3 Killer Battle Rope Exercises 

Man doing battle rope exercise.

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Are you ready to torch your upper body and build endurance? A set of battle ropes should do the trick. This essential piece of equipment offers a total body workout — as long as you know how to use them, that is. 

Sure, it might seem easy to swing ropes around, but you’d be surprised just how challenging lifting and moving them can be, especially for more than a few seconds. Give these killer battle rope exercises a try and you’ll see firsthand just how difficult — and rewarding — they really are. 

1. Lying T

If you’re familiar with battle ropes, you’ve probably heard of the biceps wave. But have you tried the lying T? This quintessential battle rope exercise is one that every man should know. Yet, it doesn’t get nearly as much attention as most other battle rope exercises. Perhaps it’s because it puts you in a rather awkward position. Even so, it’s highly effective at building upper body strength, so it’s worth adding to your arsenal. 

Lie face-down on the ground with your arms spread out in a T with a rope in each hand. Then, raise and lower your arms parallel to the floor as fast as you can. Keep your forehead pressed to the floor to maintain a straight spine and proper form. You should feel the burn in your shoulders and back after just a few seconds, but keep going for 30 to really reap the benefits. 

2. Outside Spiral 

The outside spiral is a dynamic and, dare we say, fun way to work your shoulders and rotator cuffs. Plus, you can easily practice different variations depending on your personal abilities and skill level. Just starting out? Try this move on your knees and make small, controlled spirals, one arm at a time. Take things up a notch by standing up, making bigger circles with both arms, switching directions and focusing on core engagement. 

Take a rope in each hand and stand up straight. Bring your arms to just below chest height and make clockwise circles with each one. If you’re working both arms at once, alternate spirals so the ropes don’t smack in the middle. Go for 20 to 30 seconds before switching direction or dropping to a half-squat. 

3. Jumping Slam 

If you’re looking for full-body battle rope exercises to blast fat and boost endurance, the jumping slam is the total package. This exercise is dynamic and powerful, so it’ll push you to fatigue quickly. Integrate it into a great high-intensity interval training session to burn more calories and train your body to endure more reps. 

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grasp a rope in each hand. Relax your arms at your sides and lower into a quarter squat. Then, in one powerful motion, explode into the air and bring the ropes over your head. Bring the ropes down hard to create a wave and return to your squat position. That’s one rep. Now do 11 more and see how you feel. Do three to five sets if you can handle the burn. 

Battling It Out at Home

Some gyms already come equipped with battle ropes. However, if yours lacks the necessary equipment — or someone’s always hogging them — simply invest in your own set. Battle it out at home with tough poly dacron rope that’s fray-resistant and specially made for hot, sweaty sessions. Some even come with heat-shrink caps for superior grip and an anchor to secure them to the floor or wall. You can crush these battle rope exercises wherever you have the space!

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