The Best Battle Ropes Workout & Exercises

Battle Ropes Workout & Exercises

Battle ropes have been around since the dawn of human existence. As more people learn how to use battle ropes, they are only going to become more commonplace in gyms and training around the world. Think of a time when most people would have looked at dumbbells and not known all the possibilities. Battle ropes are in that stage of the collective psyche. This article is designed to open up your mind to all the possibilities and why battle ropes might just be the single best tool in the gym. 

Don't have a battle rope? Don't worry! Inside we cover substitutes you can use in place of battle ropes if you are interested in pursuing more with battle ropes, but don't own one.

Battle Ropes Workouts Can Be Combo Workouts

In the same workout session you can isolate muscle groups, train full body strength as well as build cardiovascular endurance. Almost all battle rope movements require correct posture for full benefit so they also have the effect of strengthening your core. A lot of trainers have the misconception that battle ropes are an upper body tool or upper body finisher. Again, think of dumbbells early in their existence when most people did not realize the possibilities of dumbbell workouts. 


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There are some very simple and easy to remember battle rope exercises which can focus on your lower body or your full body and be the focus of your entire workout session as opposed to just being an upper body finisher. 

Battle Rope Workouts are For Elite Athletes and New to Fitness

With a battle rope, you get you what you put in. What that means is any person can use the exact same battle rope in such a way it meets their desired goal. This makes battle ropes an ideal tool for trainers who have a wide variety of clients. You can use the same battle rope workouts for new or advanced athletes. Think about it like this. With a weight, you are increasing the force of gravity upon your body which means not everyone can use the same weight. If your goal is rep until failure, for some that might require a 15 pound weight and for others that might be a 60 pound weight. With a battle rope, the factor is the effort your body exerts on the battle rope, so the same battle rope can be used by all people.

What Makes a Good Battle Rope

Like any tool, there are traits that can make one battle rope higher quality than another. This can be due to the construction of the battle rope and the length. You do not want to get a battle rope that starts to fray or come apart after use. You never want one that is going to shed on your floor with use, as you will spend more time cleaning and less time working out. Before purchasing a battle rope, make sure to read the reviews on the product page to see what others have to say. 50 foot battle ropes are ideal compared to shorter ropes, as you can always make a longer rope shorter, but you can never make a shorter rope longer. Another reason for this is the longer length allows you to move forward and backward on the battle rope with greater variation compared to shorter battle ropes. This is important because you can intensify or change a battle rope exercise based on your positioning on the battle rope similar to increasing or decreasing the weight you use in a dumbbell or barbell. 

Master Basic Battle Rope Exercises

Like any workout, you should master some basic movements and principles first before really diving in. There are too many risks associated with not performing movements correctly. Make sure to avoid key mistakes most people make with battle ropes like your grip, level of tension and your posture. 

Source: Battle Ropes Benefits, Basics, and Biggest Mistakes

There are a few general principles with battle rope exercises that you should almost always follow. In addition to avoiding the mistakes above, you never want to have a rounded back. Always keep your back and neck straight while working with battle ropes. In a lot of battle rope movements you might feel the temptation to start rounding your back or you might feel this due to fatigue. Keep your core tight. This is a good principle in all of fitness, but make sure to keep your core engaged and tight while performing battle rope workouts. Following an expertly crafted plan is another principle. Ideally, you follow a plan crafted by an expert to help you reach specific goals. Otherwise you will end up spinning your wheels en route to your goal. You need to know how many reps, sets, intensity, what movements and how to focus on specific muscles or groups of muscles in order to improve toward your goals effectively and efficiently.

Battle Rope Workout Movements

Think of the battle rope exercise movements below as principles to master. You can perform each of these battle rope exercises from different positions. So for example, you can create battle rope waves with one arm or two arms, from a standing position or from a kneeling position, from facing toward the anchor or facing left/right from the anchor. So you want to make sure you understand the concepts about how these are created and how to maintain proper form with straight spines and core engaged. 

Make sure to pull the rope to tension and then take a step forward, having the battle rope slack touch the front of your feet while holding the ropes at your sides in a tall, standing position.

Battle Rope Alternating Waves


You perform this movement with both arms. This move is contralateral, just like walking, crawling, and swimming, which will help with your brain health and performance, as well as your physical health and performance.Stand with your feet a bit more than shoulder width apart. Make sure to keep your core engaged as well as your back and neck straight. There should not be too much tension in the rope causing you to lean over. The goal is to use everything you have to create waves all the way to the anchor. This means your upper and lower body. Stand firm and explode out of those movements to generate momentum in your upper body to create waves all the way to the end. This movement uses your entire upper body and a lot of your lower body. There are several variations you can use to create alternating waves.

Battle Rope Slams

You can do this movement with one arm or two. This means you can either be holding just one end of the battle rope with two hands or each end of the rope with one hand. In this version of the movement you will hold one end of the battle rope in each hand. Stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder width apart.  In a controlled manner raise your arms to bring the rope up and use all the force and power you have to slam the rope into the ground. Use your leg muscles to generate power on the way up and transfer all that power into the downward slamming movement. Keep your abs engaged. Keep your back straight rather than rounding, this reduces force. Drive down with your lats and triceps while you lower yourself down in a hinging and squatting like movement with your lower body.

Battle Rope Circles

 You can do this movement with two ends of the battle rope or one end.  With the battle ropes in your hands you will make the motion of a circle in front of you. The idea is to go into a squat motion while at the bottom of the circle. Make sure to remain in control while generating a circular motion with your arms holding the rope. Keep your chest proud like a superhero, your abs tight like you are taking a punch, and glutes engaged as your drive through the movement. Raise your body up as you come out of the squat until your entire body is fully extended at the top of the circle. Keep your spine long. You are still trying to drive circular waves all the way down to the end of your anchor. 

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Build Your Upper Body with Battle Rope Workout

The last two movements incorporate your full body in the movement. Use In-Out Waves to focus on absolutely crushing your pecs, shoulders, upper back and ab muscles. 

Stand with your feet a bit wider than your shoulders. Do not let your back round. Think of yourself as pulling the waves apart while you open up your chest. Your hands should never cross or pass each other. If you have used a pec deck machine, this is a similar movement in which your hands are coming together but not crossing or touching. By not allowing your hands to cross, this will actually force you to work harder and intensify the exercises.

Battle Rope Workout for Beginners

You can watch and follow along with the workout below. Again, the goal is not to kill yourself here. The beauty of the battle rope is that you get out what you put in. So, even though the work periods in this workout are only ten seconds long. You should exert maximal effort during this time with proper form. Since maximal effort is relative, this workout can be challenging for any level of fitness user. The term ‘beginner’ here replies to beginning with battle ropes, not just in your fitness journey. This workout is from the Battle Rope Origins plan created by Living.Fit.

Warm Up

Any proper workout starts with a proper warm up. Make sure your body is prepped and ready to move. In the example below, we take you through one of our favorite battle rope workout warm ups.

Vertical Waves with a Single Rope

10 Seconds of Work. 50 Seconds rest. 5 sets

In this version of the wave, you will only be holding one end of the battle rope with two hands. This is a basic movement designed to familiarize you with the concept of creating waves with the battle rope. The goal is to drive the wave all the way to the battle rope anchor. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, keep your back straight and core engaged.

Lateral Waves with a Single Rope

10 Seconds of Work. 50 Seconds rest. 5 sets


This is similar to the vertical wave in that you will only be holding one end of the battle rope and use the full length of the battle rope. Position your body just as before with  your feet slightly wider than your shoulders. Rotate your body laterally to generate waves as opposed to the up and down motion in the first movement. Use speed and distance to rotate your body to generate waves as far towards the anchor as possible.  Create rotation out of your legs, hips, scaps, shoulders and t-spine.

Gunslingers with a Single Rope

Alternate sides. 10 Seconds of Work. 50 Seconds of Rest. 5 Sets each side.

Use the full length of the battle rope in one hand at a time. With one rep you want to rip out as much power as possible. Pull down as hard as possible to shoot the momentum through the rope. Create triple extension as you come out and then triple flexion as you come down as fast and hard as possible. Abs engaged, long spine, forcefully driving your scapular engagement and lats. (shown in workout below).

Full Body Circles

Alternate Directions each set. 10 Seconds of Work. 50 Seconds rest. 5 sets


In this movement you will also utilize the full length of the entire rope again. In case you have not noticed, we are keeping this battle rope workout very basic and have not incorporated two handed workouts. This will help familiarize you with generating effort through the battle rope while maintaining good form.  Hold one end of the battle rope in both hands with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders. You will be making the motion of a circle with your arms and your body will move with this. So as you reach the bottom of the circle, you will actually be going into a squatting motion and generate power on your way up. Explosive movement through the lower body. Keep your spine long. You are still trying to drive waves all the way down to the bottom of your anchor. 


All good battle rope workouts should end with a decompression or cool down session. Following an expertly created workout plan should help give you some ideas for the best ways to decompress. These will ensure you come back to your next workout ready for it. 


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The Battle Rope Beginner Workout 

 Source: Battle Rope Origins. Amazing started with a solid foundation. If you are looking to understand the basics of Battle Ropes, or you just want a really awesome training progression with something different, this 4 week progression is your answer. You can spend 4, 8, and even 12 weeks on this training progression if you are trying to master the 

More Battle Rope Workout Plans 

  • 23 Battle Rope Exercises to Burn Fat.  Every single person that has listened to my advice, and followed it, lost the unwanted weight, and every single person, gained an extraordinary amount of confidence, skill, and satisfaction from the process.  Don't have Battle Ropes? Try these substitute ideas!
  • Six Pack and Muscle Pump. Build your muscles and work towards a shredded, lean core. Come and drink your fill of this four to twelve week program again and again, and as long as your sleep, stress management, hydration, and nutrition is on point, you will reach your reward – Aesthetically pleasing abs and muscular definition.
  • Never Quit. This workout will be preceded by the Alva story, inspiring you to greatness by never quitting, and trying just one more time with your very best. Whether directly or indirectly, may this inspiration help you take steps forward, even if you fail. You will need this attitude and character strength as you train with the battle rope.

Battle Ropes for Sale

  • Battle Ropes for Sale
  • ANCHOR: Orders include portable anchor with carabiner and nylon strap to secure for workouts anywhere (pictured in product images)
  • LENGTH: All ropes are 50 feet in length. This is the ideal length as it allows you to move up and down the rope to make workouts more difficult or easier
  • SOURCED: by Master Battle Ropes Trainer Aaron Guyett for the highest quality
  • COMFORTABLE: Rubber grips on ends for better workouts
  • WARRANTY: 1 Year Warranty
  • BRAIDED ROPES: Our ropes are 100% braided poly dacron. This is more durable than triple strand twist ropes you see which are liable to come unraveled after repeated use. Braided ropes will last longer.

WORKOUTS AVAILABLE: We publish high quality and engaging battle rope workouts you can view here.

Helpful Resources:

  • Be alerted when we publish more like this to our blog here
  • Daily workout plans here
  • Fitness Equipment like battle ropes here
  • Free weekly battle rope written workouts here
  • Follow along with $1 video workouts here

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