Functional training is all the rage at the moment and battle ropes, along with kettlebells, are leading the unconventional training movement in gyms across the country.

Onnit Battle Ropes

Using battle ropes improves strength and endurance by engaging the muscles of the entire body including the hands, forearms, shoulders, back, legs, abs, and core.

Using battle ropes improves strength and endurance by engaging the muscles of the entire body including the hands, forearms, shoulders, back, legs, abs, and core.

Once only thought of as a conditioning tool for elite athletes in high-performance centers, they’re now appearing in gyms across the country.

Although battle ropes offer a broad range of physical benefits, trainees face a lack of guidance on how to correctly program battle ropes workouts.

The following tips on setting up your battle ropes will provide you with a complete training regimen that goes beyond conditioning and gives you enough variations to keep your workouts fresh.

#1. Setting Up Your Battle Rope Anchor for Testing

Battle ropes are most commonly implemented for conditioning purposes.  Many trainees simply wrap them around a pole or tree and begin wave exercises.

When programming your workouts, it’s always a wise choice to include some measure or “test” to gauge your progress. This may be accomplished by simply counting the number of waves done within a given time frame, but this seems incredibly tedious and is very unrealistic.

A great battle ropes conditioning test involves wrapping the ropes around the squat rack and using the safety bar as a measuring point.

Count the number of times the ropes hit the safety bar or “rings the bell.” This conditioning test is an adequate benchmark in tracking your progress.

#2. Setting Up Your Battle Rope Anchor for Climbing

Athletes looking to increase upper body endurance can utilize battle ropes as a climbing tool. When attempting to use a climbing rope, you were limited to gyms with high ceilings.

Using battle ropes, all you need is a squat rack or a sturdy tree branch to integrate several pull-up and climbing techniques. Refer to the video at the beginning of the article to create a double loop climbing system to perform single rope climbs, L-sits or countless other pull up variations.

#3. Setting Up Your Battle Rope Anchor for Grip Strength

Few trainers realize the potential of battle ropes for grip and strength work.  Grab a heavy kettlebell and thread either end of the rope through the handle. Using the rope as a handle, as opposed to the kettlebell, further, develops functional grip strength.

This modification can be used for heavy rows, curls, or triceps extensions; allowing you to add or reduce the weight to your comfort level. This technique develops max effort strength and explosive power employing unconventional methods.

With a little imagination, the strength training programming possibilities are limitless!

#4. Setting Up Your Battle Rope Anchor for Dragging & Pulling Exercises

Dragging and pulling exercises are extremely useful for improving conditioning, developing strength and building explosive power. Typically associated with sled work, dragging and pulling implements can be applied using battle ropes and a few kettlebells.

To forge your “sled,”  place one end of the rope through the handles of the kettlebells leaving enough slack to create a knot. Using this simple knot you’ve effectively created a powerful dragging and pulling instrument.

#5. Setting Up Your Battle Rope Anchor on the Go

One of the many benefits of incorporating battle ropes into your training is versatility. Let’s say you lack a post or tree to bind your ropes around. If you have a kettlebell and multiple sandbags you can produce a battle ropes station on the fly!

Place one end of the line through the kettlebell’s handle, much like you would around a squat rack, lay the kettlebell down, place some sandbags or steelbells on top as a weight and you’re ready to go!