Battling Rope Conditioning

Training with rope has been around for many years, but doing workouts with Battling Ropes have been gaining in popularity and for good reason; it is a very demanding workout which can yield tremendous results.  A battling rope is typically 1 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter and normally 50-100 feet in length.  They can be used to train strength, power development, and/or as a conditioning tool.

The video above is part of my “Focus On Fitness” segments that are presented on a central Pennsylvania TV Station-CCN Cannel 8 News.  The reporter Chris O’Rourke and his camera crew stop by every couple of months and film some segments that are shown once a month during the morning and evening news casts on Fridays.

In this segment, I put Chris through some general rope exercises set up circuit style to increase his heart rate.  To get that images-6conditioning result with the rope, I normally have athletes do one exercise for 30 seconds and then make a change of exercise every thirty seconds for the prescribed number of exercises.

A good workout that I do a lot is choose 4 exercises for 30 seconds each.  The circuit will last for 2 minutes and then have another athlete go.  When the first athlete is resting encourage him/her to focus on their breathing.  I instruct them to breathe in through their nose and out throughout their mouth with a focus on trying to slow down their heart and breathing rate.  Each athlete will rotate back and forth every 2 minutes for up to 10-12 minutes or 3-4 rounds.  That normally is effective for good training results.

Another training technique is to train with reps and do each exercise with 50-80 reps before switching exercises.  This will also produce a conditioning result.  Or just take one exercise and go crazy for a prescribed amount of time.  This will require great muscular endurance and if you have never trained with rope, this is not what you want to start out doing.

Here is a workout for you to try.  Do each exercise for 30 seconds then rest for 30 before starting the next exercise.

  1. Small Waves
  2. Big Waves
  3. Small Snake
  4. Big Snake
  5. Jumping Jacks
  6. Double Arm Slam

Focus on form and technique.  You will hit many parts of the body when rope training besides just the conditioning aspect of it.  It will really hit your core, shoulders, and even your grip strength.  It will also show you where your strengths and weaknesses are in your body.  Take what you learn from the rope and then apply weight training exercises to address the areas you felt fatigued the most or the easiest.  You always want to strengthen your weakest link in the chain (Chain=body).

If you never have trained with rope before, give it a try.  You will find out quickly just how demanding it can be.  In the video, I explain how you can get some rope or alternative tools like fireman’s hosing for almost nothing-just ask!

Hope that helps!

To your health,


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About Jerry Shreck

Division 1 Head Strength Coach at Bucknell University, Specialize In The Art of Injury Prevention Training Techniques God Loving Family Man (Wife-Trina & 2 daughters-Alexis & Aleyda)

One Response to “Battling Rope Conditioning”

  1. A great exercise to get warmed-up quickly or for general conditioning.

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