The Beginner’s Guide To Workout Ropes

By: Chris Freytag, CPT // August 23, 2021

You’ve probably seen them in the gym before and wondered “what are those?!” We’re talking about the heavy workout ropes (also called training ropes or battle ropes) that are popular with pro athletes and fitness newbies alike.

Why are workout ropes so popular? Slamming, waving, and whipping around these heavy ropes builds strength and stamina—plus it works just about every muscle in your body and gets your heart rate up, too. It’s basically the full package! Unlike high impact activities, however, workout ropes put less of a strain on your hips and knees, making workout rope exercises the perfect way to get a full-body workout without hurting your joints.

Let’s explore the benefits of using workout ropes and then get into an awesome training rope workout you can try for yourself.

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    What Are Workout Ropes?

    Training ropes are heavy ropes used to build strength and stamina. They come in various lengths and thicknesses, but a standard size is 40 feet long and 1.5 inches thick. These type of training ropes are commonly found in gym settings, but you can also purchase training ropes for home use that are a bit shorter. (We don’t know too many people who have 40 feet worth of room in their home gym!) SPRI makes a conditioning rope that’s 18 feet long and 1.5 inches thick that’s ideal for home use.

    There are also training ropes with a 2 inch diameter grip, but those are often too thick and heavy for beginners to use. If you’re just starting out, stick with the 1.5 inch thickness for sure.

    Related: The Best Home Gym Equipment Under $40

    Benefits Of Workout Ropes

    Aside from being fun (who doesn’t want to slam and whip around some ropes to mix it up every now and then??) training ropes are an amazing fitness tool. They build strength and stamina while working your entire upper body, your entire core, and even your legs since you’re in a slight squat position for many of the moves. They provide a killer cardio workout since they utilize short bursts of all-out effort (intervals) combined with a bit of rest in between. And as I’ve said for years, interval-style workouts are one of the best ways to workout smarter, not longer. Here are just a few of the benefits of training ropes:

    • Improves your coordination
    • Strengthens your arms, core, back and chest
    • Elevates your heart rate
    • Allows you to train multiple muscle group simultaneously
    • Burns up to 10 calories every minute
    • They’re a high intensity, low-impact workout that builds strength without being hard on your joints

    How To Use Workout Ropes

    You’ll usually find training ropes at your local gym anchored to a beam or wall. They can vary in length, thickness, and weight, but they all do the same thing! Check out this quick training ropes tutorial and then read through the tips below before giving them a try.

    [adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”j4Z9hlrr” upload-date=”2017-10-05T12:40:50.000Z” name=”Training Ropes tutorial” description=”In this tutorial, Chris Freytag will show you how to use training ropes! These are the perfect exercise equipment to buy if you have limited space indoors, like to workout outside, or love to switch things up. There are countless ways to use these ropes and they will leave your arms, abs, and back looking and feeling better than ever. This workout is TOUGH, but fun! Do it alone, do it with a friend, it’s up to you!” player-type=”default” override-embed=”default”]

    1. Anchor Your Ropes

    You need to anchor training ropes around something in order to use it. If you’re at the gym, training ropes will typically already be anchored. If you’re at home, you can anchor your training ropes using the following methods:

    • Around a tree or study pole
    • Through a heavy kettlebell
    • An actual anchor, which you can buy here on Amazon
    • Use a human anchor. Grab a partner and have them put their feet on the rope and stand there. Switch places as you both use the ropes taking turns.

    2. Grip The Workout Ropes

    Hold the ropes right at the handles. You can use two different grips: overhand or underhand. If you’re using overhand, pretend like you’re shaking hands.

    For underhand, hold the ropes like you’re signing into a microphone. Some moves will feel more comfortable in different positions. For most, you’ll use an overhand grip.

    3. Slam It & Whip It Good

    The motion of using the ropes is supposed to be fluid—your arms are not supposed to be like two by fours and the ropes are not supposed to be like two by fours! Grip the handles and take one giant step forward so there’s some slack in the rope. Keep an athletic-ready stance with your knees slightly bent and move your arms from hip to head. Remember to keep your core engaged the entire time! There are tons of different moves you can do like the single or double wave, snake whips, and more. We’ll get to those in our Training Ropes Workout below!

    Training Ropes Workout Video

    Now that you know what training ropes are, how they benefit your body, and how to use them, let’s get to a training rope workout! This workout will burn serious calories, boost your athleticism, and improve your brain-to-body skills i.e. your coordination! Ready for a whole-body workout like none other? let’s get to it! Watch this video to see the full workout and follow along with the moves numbered underneath the video:

    [adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”XsUdwAYx” upload-date=”2019-06-12T18:36:53.000Z” name=”Training Rope Tone Up” description=”This training ropes workout will burn serious calories, boost your athleticism, and improve your brain-to-body skills i.e. your coordination!”]

    1. Double Waves
    2. Alternating Single Waves
    3. Snake Whips
    4. Grapplers Throw
    5. Single Wave/Single Leg Hops – (do the Right and then the Left)
    6. Battle Jacks
    7. “Giddy Up” waves – (squat hop with waves, forward 3 and back 3)
    8. Side Plank Single Arm Circles – (do the Right and then the Left)
    9. Burpee Rope Slams

    Practice this routine twice a week for an amazing total-body workout that’s going to burn calories, improve your coordination, and tone you from head to toe!

    READ THIS NEXT: 11 Agility Ladder Drills That Burn Serious Calories

    Beginner Guides, Fitness, Workouts

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