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Highly Effective, Back-to-Basics Conditioning with a Twist

By Joseph Palumbo

“Battle Ropes” has been a hot topic in the fitness world for the last few years. Yet, as far back as 3500 to 4000 B.C. in ancient Egypt, humans have used rope to improve their quality of life.  Rope has been used to help pull, haul, carry, drive, push, and lift people, vehicles, and equipment.  The idea behind modern rope training is most often attributed to John Brookfield, who developed his own system of rope training known as “Battling Ropes”.

Battle Ropes can provide a high-intensity, whole-body workout that gets your muscles moving in new ways.   It’s a fun and exciting way to work out, and people have been adding their own touches and styles.  Battle Ropes are often thought of as a tool exclusively for your upper body.  However, the benefits don’t end there.  Battle Rope workouts target the muscles in your abs, back, and glutes.  You can incorporate additional movements, such as jumps, lunges, and squats, to effectively work your legs.  Functional training is all the rage now, and battle ropes are leading the “unconventional training movement” in gyms across the country.


rope directions - Muscle MediaHold the ends of the rope at arm’s length in front of your hips with hands shoulder-width apart.  Brace your core.  Begin to alternately raise and lower each arm explosively. Keep alternating arms for 1 to 20 minutes.  As you get used to it, try to vary the motions to work different muscles and develop new skills.  You may want to try moving from side to side, for instance.  I have seen some pretty good imagination used when it comes to varying Battle Rope Training.  Battle Ropes and box jumps combine very well, because the jumps focus on the lower body and the ropes on the upper body. You can also add sprints, burpees, or squat thrusts, and it’s also an ideal tool for circuit training.

Between you and me, there is nothing better than beating and slamming things around the gym when you need a good burn!  Battle Ropes are notorious for firing muscles from head to toe, while blasting calories and fat. These 1.5 to 2-inch thick 50-foot Battle Ropes generally weigh anywhere from 25 to 50 pounds.  According to a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, swinging them for just 10-minutes can burn up to 112 calories. Battle Ropes are the true Rope-Burn for fat!

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Joseph Palumbo

IFBB Professional Bodybuilder
Director of Physical Performance Infinite Labs Orlando FL
Certified Trainer
Advance Sports Nutrition Specialist (ASNS)
Certified Navy Seal Fitness Instructor
Freelance writer: Workouts and Training Techniques, Strength Training and Conditioning, General Fitness, Weight Loss and Nutritional Needs

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