BATTLE ROPES HAVE several things going for them. They train cardiovascular capacity, muscles big and small, and balance.
Plus, they’re almost injury-proof and hard to do incorrectly—if you’re moving, it’s working. “One guideline: The ropes should make nice waves or circles when you’re swinging,” says Cliff Robertson, a trainer at Performance Lab by The Wright Fit in New York City. (The gym with a killer roof to work out on, as you’ll see.)
Robertson put together the moves on the following pages, sorted by skill. When choosing exercises, pull from all three of the categories. You can also superset battle rope intervals into a weights workout, switching between dumbbell presses, sled push/pulls, and kettlebell swings.
The first few times you battle the ropes, the force generated may wane in the final set. As you progress, try to maintain intensity for longer.
One more selling point? It’s so fun, you won’t realize that you’re totally out of gas until the end.
Pick 6 to 8 moves. Do each for the time prescribed in each grouping. Go through the circuit 3 times. Can also be used as a conditioning finisher—8 moves: 15 seconds on, 15 seconds off.