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10 Full-Body Exercises that Use Battle Ropes

Whip, wave, and slam your way to better muscle definition and a leaner physique.
10 Full-Body Exercises that Use Battle Ropes

Battle ropes are one of the most effective ways to tone muscles, make your workouts metabolic, and sneak in some cardio.

Danielle Hopkins, a master trainer at Printing House Equinox in New York City and the creator of the gym’s Ropes & Rowers program has created a workout that will exhaust your entire body and rev your heart rate pushing you into the fat-burning zone. 

For each of these exercises, you'll assume one of two grips:
Handshake grip: Hold the ropes as though you were going to shake someone’s hand. Palms face inward toward one another.  
Overhand grip: Hold the ropes in an overhand grip, with both palms facing down.

Instructions: Complete 10 reps of each of the following exercises for 2-3 rounds. Each exercise should have minimal rest—15-20 seconds max. For an added challenge, pair each exercise with a 30 second plank variation as an active recovery. (Try planks with shoulder taps, side planks, planks with anterior reach, etc.) Once you've completed the circuit below, take a 2 minute rest, then repeat.  

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How to do it: Drop into a squat position, hinging at your hips, and lean your upper body slightly forward. Hold a rope in either hand using the handshake grip. Alternate making waves with the ropes, making sure the ripples run all the way to the end of your anchor point. "Think about making small but fast waves rather than huge explosive ones," Hopkins says.

Prescription: 10 reps (right to left is one rep)

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How to do it: Grasp a rope in either hand assuming an overhand grip. "Step close to your anchor point so the ropes have some slack in them," Hopkins recommends. Now perform regular jumping jacks.

Prescription: 10 reps

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How to do it: Hold a rope in each hand with a handshake grip. Step back into a reverse lunge while you complete alternating waves with the battle ropes. Come back to standing, but don't stop your arms, and come into a reverse lunge on the opposite leg. Keep alternating.

Prescription: 10 reps (5 each leg) 

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How to do it: Grasp the ropes with an overhand grip. Start with your hips squared up to the anchor, then begin to rotate and pivot through your hips as you throw the ropes right and left. Think of the side-to-side motion of Russian twists. You want to keep your core engaged the entire time as you shift the weight of the ropes back and forth creating an arc. "Be careful not to lean back too much on this move," Hopkins warns. "You'll stress your low back."

Prescription: 10 reps (5 each side)

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How to do it: Grab a rope in either hand using a handshake grip and take a wide stance with your feet. "Make simultaneous waves with the ropes as you shift your weight right to left in a lateral lunge," Hopkins says.  

Prescription: 10 reps (5 each side)

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How to do it: Stand facing away from the anchor point. Position yourself parallel to the ropes and hold them in an overhand grip with your arms out in front of you. "One hand will be on the end of the ropes and the other should be about a foot in," Hopkins says. Keeping the ropes in front of you, perform a 180-degree jump while swinging the rope overhead. Make sure to land softly on your feet so you don't jar your knees.

Prescription: 10 reps (5 jumps in one direction, then switch to jump 5 in the other)  

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How to do it: Drop into a squat position, hinging at your hips, and lean your upper body slightly forward. "Using a handshake grip, move the ropes toward each other until they hit and 'clap,'" Hopkins says

Prescription: 10 reps

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How to do it: Hold the ropes in either hand using an overhand grip. Assume an athletic stance so your dominant foot is forward, your abs are braced, and you have a slight bend in your knees. "Alternate punches up toward the ceiling, rotating your hips slightly as you punch," Hopkins says.

Prescription: 10 reps (right to left is one count)

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How to do it: Begin with a rope in either hand with a handshake grip. Generate power from the floor up, bringing your arms up and slamming both ropes to the ground as you simultaneously jump down and kick your legs out. You should be in a plank position on the floor (ropes still in hands). From here, jump back up and begin the sequence again.

Prescription: 10 reps

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How to do it: "This is the big finish!" Hopkins says. Start in squat position with either a handshake or overhand grip. As mentioned on the previous slide, you want to generate power from the ground up. Put your weight in your heels as you use your whole body to fully extend your arms overhead. From here, quickly and forcefully slam the ropes to the floor coming back into a squat. "Make the rope waves as big as you can and hit the floor aggressively," Hopkins says.

Prescription: 10 reps 

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