Whether you've seen them at the gym, used them during a boot camp class, or have yet to swing these babies around, battle ropes are quite possibly one of the most badass pieces of workout equipment. And while they might appear to be an easy option to build muscle, you shouldn't let the fun appearance fool you.
Battle ropes are heavy-duty tools that are used to swing and slam on the ground in various ways. And don't be deceived — they work way more than just your arms. "Battle ropes are great because you have to engage your whole body," says Team USA Track & Field standout and 2016 Olympian Colleen Quigley, who regularly uses them in her training. "You're in a squat position and then you have to brace your core to keep from falling over, and then your shoulders and arms are working the ropes so you're really using your entire body." (Related: 5 Sets of Workout Sliders You Can Still Buy Online Right Now)
So why add battle ropes into your fitness routine? For starters, using battle ropes blends full-body resistance training with specific aspects of cardio. "The options for designing different movement patterns are endless when looking to improve your body composition," notes Ben Walker, personal trainer and owner of Anywhere Fitness. Another great reason is that they're portable and don't necessarily require you to have a home gym the size of a basement or two-car garage. They are compact enough to be used in your living room or can be easily tied to a tree in your backyard or a park. (Psst, these adjustable dumbbells are also good space-saving tools for working out at home.)
To get started, Walker recommends adding four or five battle rope exercises into your existing program. Consider exercises that work different heart rate zones, burn calories and fat, and range from low to high intensity. For example, a low-impact move would be a slow, repetitive arm thrust in a wave-like motion, while two-handed rope slams or arm thrusts are considered a mid-to-high impact battle rope exercise and will burn more energy. Walker also points out that you can easily and quickly alter intensity when using battle ropes, making them effective for interval training. And if you're on the hunt for an activity that will burn a LOT of calories, Walker says to look no further: "Battle rope exercises that have you working flat out over 30-45 seconds, burn an enormous amount of calories, and boost your metabolism for hours after exercise." (Related: This 8-Exercise Battle Rope Workout Is Beginner-Friendly—but Not Easy)
Just remember that proper form is crucial when using battle ropes (or any/no equipment, FTR). Keep your feet planted in a stable position with your abs engaged and lower back tucked during the workout to avoid any injuries, advises Walker. "Mobilize your hips side to side and strengthen the hip flexors," he adds. You also want to bend your knees, and you don't want to grip the ropes too hard or pull on them too tightly. Instead, give yourself some slack, which will create higher waves that generate more force.
If you've been missing using battle ropes at the gym or are simply ready to spice up your current fitness accessories, shop the 10 best battle ropes on Amazon below.
Don't be afraid to go all out with this battle rope. The nylon casing protects the rope, ups the durability, and makes it an investment that will last years. The handles have a form-fitting, grippy texture that protects your hands from chafing, and the included anchors allow you to secure to a wall, whether in your basement or garage. Select from five options of varying lengths and thickness — 30 feet, 40 feet, and 50 feet length with 1.5-inch or 2-inch thickness — depending on your space and needs.
One fan shared, "Phenomenal battle ropes! I installed these ropes in my garage gym and they get used daily. Most ropes don't come with the outer sleeve which is a disappointment. The sleeve will extend the life of the ropes drastically and prevent them from snagging on concrete burrs or wearing prematurely. I also love the form-fitted handles, they are easy to grab and allow for a multitude of positions. You will love these as much as I do."
No garage, no problem. Here is a pick made for people with only a small amount of space to train in. Traditional battle ropes, like those you've likely seen at a gym or studio, need about 20 feet of space, but with this battle rope, you only need about 6 feet. No anchoring is involved which frees you up physically in terms of the variety of strength and cardio exercises you can perform to challenge your whole body. Plus, the 15-pound rope (which is 1.5 inches thick and 20 feet long — half the length of other ropes on the market) is very easy to store and transport.
"Love this rope — I use it a few times a week or more if it's cold out," shared a customer. "Really gets the heart rate going and is a decent alternative to running in cold weather. It fits in a very small 6-ft area on my workout mat. I used a sandbag to keep the mat from moving and you could put a sandbag on the rope to anchor it. The only thing I would change is a way to add more resistance for when I advance to a level when it's too easy. Luckily I'm not there yet."
You can't go wrong with Amazon's Choice for "battle ropes for home gym." The heavy ropes are covered with high-quality nylon to protect them from damage and stains, and the extra-long handles provide a solid grip for a stronger strike. Installation is quick and painless, and reviewers noted that these ropes are even great for travel. Pick from six available sizes (30 feet, 40 feet, and 50 feet lengths with 1.5-inch or 2-inch thicknesses) to accommodate your skill level. (Related: The Badass Piece of Workout Equipment Khloé Kardashian Swears By)
"This rope is the real deal in every sense of the word," said a shopper. "It is thick but not huge and it's just the right weight for a great workout. The other thing that I like about it is that this rope has an outer tough nylon cover that encases the entire rope (not the handles) and the price is astounding when compared to most other ropes and yet the quality is not comprised at all. I just want to say that if you are looking for a great training rope or new to rope workouts this is a very easy call. The rope also has two anchor systems; one is a permanent mounted wall anchor and the other is portable for the people who want to use on the go like vacation or business travel."
This battle rope weighs just more than 15 pounds, is 1.5-inches in diameter, and 30 feet in length, making it a great option for the beginner and serious fitness enthusiast, alike. They are super tightly woven (so they won't fray or shed) and you can purchase the ropes naked — and save a few bucks — or buy them with a protective sleeve covering if you want to take into consideration eventual wear and tear. They have 7.5-inch comfortable, coated handles that won't leave you with calluses (well, maybe), and the ropes come with an anchor kit for easy setup.
One reviewer wrote: "These ropes are like rocket fuel for my muscles. I can really feel the burn in my abs and arms after a couple of sessions. I like to do circle waves and side plank waves which really helps work my core. It comes with an anchor kit, but I didn't want to drill a hole in the wall to use it and I have found that wrapping it in the handle of a kettlebell helps keep it in place to do my exercises. What I like about these ropes is that the weave is really tight and compact. I've used different battle ropes before where it felt like I was creating a small haystack in the basement because it was shedding so many fibers. This one has no shedding at all and keeps my basement clean even after long periods of use."
Master dynamic movements with this highly-rated battle rope. If you are in search of a certain combination of diameter and length, this style has eight to choose from, ranging from 30-50 feet in length and 1.5-2.5 inches thick. No need to fret about fraying since this rope is encased in a protective covering, and it comes with coated handles to prevent irritation to your palms. And reinforced anchor straps and a stainless steel carabiner create a safe and secure setup.
"Would highly recommend these ropes for anybody," said a fan. "They make a great low-impact workout and yet work out core really strongly. Ordered 2" first but that was too difficult for my 11-yr old son. Downgraded to 1.5" even he now enjoys working out using these ropes, it helps him with basketball practice. The handles are pretty strong. Strap kit is attached to the legs of a couch in the garage and works really well. The cover on the cable definitely helps with protecting the rope and the floor."
If you don't want to put holes in your wall or simply don't have room for a standard battle rope, this free-flowing training rope is for you. The tough heavy-duty twisted rope can be used for climbing or pulling exercises, and is also great to use with a partner for a competitive game of tug of war. The affordable price tag makes this a no-brainer. (Related: 7 Heavy Rope Exercises to Slam, Strengthen, and Sculpt)
"The rope is great! But the next one I buy will be 50ft. The shorter rope is lighter, so you have to adjust your stamina, for faster movements. I tend to tire faster. But it was worth the cash, & I would buy it again! It did not fray on the basketball poles I attach it to," reported a customer.
This under-$50 weighted rope will still allow you to channel your inner beast mode and accomplish a full-body workout, building stronger abs, shoulders, legs, and arms. It weighs 15 pounds, is 30 feet long, and features ergonomically designed handles to prevent hands from slipping and losing control. Reviewers also love how it holds up even after months of regular use.
"Provides a fun and challenging workouts. Being female I'm glad I went with this size and not a larger one which was actually something recommended by someone in the questions section. Versatile piece of exercise equipment that lets you add a little or a lot of challenge depending on how you want to vary your workout that day," noted a shopper.
Try burpee slams or single arm plank waves with this durable rope. It comes in three lengths and two diameters to accommodate users of all fitness levels, and it boasts a protective sleeve and no-slip handles that'll help you keep your grip even when you're dripping in sweat. It's easy to install, and comes with an anchor kit and convenient storage bag, so you can take this to a park, beach, or meet up with a workout buddy.
One reviewer wrote: "This rope was all I wanted for my high-intensity workouts. I bought a 1.5 inch, 30-ft option for my indoor use and later a 2 inch, 50-ft rope for outdoor use when I am feeling like pumping the muscle to the core. These ropes are super sturdy, durable, and stay clear of any visible damage even after heavy use thanks to the protective sheath it has all around the core of the rope. It comes with all accessories you need like the anchor and screws, which I don't use as I haven't fixed any particular place to do this workout. I use a pair of 40lb dumbbells to hook the rope (the 1.5" 30ft rope) with the clips and it works fine for indoor use. For outdoors, I use any available pole/post (say basketball/lamp post) for the big 50-ft one as it can literally make your dumbbell fly if you hook onto it."
Available in red and black or yellow and black, these battle ropes scream quality. The eight-strand-thick design is indestructible, the waterproof sleeve offers additional protection for outdoor usage, and the coated handles provide better grip, so you can master moves like Russian twist slams with greater ease. (Related: The 8 Best Kettlebells for Strength Training at Home, According to Thousands of Reviews)
"These ropes are perfect," raved a shopper. "Literally perfect. I own a personal training studio and have used a few brands before these. Their flexibility is spot on for every movement you might do with battling ropes. Mine are brand new, so I can't speak of longevity but I imagine, especially with the sleeve protection, they'll be around for a while."
This option was designed with battle rope beginners in mind. An included workout poster illustrates step-by-step instructions for 30 different moves from trainers. Keep these instructions front and center when you exercise, so you can get the full experience of this explosive workout. The rope itself is strong and won't fray and has reinforced handles to keep hands from sliding. Use heavy sandbags to keep the rope secure, or keep it stable by using the anchor set.
"I am by no means a person that works out," shared a customer. "I've always been active playing sports but that was my physical fitness. I recently moved and started working from home and my active lifestyle continued to decline. I always go to Amazon first and looked through all their workout equipment and these battle ropes just stood out to me. I made the purchase and could not be happier. I purchased the 30-foot rope and it comes with a complete packet of images of what types of workouts you can do and even set up a routine. Day 1 I realized I made a great purchase because I looked forward to doing them. Day 2 my body was begging me not to because of how great of a workout it was the day before but still I looked forward to doing them. Highly recommend!"