Hit the ropes!
You may have noticed them at your gym but feel a little intimidated by them, but don’t be! Battle ropes are not just for the hard-core gym goer, they can be used and benefited by everyone at all fitness levels. Not only will using the ropes help to strengthen your front deltoids (front shoulders) they are a great cardio variable too! So, read on for a few tips and variations.
Before I explain a few different ways on how you can use the ropes, be aware of the correct form. Ropes, if used incorrectly, can cause forearm strains. In order to prevent this, make sure that wrists are fixed tight and not flapping around or bending. It is also important to protect your lower back from becoming pulled by the momentum. To prevent this ensure that you have a bend in the knees, a straight back with your core held and engaged. Also, don’t forget to breathe…ok, I know this sounds obvious but it is amazing how focusing on deep breaths whilst carrying out this exercise can enhance your performance.
If you haven’t got a lot of upper body strength yet, then you can simply shorten the length of the ropes to make lifting and slamming them a little easier. Alternatively, you can hold one rope with both hands and work your way up to holding two.
Moving up a level
If your strength has improved but you find alternating the arms too hard still, then you can always slam both ropes down at the same time. However, if you do find that you can alternate the rope slams be sure to put equal force in both shoulders, as we normally have a dominant side that likes to take over, so just be aware of that.
The possibilities are endless
Not only are ropes suitable for all fitness and strength levels, as I have just pointed out, once you have grasped the basics you can make this exercise even harder or play around with timings to suit your needs. You can make these more physically challenging by adding in a burpee after each double rope slam. You might want to use the ropes as part of HIIT (high intensity interval training) for a great fat burn, as part of a superset for hypertrophy focused goals, as part of a circuit for strength and conditioning, or just simply focus on strength and power by slamming the ropes as hard as you can for fewer reps.
Whatever your fitness level or goal, hopefully this blog has encouraged you to give these ropes a go!