Battle ropes, sometimes referred to as heavy ropes, are a popular piece of kit that works your upper body but also improves cardiovascular endurance. Battle rope exercises burn lots of calories and work your muscles hard, which is why more and more people are investing in this piece of exercise equipment to use at home.
If you’re using battle ropes at home, you need to create an anchor point for them. Some battle ropes are sold with a specially made anchor, which can be drilled into a wall, or placed in your garden. If you don’t have a dedicated anchor, you can just wrap the ropes around something heavy and solid, like a pole or even a heavy kettlebell.
Here, we’ll look in more detail at how you can set up battle ropes at home and the benefits of doing so.
Benefits of battle ropes
First, let’s look at what impact a battle rope workout can have on your body. Though your entire body will feel the cardio and fat-burning effects of using battle ropes, it is the muscles in your upper body that will be worked the hardest.
Your arms, shoulders, core, and back will all feel the burn after a session with the battle ropes. You will have also worked up a sweat because the ropes are quite heavy and to keep them moving for a sustained period of time is one of the most effective cardio exercises out there.
Another advantage of battle ropes is that they’re surprisingly versatile. You can perform dragging and pulling exercises with them, or create high-intensity workouts at a fast pace. Using the ropes will also improve your grip strength.
Lastly, they’re relatively simple to use and can often be a lot of fun – they’re certainly a welcome change from other forms of cardio, and moves like battle rope slams can be quite cathartic.
How to set up battle ropes at home
No matter your skill level or fitness level, battle ropes always need an anchor point in order to be used. Some ropes are sold with an anchor kit, which takes out some of the difficulty of this process.
If you have an anchor kit, then you’ll need to make sure you install it on a strong wall that does not have any plumbing or wiring behind it; basement walls are often a good choice. You’ll want to install the wall anchor point fairly low down on the wall, and all you’ll need to do is drill it into the wall so it’s secure.
The wall anchor point will have a large hole, usually made of metal, that you thread the rope through. Some anchor points are designed for the garden, and they simply have a stake at the bottom which you can stick into the ground, with the hole pointing out at the top.
If you don’t have a dedicated anchor, you can still experience the cardio benefits of battle ropes. All you need to do is wrap the ropes around something solid, like the pole of a gate for example. Kettlebells can also come in handy, as you can simply wrap the rope through the handle, provided the weight is heavy enough.
You also need to ensure the area you set your battle ropes up in has ample space. Ropes vary in length, but there needs to be enough distance in front of the anchor point for the ropes to be laid out fully. A garage gym is ideal for this.
How to use battle ropes
Once you’ve got your battle rope anchor set up and the ropes threaded through, you can get to work.
- First, stand at the end of the ropes furthest from the anchor point and take hold of the battle rope handgrips at the end of each rope. Bend down into a half squat, keeping your back straight and core muscles engaged.
- From this position, there are several different battle rope movements you can perform. The most common is battle rope waves, where you pump your arms up and down alternately, almost as if you’re whipping the rope. You do this continuously for a period of time, rest, and repeat. This is a good exercise for battle rope beginners.
Another battle rope method is the battle rope slam, where you pump the arms at the same time to slam the rope into the ground then bring it back up, before slamming it back down again. You can even add a jump into these slams for more of a challenge.
Battle ropes are a versatile and effective piece of kit that can provide a comprehensive cardio workout, as well as target some of the major muscles in your upper body. Some gyms have their own battle ropes, but many people opt to install them in their own homes.
In order to use battle ropes, you need to create an anchor point on something secure and heavy for the ropes to wrap through, as well as have enough space to perform your workouts in, as these ropes are often quite long.
Frequently Asked Questions
How far off the ground should battle ropes be?
The anchor point should be quite close to the ground, and can even be on the ground itself. This is because you’re keeping a low center of gravity when using battle ropes, and most of the exercises require the ropes to come into contact with the ground.
Can I use battle ropes without an anchor?
You don’t need a specially-made battle ropes anchor, as you can wrap the ropes around something secure and heavy that isn’t going to move while you’re using the ropes. This can be something like a kettlebell, or a pole or gate. However, you do need to wrap the ropes around something, otherwise, it would be impossible to perform any sort of battle rope workout.