Expert battle rope moves for a full-body workout


Man working out with battle ropes in gym

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Add a battle rope workout to your fitness repertoire and you'll see big results in a short period of time and have fun in the process ... really!

These heavy ropes give you a full-body, low-impact workout — increasing your muscular endurance and strength and building up some serious cardiovascular conditioning. The key is to make sure the core is staying stable, keeping the spine in line while moving your extremities.

Pro-athlete and Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute trainer, Adam Friedman, shares the following five battle rope workouts you can try at the gym.

Double wave

Start by standing in a half-squat position with your spine straight and your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed forward. Take one rope in each hand and move your arms up and down together to create a wave in the ropes.

You should keep your body stable, according to Friedman, focusing on an even tempo as if you're beating a drum. This will work your forearms and shoulders as well as your core.

Alternating wave


This one is similar to the double wave in both start position and execution, but instead of moving your arms together, move one up while moving the other one down, and then switch. "The waves can be small if the arms are pumping faster or bigger to work the shoulders a little bit more," Friedman says. The offset rhythm works different stability muscles in your core than those worked by the double wave. This one also emphasizes your arms and shoulders, with the benefit of being a full-body workout as well.

Chop and lift

You start in a half-squat position, holding one rope in each hand pulled nearly taut. Bring the ropes above your head, then slam them down to the ground on your right side and release. Lift them back up, pausing for the briefest moment to ensure a straight spine, then slam them down to the ground on your left.

Friedman says to move your toes directionally, mimicking the direction of the ropes. This move is especially good for your core, working the external abdominal oblique muscles in addition to your arms and shoulders.

Double dutch


Remember double dutch when you were a kid? Well, this is double dutch for adults. Take one rope in each hand and make circles, so your right arm goes counterclockwise and your left goes clockwise.

After each set, switch the direction in which you move your arms.

This one will work your forearms in addition to your shoulders and core.

Double wave with alternating step-back lunge


This is the most advanced move, combining the double wave with a second exercise. Your arms do the double wave, but instead of keeping your feet still, step back with your right foot and bring your knee to the ground. Rise and return your right foot to its original position, then repeat the sequence with your left leg.

"Your whole body is going down and up while your arms are moving up and down," Friedman says. "You're combining the upper and lower body."

A total-body workout indeed, one that works the quads while it tones the arms, shoulders and core.