Many among us are caught up in a fast-paced life surrounded by files and deadlines; several others while away free time on their couch, gorging themselves on snacks and binge-watching their favourite shows or movies. All such habits adversely affect our physical and mental health and can get difficult to tackle. One way to rectify this is by doing some kind of physical exercise. But while hitting the gym for a workout or doing vigorous exercises might not be everyone’s first choice, they can go for workouts that take less time yet yield the desired results. Battle rope exercises are one of them and are comparatively convenient to do. Targeting specific muscles, these are one of the best calorie-burn exercises to try for strength training, which has numerous other benefits too.

Here are all the details about battle rope workouts

What is a battle rope workout and why should it be a part of your regime?

Battle Rope Workout Exercises
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According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE) certification programme, “Battle ropes are versatile, in that they can be used for cardiorespiratory or muscle-strengthening exercise, typically in a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) format. A workout usually consists of alternating bouts of high-intensity exercise followed by either low-intensity exercise or complete rest.” As per a study conducted by ACE, battle rope exercises “offer a full-body training regimen” and should be included in everyday workout sessions.

Also, if you want to optimise benefits related to cardio, then 30 seconds of battle rope workout followed by a minute of rest is the best way to do that as per a report published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Types of battle rope exercises and how to do them

Workout Gym
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There are many types of battle rope exercises which include some simple steps to stay fit. Eight of them are as follows.

Rope slams

– While keeping your feet hip-width apart, hold one rope in each hand and bend your knees slightly. Bring back your shoulders and engage your core. Do not hold the ropes tight.
– As you lift the ropes over your shoulders using both hands, push into the balls of your feet and stretch your legs.
– While squatting (knees slightly bent), slam the ropes to the ground as hard as possible and quickly return to the first position.
– Keep going for 30 seconds, followed by a break, and repeat this around four times for best results.

Alternating wide cycles

– After following the first step as above, use your right hand to swing one rope in a circular motion outside.
– As you bring it back, repeat the same movement using your left hand.
– Keep alternating your arms in this movement for around 30 seconds, and do three to four sets of this.
– You can also reverse this movement for more impact.

Jumping slams

– This one is not fit for beginners; so consult your instructor before trying it. Do the first step as that of rope slams, followed by squatting and engaging your core.
– While you push into the balls of your feet and stretch your legs on the floor, you must jump and raise the ropes high.
– Remember to land gently while slamming the ropes on the ground.

Bilateral waves

– Follow the first step as you did for rope slams.
– Raise both ropes at the same time, bringing them to shoulder level; immediately, bring them down. The movement should resemble waves.
– Repeat this for 30 seconds, followed by an interval. You can do around three to four repetitions of this.

Unilateral waves

– Everything remains the same in this type of battle rope exercise, except for one step.
– Instead of raising both ropes at the same time, swing one battle rope using your right hand and when you bring it down, swing the other using your left hand. The ropes should move alternatively — opposite to each other and resemble alternating waves.

Battle Rope Workout Exercises
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Alternating waves in marching

– Start by keeping the same position as in rope slams.
– Next, take your right leg up and hold it at 90 degrees, ensuring that your right knee is in line with your right hip and maintaining balance on your left foot.
– This should be followed by making alternative waves, beginning with the left hand. While at it, keep alternating your legs as well, while maintaining balance.
– You can repeat this four to six times before bringing your right leg down for balance and lifting your left leg. Continue these waves while switching the balancing leg.

Battle rope dead bugs

– As per experts, there is more to battle ropes than slamming. Take this, for instance. Lay down on the floor and fold your legs into a tabletop position. Keep your ankles aligned with your knees in a straight line, while keeping them stacked over your hips at 90 degrees.
– Pull the ropes towards your toes isometrically for creating tension in the core as well as the rope.
– Exhale gradually while extending your legs to the floor and returning to the tabletop position. This movement should be done with your back plastered to the floor. Go slow.

Lateral waves while kneeling

– Start with kneeling on the ground; keep your torso firm and shoulders over your hips. Now hold one rope in each hand in a comfortable grip.
– While engaging your core, swing the ropes from one side to the other. Keep your gluteal muscles squeezed so that you don’t over-rotate your torso. Keep repeating.

Benefits of battle rope exercises

Battling Ropes
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As battle rope workouts target almost all the muscles, including the ones in the abdomen, shoulders, arms, upper and lower back and lower body, it is a full-body workout using heavy ropes and gives some of the best results. This makes it an important part of your workout routine.

Enhances athletic performance: As battling ropes don’t put excessive load on muscles, it is beneficial for athletes for building strength. Studies have shown significant improvement in the speed and endurance of athletes who indulge in battle rope workouts.

Better metabolism and fat loss: As battle rope exercises burn more calories than many other exercises, it aids in reducing fat. As mentioned earlier, since it follows the HIIT format, it increases the rate of metabolism even after workout sessions by burning calories, even during the resting period.

Improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness: The swinging movement results in the heart pumping blood to all the muscles under work at that moment. This leads to more oxygen consumption as well. As per Healthline, “Numerous studies have shown significant improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness after incorporating battle rope exercises for as little as 10 minutes per session.”

Low impact: It is beneficial for those who have injuries in the lower portion of their bodies, as in most cases the feet stick to the ground. Hence, it increases the heart rate without affecting the body much.

Here’s a video explaining some types of battle rope exercises for beginners.


So, battle rope exercises not just enhance strength and stamina but also have various health benefits. But you must perfect your form before increasing the speed or weight of the ropes, mind your shoulders, and remember not to hold your breath during these exercises. You can also try mixing various kinds of battle rope exercises to challenge yourself and perform them as the last set of workouts.

Most importantly, remember to consult a professional trainer before beginning this workout to avoid injuries.

(Main Image Credit: Scott Webb/Unsplash; Featured Image Credit: Ryan Snaadt/Unsplash)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: How long should a battle rope workout be?

Answer: According to ‘Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,’ 30 seconds of battle rope workout followed by a minute of rest is the best way to maximise the benefits related to cardio. This can be repeated four times.

Question: Does battle rope exercise help burn belly fat?

Answer: Yes, battle rope exercises help burn belly fat as it is an intensive upper-body workout, which has many other benefits too.

Question: What muscles are trained with battle rope workouts?

Answer: A battle rope workout is a full-body workout and targets the muscles in the abdomen, shoulders, arms, upper and lower back and lower body.

Question: Is battle rope part of cardio or strength?

Answer: Battle rope exercises help in building strength. It is best for resistance and cardio too, as it simultaneously trains one for both.

written by.

Pyusha Chatterjee

A journalist, Pyusha has previously worked with media organisations including The New Indian Express and Hindustan Times. A solo traveller by choice, she loves exploring life more than anything else, after food of course. When she isn't gardening, writing, reading, cooking or singing out loud, you can spot her watching films and series, debating with friends or organising things unnecessarily.
The Best Battle Rope Exercises To Include In Your Workouts