Paralell Rope Blast Workouts

If you’re looking for a novel way to amp up your workouts — and your physique — here’s what you should know about a growing fitness trend called battle ropes. This workout not only builds stamina, but is KILLER way to end your workout with a burn to shock your muscles.

Sometimes referred to as “power ropes” or “combat ropes,” battle ropes can be anywhere from about 20 to 100 feet in length, made of natural or artificial fiber, and weigh from 20 to 75 pounds, depending on the rope length and diameter (on average 1.5 to 2 inches). “The longer and thicker the rope, the more of a challenge it poses,” explains Antonio Reyes, an NASM-certified trainer at UFC Gym in Torrance, California.

Because of their size, these aren’t ropes you can pick up at any local Home Depot, but many fitness centers now stock their own, and numerous equipment manufacturers offer more affordable versions for personal use.

While a spectator or dyed-in-the-wool “I use nothin’ but free weights” type might scoff at its potency, rope training is far from a walk in the park. “When using battle ropes, you train multiple muscle groups in all three planes of motion — sagittal, transverse and frontal,” says Reyes. “This not only gives you a great conditioning effect but it also improves strength, coordination and endurance.” Simple point: Your game — no matter what it is — improves significantly.

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Rope Bonus

Battle ropes jack up your heart rate in minimal time, making rope training an unparalleled fat-burning activity. “The ropes give you a great interval-training workout, which every ounce of research indicates is the best way to optimize calorie burn, fat burn and heart health,” states Jim Karas, celebrity trainer to Hugh Jackman and others, and author of The Petite Advantage Diet (HarperOne, 2011). Due to their weight and the instability caused when you swing ropes — which forces you to engage your muscles in response — rope training also increases lean muscle mass, which in turn contributes to an increase in metabolism and fat loss.

We provide three level-appropriate workouts, or you can freestyle your session by choosing 4–5 moves and arranging them in a circuit. Battle the ropes up to three days per week and you’ll be combat-ready in no time!

Beginner

Do each move in order, then repeat once or twice.

Exercise
Alternating Waves
Sidewinders
Double Waves
In-and-Out Waves

Work Time
30 seconds
30 seconds
30 seconds
30 seconds

Rest Time
30-60 seconds
30-60 seconds
30-60 seconds
30-60 seconds

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Intermediate

Follow the order of exercises, and repeat 2–3 times.

Exercise
Double Waves
Double-Rope Slams
Double In-and-Out Loops
Figure Eights
Alternating Waves

Work Time
45 seconds
45 seconds
45 seconds
45 seconds
45 seconds

Rest Time
30-45 seconds
30-45 seconds
30-45 seconds
30-45 seconds
30-45 seconds

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Advanced

Do these five moves and repeat three times.

Exercise
Double/Alt. Walking Waves
Double-Rope Slams
Rope Jacks
Figure Eights
Reverse-Lunge Alt. Waves

Work Time
45-60 seconds
45-60 seconds
45-60 seconds
45-60 seconds
45-60 seconds

Rest Time
30 seconds
30 seconds
30 seconds
30 seconds
30 seconds

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Set Up Your Ropes
Choose a space that provides plenty of room on all sides to perform the movements.
Secure the center of the rope around a strong fixed point, such as the base of a Smith machine or through a heavy kettlebell, or around a tree trunk or fencepost.
Make sure the rope is of equal length on each side before starting the exercises.
Face the ropes, hold an end in each hand, and walk backward until the ropes are straight.
Stand with your feet hip width apart or slightly wider, with your weight distributed evenly between your feet.
Descend into a quarter squat and lean slightly forward with your chest up.
Keep your back flat, your head up and your abs tight as you perform the moves.
Use a full range of motion with each rep, making sure the wave goes all the way from your hand to the other end of the rope.

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