Are Battle Ropes Worth it? 7 Battle Rope Benefits & Why You Should Use Them

If you think battle ropes are only used by squatting down and whipping your arms up and down, think again.

Battle ropes are used in so many ways and have both cardiovascular, fat burning and strengthening benefits.

I love battle ropes, use them on the regular and think every athlete can benefit from this inexpensive and useful functional fitness tool.

Battle ropes are legit and can give you a serious workout.

That’s why I want to share with you the 7 benefits of battle ropes so you can get the most out of this versatile piece of equipment.

What are the 7 Benefits of Battle Ropes?

athlete doing exercises with battle rope at CrossFit gym

Novel Cardio

Looking for a cardio option that isn’t boring? If you are tired of the treadmill or spinning like a hamster on the elliptical trainer and want to try something different why not give battle ropes a try?

Battle rope cardio is low impact, can be done indoors, is relatively inexpensive compared to exercise machines, does not take up a lot of room, and is pretty fun to do.

I must warn you: battle ropes make a great cardiovascular workout, but they can really drain you.

Check out this beginner battle rope workout of a good intro to this demanding exercise style.

If you are looking to pick up a pair of battle ropes for your home gym, I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so. They are pretty inexpensive, can be easily moved out of the way when you are not using them, and they allow you to do many different exercises.

I put together this list of the best battle ropes out there. Take a look!

Combat Fat and Extra Calories with a Session of Battle Ropes

Battle ropes have potential to burn serious calories and quickly. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research estimates that battle ropes burn about 112 calories in just 10 minutes!

It is hard to imagine too many other exercises you can do at the gym that expend that much energy.

Maybe double unders, burpees, box jumps or a fast sprit might be comparable, but battle ropes have other benefits these exercises don’t, so keep reading to see more benefits of using battle ropes.

Check out the following video for a routine you can start using today to burn fat using the battle ropes.

Battle Rope Your Way to a Killer Core and Abs

Many athletes think of battle ropes as an upper-body workout – which it is if you use them the way you see in gym posters and Instagram posts. But there are so many more ways you can use battle ropes!

Battle ropes are a great tool for building a strong core and abs.

Here is an excellent video by critical bench showing you 5 awesome core exercises you can do with a set of battle ropes.

Some of the exercises include the Russian Twist, V-Sit double Whip slam, and the Single-arm plank slam. Don’t those sound fun?

Battle Ropes Strengthen Your Pulling Muscles

Why are pulling motions important?

Most athletes do not get enough pulling movements in their routine. Pushing exercises like the bench press are super common and build the chest and arms.

But you need balance.

Pulling exercises train the back muscles, a sometimes overlooked set of muscles. A lack of pulling exercises will cause an imbalance in your physique and strength.

Your back strength should match your press strength. This will improve your posture and physique.

Pulling exercises also antagonize your push muscles, which will actually improve your bench press performance.

Battle ropes are perfect for pulling exercises, but instead of telling you how, I invite you to watch this Rope Pulls video or the demo below.

Battle Ropes Build Buff Shoulders

The beauty of battle ropes is they cause you to use muscle groups in unison, instead of isolation.

This includes shoulder muscles.

There are many exercises you can do to strengthen and build shoulders such as snakes on the floor, power slam, battle rope jumping jacks and alternating wave reverse lunge. These exercises strengthen and build the shoulders in a holistic, balanced manner.

If you don’t know what these shoulder building battle rope exercises are, the following video will give you a demo to get started.

Excellent for HIIT Style Workouts

HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. It can be done with just about any type of exercise from sprinting, air bike, TRX trainer, kettlebells, HIIT home video workouts and finally, battle ropes.

You see, HIIT is not about a specific piece of equipment, it is a style of workout that involves going for your max effort for 20 seconds, with 10 second intervals between the exercises.

This is a simple explanation of HIIT, so if you want more details on HIIT check out my in-depth HIIT article here.

So how can battle ropes be useful for HIIT? Glad you asked!

Just about any Battle Rope exercise can be used for HIIT, as long as you do the movement for 20 seconds, going as hard as you absolutely can, with a 10 second rest in between.

Check out the following video for an example of one HIIT routine you can follow using battle ropes.

Battle Ropes Improve Your Functional Fitness or Functional Training

What is functional fitness or functional training?

Core strength and full body strength that works all muscles in a way that is useful to the athlete and improves their performance. This is in contract to working muscles in isolation, which strengthen one individual muscle, but not necessarily the supporting muscles.

Functional training, because it trains for a movement instead of specific muscles, helps the athlete improve that movement on the field.

It can also help a person with a physical career, like police, military and first responders, improve work performance.

For example, a first responder might need to pull bodies from danger, and an exercise like a sled pull can train for that.

Battle ropes can be used for pulling motions, they can be used to increase endurance and strengthen the core, all of which contribute to functional fitness.

Battle Ropes FAQs

Can You Build Muscle with Battle Ropes?

Battle ropes are great for increasing cardio, muscular endurance, stamina, strengthening supporting muscles and helping burn fat.

But…

They are not ideal if you are trying to increase muscle size.

However…

As I mentioned earlier, strengthening supporting and opposing muscles, like when you strengthen pulling muscles in your back can improve bench press performance, which will translate to a bigger chest and arms.

So indirectly, yes, battle ropes can help with gains.

muscular man is doing battle rope exercise

Are Battle Ropes Good for Cardio?

Battle ropes offer an excellent, inexpensive, space-saving and fun form of cardio.

Best of all…

Battle rope cardio can be done using a HIIT or Tabata style and that way, can also be a cardio workout you can do quickly.

You get completely gassed using battle ropes for HIIT or Tabata, but it’s a thorough, fat-burning cardio workout.

What Muscles do Battle Ropes Target?

Depending on the battle rope exercise you choose, the battle rope can work the arms, abs, core, shoulders, back, legs and more.

Check out this informative video Battling Ropes Muscles Worked to see what muscles the most common battle rope exercise, the power slam, works.

If you are looking to work the core using battle ropes, see this video.

If you want a stronger back and shoulders, see this video below to see how you can use your battle ropes to sculpt this area.

Do Battle Ropes Work Shoulders?

Yes.

Battle ropes can improve your shoulder strength, stability and range of motion. The naturally varied oscillatory motion of the rope as you slam it down causes you to work the shoulders and stabilizer muscles in a way you just can’t do on a machine.

Battle ropes can be used to strengthen the shoulders through oscillatory movements like circles, waves and chops, or through strength training exercises like the battle rope shoulder press.

Virtually all exercises you do with the battle rope strengthen the shoulder in some way.

Do Battle Ropes Work Biceps?

Yes. There are several ways a battle rope can work the biceps.

One of the best ways to use a battle rope to work the biceps is through a good old fashioned rope climb. The rope climb uses the biceps, predominantly.

Looking for a good climbing rope? I have the best climbing ropes reviewed right here.

Battle ropes and the rope climb are common in CrossFit gyms. If you are looking to set up your own CrossFit gym a home check out this Home CrossFit Gym guide to get you started.

Wrap up

By now I hope you can see the benefits of battle ropes.

Another inexpensive functional training tool is the TRX system. It can be hung from just about any door to give you a full-body workout with minimal space and minimal investment

See my TRX system reviews right here.

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