New fitness regimens always require learning the ropes. This time, it is literally so. If you are a martial arts trainee or a footballer, you’d be familiar with battle-ropes training. Now the weighted battle ropes have moved into your regular gyms to up your fitness gains.
Roping it in
“Battle ropes offer full body strength training as well as cardio,” says fitness expert Vesna Pericevic Jacob. It was part of military training and thanks to the crossfit craze has moved into your gym. It’s functional body training that targets your core and upper body, since those are your primary movers in battle-rope training. In fact there are workouts being built around the battle ropes.
Don’t cut the cord
If you are looking to build muscle, or add some variation to your work out, try the ropes. But you must have basic body strength to work the ropes. They are heavy. How do they work, you ask? Ropes create forces and tension from angles that are harder to achieve with basic weight training. As trainers say, it surprises your muscles into making new gains.
But if not done right chances of injury are high. Most people end up hurting their shoulders, neck and elbows, Jacob says. The best position: a squat with the weight resting on the balls of the feet and the knees soft. Use the entire body, not just the upper half.
And if you have enough space at home (at least 50ft), you can make a rope training area. Just go to a good fitness store and ask for battle ropes. Pick nylon ropes with rubber ends – easier to grip with sweaty hands. Integrate rope workout to your routine at the end of the workout cycle.
How to work out with battle ropes
Wave : The most common battle-rope swing is the standard wave. To step up, move both arms in a double wave.
Targets: Biceps, core
Slam : Lift both ends of the rope overhead, and then slam the rope down with full force onto the ground.
Targets: Shoulders, arms, back, and core, especially your abs
Circles : Move each arm in independent circles in front of you. You can rotate each arm outwards or inwardsx. Hold both hands together and make a single circle with both ends of the rope.
Flyes (strength training exercise) : Squat low and whip each end of the rope in tandem, as if you’re flapping your arms like wings. Keep your elbow bent slightly.
Grappler Throws : Keeping both your feet grounded, pivot your torso from side to side. During each pivot, flip the ropes over as if you were throwing them to the floor on the side you’re pivoting towards.