Increase Your Explosiveness on the Field: Battle Rope Lunge Switches

Football players: Gain a competitive edge this summer with Battle Rope Lunge Switches, an exercise that will increase your explosive strength and speed.

The Battle Rope Lunge Switch exercise is excellent for football athletes looking to gain a competitive edge.

Combining a plyometric movement with an upper-body and core explosive strength exercise, the Battle Rope Lunge Switch can increase your sprint speed and explosiveness, vertical jump, and overall strength and power. (Is it specific to your position? See Position-Specific Football Training.)

The Battle Rope Lunge Switch is a total-body exercise, so it mimics how you use your body on the field. To get the most out of your training, explosive total-body exercises are a must.

Besides making you faster and more explosive, benefits of the Battle Rope Lunge Switch include:

  • Coordination
  • Functional movement
  • Increased upper-back and shoulder strength
  • Grip strength
  • Core activation
  • Hip stability
  • Leg strength
  • Works the biceps (who needs "curls for the girls" when we have something much better?)

How to

  • Perform three to five sets of six to 10 Lunge Switches (three to five per leg) at the same time as you perform a double whip action with the ropes, switching legs during the "upward" phase.
  • Beginners should start with fewer reps. Aim for three to four per leg, stopping when form diminishes.
  • Advanced athletes should perform ten reps (five per leg). There is no need to do more repetitions.
  • Remember, you are training for power, not aerobic conditioning. And power requires short bouts of explosive activity, just like you need on the field.

Combo Sets

You can do this exercise alone (with 30 to 40 seconds rest between sets) or in combination with another exercise or series of exercises.

In the video above, we're doing Battle Rope Lunge Switches as part of a sequence training set that ends with a 10-yard Sled Drive, meant to further increase sprinting power and speed. This combination increases neurological activation and recruitment of motor units along with type II (explosive, fast twitch) muscle fibers. If you do not understand what this means, all you need to know is that this is the "stuff" that makes you a faster, more powerful and more explosive football player.

Coaching Points

  • Keep knees over toes (do not let them collapse inward)
  • Engage your core (think "tall and strong")
  • Maintain a flat back
  • Keep shoulders pulled back (think "proud chest")
  • Maintain neutral head position

Want more Battle Rope exercises? 

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock