10 Battle Rope Exercises to Build Endurance for Athletes

Battle rope exercises are one of the easiest ways to quickly improve conditioning while also developing strength, especially in the core and shoulders.

Battle rope exercises are one of the easiest ways to quickly improve conditioning while also developing strength, especially in the core and shoulders.

Repeatedly swinging the ropes in various patterns elevates the heart rate and forces the core to maintain rigidity and stability. This teaches you to tighten your core while your limbs are moving on the field while also  challenging  your fatigue.

Battle ropes are versatile and they come in different diameters and lengths to allow you to focus either on muscle endurance and conditioning or strength and power. Try these 10 battle rope exercises at your next workout to help increase your athletic performance.

1. Battle Rope Slams

Battle Rope Slams help build explosive power and strength. They are ideal for sports such as football, basketball and track, which require quick bursts of strength and power. They should be performed at the beginning of your workout, because they require maximum muscle recruitment and technique.

How to Perform:

  1. Anchor a 50-foot, 2-inch-diameter rope.
  2. Stand with feet hip-width apart and grasp the ends of the rope in each hand.
  3. Bring both arms up overhead and then forcefully slam the ropes down into the ground while lowering into a high squat position.
  4. Straighten up to return to standing and repeat.
  5. Perform 3x20 seconds.

2. Battle Rope Rotational Slams

Similar to Overhead Slams, Rotational Slams increase strength and power, but they add rotation, which builds strength in your obliques and transverse abdominal muscles. They help with the transfer of power, similar to in-game movements such as blocking an opponent while moving laterally in football. They should be performed at the beginning of your workout, because they require maximum muscle recruitment and technique.

How to Perform:

  1. Anchor a 50-foot, 2-inch-diameter rope.
  2. Face the anchor with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
  3. Grab the ends of the rope with your palms facing in.
  4. Brace your core and hold the rope on the left side of your body.
  5. Raise your arms up overhead and explosively slam the ropes down to the right of your body.
  6. Repeat to the other side.
  7. Perform 3x10 on each side.

3. Battle Rope Jump Lunge Slams

Battle Rope Jump Lunge Slams build explosive power in the legs and help develop jumping ability. They should be performed at the beginning of your workout, because they require maximum muscle recruitment and technique.

How to Perform:

  1. Anchor a 50-foot, 2-inch-diameter rope.
  2. Grab the ends of the rope with your palms facing in.
  3. Step your right leg back into a Reverse Lunge and jump up, switching legs so that you land with your left leg back.
  4. Continue alternating, making sure to keep good form and to get into a deep lunge.
  5. Keep your head and chest up throughout the movement.
  6. Perform 3x5 on each leg.

4. Battle Rope Alternating Waves

Battle Rope Alternating Waves focus on muscular endurance and conditioning. They should be performed quickly for a longer period of time to help build quick hands and activate your fast twitch muscles.

How to Perform:

  1. Anchor a 40-foot, 1.5-inch-diameter rope.
  2. Grab the ends of the rope with your palms facing in.
  3. Stand facing the anchor with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
  4. Raise one arm to shoulder level, then quickly lower it back to start while simultaneously raising your other arm to shoulder level.
  5. Keep your elbows tight to your sides and your core tight.
  6. Continue alternating as quickly as you can without losing form.
  7. Perform 3x30 seconds.

5. Battle Rope Single-Leg Alternating Waves on BOSU Ball

By adding a BOSU ball and standing on one leg, you add stability and balance to the exercise. This makes the movement harder, requires more core strength and helps you focus on proper form.

How to Perform:

  1. Anchor a 40-foot, 1.5-inch-diameter rope.
  2. Grab the ends of the rope with your palms facing in.
  3. Stand facing the anchor with one foot on the flat side of the BOSU ball and your knee slightly bent.
  4. Raise one arm to shoulder level, then quickly lower it back to start while simultaneously raising your other arm to shoulder level.
  5. Make sure to keep your elbows tight to your sides and your core tight.
  6. Continue alternating as quickly as you can without losing form.
  7. Perform 3x15 seconds on each leg.

6. Battle Rope Claps

Battle Rope Claps also focus on muscle endurance. They should be performed quickly for an extended period of time. This exercise targets your biceps, anterior deltoids, chest and core.

How to Perform:

  1. Anchor a 40-foot, 1.5-inch-diameter rope.
  2. Grab the ends of the rope with your palms facing in.
  3. Stand facing the anchor with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
  4. Externally rotate your shoulders and bring the rope in each hand out away from each other.
  5. Quickly internally rotate your shoulders and bring the rope in each hand in toward each other.
  6. Keep your elbows tight to your sides and your core tight.
  7. Continue alternating in and out as quickly as you can without losing form.
  8. Perform 3x30 seconds.

7. Battle Rope Circles

Similar to the Battle Rope Claps, Battle Rope Circles focus on the internal and external rotation of your shoulders, helping to build deltoid and forearm strength. This movement should be performed quickly to increase muscular endurance.

How to Perform:

  1. Anchor a 40-foot, 1.5-inch-diameter rope.
  2. Grab the ends of the rope with your palms facing in.
  3. Stand facing the anchor with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
  4. Externally rotate your shoulders, moving the rope in circles out away from each other.
  5. Then internally rotate your shoulders, moving the rope in circles in toward each other.
  6. Keep your elbows tight to your sides and your core tight.
  7. Perform 3x15 seconds in each direction.

8. Battle Rope Weight Plate/Dumbbell Pulls

This exercise focuses on pulling power and strength and also increases grip strength.

How to Perform:

  1. Anchor a 50-foot, 2-inch-diameter rope around a weight plate or dumbbell.
  2. Grab the ends of the rope with your palms facing in.
  3. Stand facing the anchor with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
  4. Pull the rope forward toward you, alternating hands quickly.
  5. Brace your core and keep your head and chest up, as if you were performing Bent-Over Rows.
  6. Keep pulling the weight until it reaches your feet. That's one set.
  7. Perform three sets.

9. Battle Rope Plank Single Arm Waves

Planks are a great exercises for building core strength through isometric holds. The Battle Rope Wave adds a resistance movement, requiring more core activation to stabilize the body while moving the rope.

How to Perform:

  1. Anchor a 40-foot, 1.5-inch-diameter rope.
  2. Get into a standard plank position with your head facing the anchor.
  3. Grab the ends of the rope with one hand with your palm facing in.
  4. Quickly lift the rope up and down creating a wave similar to Battle Rope Waves.
  5. Do not over-rotate your body to lift the rope.
  6. Keep your core tight and do not hike your hips or let them sag.
  7. Perform 3x15 seconds with each hand.

10. Battle Rope Side Plank Single Arm Waves

This exercise is performed on your side to change the angle of resistance and target the obliques and transverse abdominal muscles.

How to Perform:

  1. Anchor a 40-foot, 1.5-inch-diameter rope.
  2. Get into a standard side plank position with the front of your body facing the anchor.
  3. Grab the ends of the rope with your left hand with your palm facing in.
  4. Quickly lift the rope up and down creating a wave similar to the Battle Rope Waves.
  5. Do not over-rotate your body to lift the rope.
  6. Keep your core tight and do not hike your hips or let them sag.
  7. Perform 3x15 seconds on each side.

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Topics: BATTLE ROPES