Don't be intimidated by those giant ropes at the gym. This circuit workout will take you from rookie to pro with just eight simple strength training moves
Wondering what to do with those heavy ropes at the gym? Luckily, you're not in Phys. Ed., so you don't have to climb them, but don't just walk right past the battle ropes just because you aren't sure how to use them. You could be missing out on some major body benefits (in fact, using battle ropes is among The Best Metabolism-Revving Strength Moves, According to Science). One study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that 30-second bursts of activity using battle ropes followed by one-minute rest intervals are the best way to maximize your cardio and stoke your metabolism. Exercisers who did eight sets of these work-rest intervals burned up to nine calories a minute.
Ready to throw it down? Justin Flexen, group fitness director at Crunch, designed these battle rope exercises for the ultimate fat burning workout, and we got Beth Lewis, trainer at Soho Strength Lab and lead instructor at City Row, to show you how to perform each move so you can feel comfortable and confident picking up a set of battle ropes next time you hit the gym.
Perform each move for 30 seconds then rest for one minute. Repeat the circuit three times, and you'll get an awesome workout that's not only quicker than your usual hour-long gym session but way more fun!
Start with feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward and knees slightly bent. Grip the ropes with palms facing the floor and move both arms at the same time up, then down, using your full range of motion. Keep a brisk pace.
Single-Arm Wave with Squat
With feet hip-width apart and toes pointing forward, sit into a deep squat, thighs parallel to the floor. Grip the ropes with palms facing the floor. Maintain the squat position as you move each arm one at a time, making two waves up, then two waves down.
Single-Arm Wave with Jump Squat
From a deep squat position, start single arm waves. Jump into the air, landing softly back into a squat position. Continue jumping while moving arms.
Reverse-Grip Wave with Lunge
Start with feet together. Grip the ropes with palms facing up, keeping elbows close to rib cage. Begin single arm waves, then step the left leg back into a lunge. Step feet together and lunge on the left leg with arms still moving. Continue alternating while moving arms.
Grip the ropes with palms facing inward, keeping hands close together. Move ropes from right hip up and over in a rainbow shape towards left hip. Focus on keeping torso upright and abs engaged.
Double-Arm Wave with Burpee
Start in a deep squat position. Do three quick double-arm waves, then drop the ropes and jump into a push-up position. Complete one push-up before jumping back up and grabbing the ropes.
Grip the ropes with palms facing the floor, arms extended, keeping elbows close to rib cage. Circle arms inward three times, then outward three times.
Start in a deep squat position. Grip the ropes with palms facing inward and bring them up overhead before slamming the ropes to the ground in one powerful motion. Focus on keeping chest upright.