are different patterns of waves like, double waves, alternating waves, and circular and slithering waves. You can try these wave patterns with different stances (Wide/ Narrow). 

Also, you can couple these movements with squats, and lunges to keep your lower body involved. 

  1. Time and set

If you are a beginner start with shorter sets of 15 to 30 seconds and then gradually increase the time and number of sets. 

Perform 3 to 5 sets with rest intervals. 

  1. Stretching

Stretching is very important when you are performing battle ropes. Once you are done with the exercise, do deep breathing with light stretching that will allow your muscles to relax. 

  1. Progression

When your body is settled with the basic battle rope techniques, start incorporating different exercises. Complexity may vary as per your acceptance. You can try advanced exercises and equipment like kettlebells. 

What Are The Benefits Of Battle Ropes?

Great for Burning Fat and Cardio

If you’re using battle ropes regularly during your workouts, you’ll be able to burn more calories than usual. They will force your heart to work harder as you push yourself to the limit. Since they are such versatile tools, you can use them in both cardio and strength training.

Strengthens Your Core

Core training is very important if you want to maintain your balance and avoid injuries. With battle ropes, you’ll be able to strengthen your abs, back, shoulders, and arms as well. They’re a full-body exercise.

It’s a Fun Workout

Indoor workouts can be boring because of a lack of variety. But if you have battle rope training in your workout routine, you’ll be able to enjoy different kinds of workouts every day without having to worry about any weather conditions.

Increases Grip Strength

If you need a stronger grip, battle ropes can help. They can build muscles in your forearms and improve overall strength in your hands. This is especially helpful if you’re trying to hold onto something heavy or slippery.

Increases Speed and Agility

Your lower body will not be left out once you start using battle ropes. They’re excellent for your thighs and calves, which means that in time, they’ll increase your overall speed and agility. This is especially true if you are a runner or a football player who needs to run vigorously on the field.

Provide Better Balance and Coordination

If you’re not able to balance properly, it can be a big problem in your workout routine. A strong core is essential if you want to maintain the right posture and balance while exercising. Battle ropes are ideal for correcting postural problems with their combination of strength training and upper-body exercises.

Improves Heart Health

With battle ropes, you’ll be able to improve your circulation as well as boost your heart rate. This will ensure that you have a healthy heart, and it can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

What Are The Best Battle Rope Exercises To Do?

Now that you know the basics of battle ropes, you can start incorporating them into your workout routine. Here are some exercises that you should try:

  1. Alternating Arm Waves

This is a great exercise for your arms and shoulders. Make sure to maintain good posture otherwise, you’ll risk injuring your back. Use lightweight ropes if you’re just starting out or if you have problems with balance and coordination.

  1. Double Arm Waves

This exercise will work your upper and lower body. Make sure to keep moving or you’ll risk getting tired quickly. Again, you can use smaller battle ropes if this is too difficult for you.

  1. Clapping Waves

This is a variation of the Double Arm Wave that will help you improve your coordination. Try doing it slowly at first and then move more quickly as you get used to this exercise. It can be difficult for beginners because of the need for proper timing. Again, if you’re not able to do this yet, use smaller battle ropes

  1. Hip to Hip Toss

This exercise is ideal for improving your upper body strength. You can grab the ropes and toss them from one side to another while you’re in a standing position.

  1. Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jacks are great for boosting your heart rate, improving your balance and coordination, and toning up your body. Just make sure to do this exercise with light battle ropes first as it may be too challenging if you’re not used to jumping jacks.

  1. Figure 8 Circles

This is a great exercise for your core, and it can tone up your stomach as well. If you’re just starting with battle ropes, use lighter ones to avoid pulling the lower part of your back.

  1. Double Arm Slam with Jump

This exercise is ideal for improving your balance and coordination. If you’re looking for a challenge, try doing it on one leg first before moving to the other leg.

  1. Alternating Circles

This is a great exercise for your shoulders, biceps, and triceps. Make sure to maintain proper form as you toss the ropes into the air. 

  1. Lunge Slams

This exercise will work your lower body and core. Make sure to do it slowly at first before you get used to lunging slams. This can also help you get rid of cellulite since it involves movements similar to squats. You can also use heavier ropes if this is too easy for you.

  1. Side-to-Side Waves

This is another advanced exercise. It works on your core and shoulder muscles, which makes it great for both upper and lower-body workouts.  It also helps improve balance and coordination. Start by doing it slowly at first, then gradually move faster as you get the hang of this exercise. Smaller ropes will help with balancing issues too.

Now that you know how to incorporate battle rope exercises into your workout routine, go ahead and give this a try soon!

How Many Calories Do Battle Ropes Burn?

The battle rope is good to burn calories but the number of calories depends on some factors including your weight, duration of battle rope work, intensity, and general fitness. 

It is difficult to estimate the exact number of calories but due to its high intensity an average of 300 to 500 calories and burnt, if you are doing it for half an hour with moderate to high intensity. 

This is clearly an estimate because every person has a different metabolism. 

Related Article: Weightlifting Belts 101: Everything You Need To Know


  1. Which Size Battle Rope Should I Get?

Battle ropes are sold in three lengths (30, 40, or 50 feet), with two thicknesses (1.5 inches or 2 inches). The length and diameter you should purchase depends on your fitness goals and the amount of space you have available.

  1. What Size (Length & Thickness) Battle Rope Should I Get?

Length: Shorter ropes can’t be used in bigger spaces. But they are good for smaller spaces. Your rope will be folded at a point where you tie it, so the distance of your straight line needs to be half your length of rope. A 50 feet long rope will require 25 feet of clear space.

The battle rope comes in various sizes ranging from 30 feet to 50 feet in length. It is recommended to start with a shorter rope and then progress to longer lengths as you get more experienced.

Thickness: Thick ropes will carry more weight, but they aren’t as flexible. Longer ropes allow for a more fluid motion. Thicker ropes require more strength and dexterity than thinner ropes, making them a great tool for those who want to work on their grip.

If you’re looking for a high-intensity workout that requires a good grip, try using the 1.5-inch diameter battle rope during your circuit training workouts to achieve fantastic results.

For a demanding bodyweight muscle-building workout that feels more like bench presses than wind sprints, 2.0-inch wide battle ropes may be the best choice. Unlike smaller 1.5-inch width ropes, these require a larger hand and stronger grip just to control them

  1. Does battle rope weight matter?

The weight of the battle ropes that you choose will depend on your fitness level and how advanced you want to become with this workout in the long run. For example, beginners could start by choosing a lighter rope, while more experienced people could try out some heavier options.


Battle rope exercises are great for building up your functional strength in a way that is more beneficial to your body than traditional weight lifting. Beginners and people who aren’t interested in crazy workouts can utilize lighter ropes, while the more advanced folks can use heavier options when they start.

The best part about this workout is that you can do it almost anywhere. So instead of having to pay for a gym membership or use bulky equipment at home, you can get an incredibly intense workout in the comfort of your own home.

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