Battle ropes are large ropes that are used in gyms and in boot camps as a cardio exercise, they are very labour intensive so are usually suited to interval training. You can even purchase them for home use, all you need is a pole or a strong tree to wrap the rope around.
There are many benefits to training with battle ropes, they can build both upper body and lower body strength, they can increase your metabolism, and contribute to fat loss, they can improve aerobic and anaerobic capabilities, and will also help to build isometric strength in the squat position.
There are also practical benefits, they are fun, can fit into both indoor and outdoor training, they can be stored away easily, and can be modified to be made easier. They are very versatile and can be used as a finisher workout, as part of a circuit, and as part of TABATA training.
Now that we know the many benefits of battle rope training, you’re probably interested in getting your own set. But you’re probably not sure about what size would suit you best.
A question of length or thickness
While there are many rope length variations out there, the most common are 10 metres, 12 metres, or 15 metres (30/40/50 feet). You can also get different thicknesses, usually 2 inches or 1.5 inches. Both length and thickness can affect your workout, but most people purchase based on the amount of space that they have available to them.
When picking your rope remember that the length of the rope will be halved when you wrap it round the pole/tree to make two ends. So a 50 foot rope will actually only take up 25 feet, while a 30 foot rope will only be 15. The difference in length can have an impact on how you perform the exercises, as a shorter rope will provide less fluidity in the movement.
Thickness actually has more of an influence on the exercises, even though the difference is only half an inch it can drastically affect your goals and capabilities. For starters a thicker rope will weigh more, meaning that it will be more difficult to perform an exercise. A heavier rope will be better suited to shorter more intense sessions, while a lighter rope might be more useful for people who want a more aerobic or endurance workout.
Another issue that can affect rope thickness choice should be hand size and grip strength, if you have very small hands then a 2 inch thick rope is going to be difficult to handle. Whereas if you are a 6 foot 4 guy with shovel sized hands, then a 1.5 inch might be too small. In this case, it’s not about which exercise the rope suits better, it’s about what works for you as an individual.
Buying battle ropes for your business
If you are a gym or studio owner, or you run a bootcamp then you’ll need to make a decision that benefits your customers. If you are a large studio aimed exclusively at middle-aged women, then clearly the lighter and longer length of rope would suit you best.
If you are a big box gym that attracts a lot of bodybuilders – then the thicker rope might be better, and you should take a look at what space you have available for it. There’s nothing worse than having a 25 foot length of rope encroaching onto the weights section. Check out the 30 or 40 foot ropes instead. The main take away points for purchasing a battle rope are:
- Evaluate the space available to you
- Work out what rope suits you/your customers
- Decide whether you want low intensity or high intensity sessions
Once you have decided on what rope suits you best you can purchase the perfect rope for you.