Battle Ropes May Be The Cardio Move You've Been Looking For To Change Up Your Workout

From weightlifting to running on the treadmill, rowing machines to kettlebells, there's heaps of equipment you may not have had the chance to use during your workout. Change is always good, and if you exercise every day, you could be getting bored with your workouts. If so, why not try battle ropes? There are many benefits of using battle ropes. Firstly, they won't place any extra strain on your lower body if you are injured because they require mostly arm and core strength. 

What's more, studies like this one from 2018 have shown that using battle ropes for just 10 minutes at a time can significantly increase your cardiorespiratory fitness due to the fact it gets your heart rate up quickly. Finally, per another 2018 study, battle rope exercises were shown to improve "multiple physical fitness dimensions and shooting accuracy" in a group of college basketball players, meaning using them could help make your overall endurance level and physical fitness better.

Here's all you need to know about battle ropes alongside some exercises to try next time you hit the gym if you're curious. 

Battle ropes could be your new go-to exercise

As with any exercise, there are a few things you should know before going full throttle with battle ropes. Speaking to Men's Health, creator of the original battle ropes system John Brookfield shared his best tips for getting the most out of them. When it comes to moving the ropes, Brookfield advises using "different motions to work different muscles and skills." Utilizing various parts of your body will deliver different results. 

If you want to build a strong core, for instance, moving the battle ropes from side to side will help you achieve this. Want strong and toned arms? Battle rope circles should be your focus. However, it's always best to focus on a range of motions to build a balanced body. The other thing about battle ropes is that they're pretty versatile. You can use them as a warm-up, as the last exercise in your routine, or as one exercise in a circuit involving many different moves. 

According to Brookfield, they can also be used by themselves for a pretty good workout session. Brookfield additionally pointed out that sticking to battle ropes could be even better for you. "Doing one task for extended periods teaches your mind to focus and helps your body flush lactic acid," he pointed out.

Get started with these battle ropes routines

There are several different exercises you can do with battle ropes, but the following are the best workouts for your first time using them. Remember to always take breaks when you feel you need them, though ideally, your heart rate should remain elevated in-between sets. To start, bilateral waves. Grab a rope in each hand and place your feet hip-width apart, bending slightly as you do so you're in a half-squat position. 

You should also ensure your core is tight and your shoulders are back so you don't get a hunched neck and risk being injured. Raise both ropes up to slightly below your shoulders and then immediately back down to create a wave-like motion. Repeat this motion in quick succession for 30 seconds, taking a short break in-between reps. Aim to do three to four, 30-second sets total.

Next, arm circles. With your feet hip-width apart, hold a rope firmly in each hand with your palms facing downwards. Your arms should be out, but make sure that your elbows remain close to your ribcage. As always, keep your core tight for better stability. Circle your arms inwards thrice then outwards for the same amount of time, repeating the exercise until 30 seconds is up. Again, aim for three to four sets (and feel the burn).