New to Rope Exercise? Here’s a Circuit to Get You Started

Looking for a great full-body workout? Turns out all you need is a big, sturdy rope. According to Nicole Breeden, a trainer at ProMedica Wildwood Athletic Club, this one piece of equipment offers a full-body workout that can be scaled for any fitness level.

“It helps improve strength and endurance by engaging your whole body–your hands, forearms, back, legs, and core,” she said. “It’s a pretty low impact workout, so there’s little strain on your joints, but it’s a high intensity workout.”

The big ropes, called “battle ropes”, are typically stretched out around a pole. Then, you grab both ends of the ropes and perform a variety of movements, such as circles, slams and squats. If you’re a beginner, you can make the rope shorter and stick with smaller movements. For a more intense workout, you can lengthen the rope and make bigger movements, even using your legs to get the rope very high.

“While you’re doing it, you want to maintain good form and keep your core tight so you don’t cause any injuries,” advised Breeden.

Whether you’re new to battle ropes or you’ve used them before, Breeden’s adaptable full-body workout will help you gain strength and endurance.

Battle Rope Circuit

Start with a five minute warm-up of your choice. Perform each exercise below for 20 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds before performing the next exercise. Finish your workout with a cool down.

Alternating Waves
Grab one end of the rope with each hand. While in a quarter squat flex, extend your shoulders and move your hands up and down as quickly as possible so that the ropes make waves.

Slam Lunge
Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and grab the ends of the rope, holding both ends on the left side of your body. Raise your arms up overhead as if you were making a rainbow, bringing the rope to the right side while dropping into a lunge racing the right. Continue alternating sides.

In and Out Waves
Position your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Lower into a squat, pulling your arms wide and keeping them parallel to the floor. Move your arms in toward one another, then back out.


Seated Russian Twist
Position yourself at the ends of the rope seated on the ground with knees slightly bent, heels on the ground. Grasp the rope so your left hand is reaching across your body, and your hands and the rope are touching. Lean back slightly so your core is engaged. Keeping your hands together, move the rope in in a fluid tandem motion up and over your body so the rope swings over your legs to your left side. Immediately whip your legs up and over your legs again swinging the rope back to the right.

Double Arm Slam
Bend your knees slightly and brace your core. Move both arms up while putting your body into full extension, getting up on your toes and rapidly forcing your arms down.

Circle In and Out
Stand with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Lift your arms over your shoulders and move your arms in a circle, yielding serious shoulder strength.

Side to Side Waves
Position your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart. Lower into a squat, swinging your arms together from the left side of your body to the right.

Battle Rope Shuffle
Being by doing alternating waves. When ready, lower your body into a squat and quickly shuffle to one side, then back in the opposite direction.


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