6 Battling Ropes Exercises To Tone Your Upper Body

Recent years saw a rise in modern methods of training as gyms and fitness clubs gained ground. Different types of weight lifting workouts became a normally accepted fitness standard to achieve that perfect swollen body leaving behind rudimentary training techniques which are synonymous to human instincts. Though technological based equipment and workouts whose results can easily be traced are pretty much the norm, fitness experts have also come to realize the importance of simple, everyday training techniques such as battling ropes that target body strength and help acquire leaner physiques.

Ropes have been there since the start of human civilization. So have been the battles. Combine them together and you get a basic workout that helps you achieve phenomenal strength.

They are extremely useful for guys who look to get heavy in the upper body and core without having to pick heavy weight. This is because the ropes are able to infuse tension and force from all angles on the muscles, which normal weight training methods fail to do so.

Which Rope Should You Get?

This old-school piece of gear is readily available in every fitness store, as they are slowly making their comeback as an all-gain workout for muscle aficionados. Choose nylon ropes with rubber ends, as it makes it easier to hold the rope even when your palms get sweaty. But if you want to get a feel of a raw workout, then go for a 50 feet long nylon or manila rope with 2 inches thickness you’re your nearest hardware store.

Types Of Motions

You can perform different motions while battling ropes such as:


Target Area: Quads And Hams, Shoulders, Rotated Cuff, Core

One of the most common battling rope movement, wave directly targets the biceps. You can perform this move by tucking in your elbows at the side and alternate moving your arms up and down. This would create waves in both ropes. To notch up the difficult level for this exercise, try doing double waves, moving your arms in tandem.


Target Area: Shoulders, Arms

You can begin with moving each arm in an independent circle. You can either move your arms inward (right counter clockwise, left clockwise) or outward (right clockwise, left anti clockwise). You can also work on single circle by holding the two ends of the circle with both hands. Start off by moving both arms in a clockwise direction and complete half set. Then shift to anticlockwise direction to finish the remaining set.

Grappler Throws

Target Area: Upper Arms, Core

Keep your feet firmly planted at the floor. Hold both ends of rope in both arms. Now start moving your torso from one side to other while your lower body stays in a stationary position. While pivoting make sure that you flip the ropes along as if smashing them on the floor on the side where you turn.


Target Area: Abs, Shoulders, Back, Core, Arms

As the word “slam” indicates, this move is all about lifting ends of the rope overhead and then slamming it on the ground with both hands. While performing this move, it is very important to maintain a good posture.


Target Area:  Back, Core

Assume a low squat position. Holding each end of the rope in each hand, exert force on each end in tandem. When done properly, this movement will make your arms appear like flapping wings. While carrying out the exercise, make sure to keep your elbows bent.

Battle Rope Circuit Workout

Once you get the hang of battling ropes, you can incorporate them into a proper workout. The following regime will help you target all your upper body muscles. Perform each move for half minute followed by half minute rest. Once you have performed all these moves, take rest for two minutes to start all over again from the beginning.

Burpee Slams

Perform 3 slams with both arms followed by a burpee. Follow this pattern for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds to move on the next exercise.

Alternate Wave/ Lateral Lunge Combo

Keep your feet as close as you can and start moving your arms one after the other to create alternate waves. Now perform a right to left lunge laterally while alternating waves.

Single Arm Plank Waves

Assume a plank position. Hold one end of the rope with one arm. Perform 5 single arm plank waves and then switch to the other arm.

Double Wave/ Jump Squat Combo

Stand feet wide apart. This move is performed on a count of four. Start off making double waves in the first two counts and then go down into a deep squat on count of three. On count four jump back to starting position to start all over again.


Perform as many jumping jacks in 30 seconds by holding both ends of the rope in your hands.


Assume a squat position and move the ropes on the floor so that they form letter “S” on the floor. The ropes should clap with each other along the way.