Battle ropes provide an incredible core workout even when you aren’t specifically targeting your abs. This is because battle ropes are a total body workout tool. However, you can really work on your abdominal fitness by incorporating ab-specific exercises into your battle rope routine. Exercises such as the Russian twist, plank, and side plank provide an even better ab workout once battle ropes are added to the equation.
How Do Battle Ropes Work Abs?
Battle ropes provide an excellent ab workout for multiple reasons. First, battle ropes recruit muscles throughout your upper body, core, and legs to perform most exercises. A battle rope circuit will naturally provide an ab workout. Second, battle ropes train your body through a series of movements that involve twisting and turning. These motions are often neglected in traditional training, but they’re the ones that really activate your core.
- Battle ropes are a total body workout—almost all battle rope exercises activate your abs.
- The natural turning and twisting movements of some battle rope exercises target abs.
- Battle ropes can be added to traditional ab workouts to increase the intensity and effectiveness.
By adding battle ropes to familiar ab exercises, such as planks, you kick up the difficulty. By making waves in the rope while holding a plank position, you activate your abs to stabilize yourself and maintain balance. This means you get a deeper burn faster, which translates to better abs.
Do Battle Ropes Burn Belly Fat?
Because they are a full-body workout, battle ropes increase your heart rate. This is the number one factor in calorie burning, which melts fat. A battle rope training regimen, paired with a healthy diet, will help you lose weight.
- Battle ropes are an excellent cardio workout that burns calories and helps you lose weight.
- Pair battle rope training with a proper diet and safe weight loss goals to burn fat effectively.
Keep in mind that all body types are different and your body fat cannot (and should not) be entirely eliminated. Some individuals are more likely to retain body fat in the belly region, which makes achieving six-pack abs more difficult. Battle ropes are an intense cardio workout that will help you lose weight and increase your cardiovascular endurance. When using exercise as a weight-loss tool, make sure to consult a doctor, nutritionist, or licensed trainer to build a program and diet that will help you achieve your goals safely.
5 Best Ab Battle Rope Exercises
If you want to really target your abs during a battle rope routine, try exercises that use ropes to isolate the abdominals. Start by adding a few of these workouts to a battle rope circuit. You’ll feel the burn and see the results.
Adding battle ropes to the Russian twist takes full advantage of what battle ropes can do for your abs. By performing this exercise, you add resistance to the natural turning motion of the twist, activating your abs and obliques. To do this exercise:
- Sit on the floor with your knees slightly bent and planted on the ground.
- Lean back at a 45-degree angle. Your body should form a V-shape.
- Grip the battle ropes so that the handles are pointing up toward the ceiling.
- Begin with ropes on the left side of your body, with your upper body turned slightly to the left.
- Twist to the right, throwing the battle ropes up and over your legs and bringing them down on your right side.
- Repeat the motion, this time bringing the ropes from right to left.
- Perform this exercise for 30 seconds.
In order to increase the intensity of this workout, perform the Russian twist faster. Alternatively, you can increase the duration of your exercise from 30 to 45 seconds.
Alternating waves are perhaps the most recognizable battle ropes exercise. While they are typically performed while standing, making waves in the ropes while in a V-sit position puts your ab muscles through an intense workout. For this exercise:
- Sit on the floor with your legs raised and knees slightly bent.
- Lean back until your back is at a 45-degree angle to the floor.
- Your body should form a V with your glutes as the balance point.
- Grip a battle rope in each hand using a handshake grip.
- With one rope on either side of your legs, use your arms to make waves in the rope as you hold the V-sit position with your feet elevated.
- The waves in the rope should be symmetrical and large enough to travel to the rope’s anchor point.
- Perform this exercise for 30 seconds.
The faster you make waves in the rope, the harder your abs will work to maintain balance. This keeps your core muscles under constant tension, providing an incredible workout.
Side Plank Waves
Side planks target your obliques, which are the muscles along your side. While this muscle is not technically the abdominals, no ab workout is complete without an oblique-focused exercise. Strong obliques contribute to increased core strength. To perform side planks with battle ropes:
- Lie on the ground on your side, facing the rope’s anchor point.
- Prop yourself up on one elbow, with your forearm flat on the ground.
- Use your core muscles to keep your body straight and your legs together.
- With your free hand, grab one of the battle ropes.
- Make waves in the battle rope as you maintain the side plank position.
- Perform this exercise for 30 seconds.
- Switch sides and repeat.
As you get more adept at this exercise you can increase the difficulty by moving closer to the anchor point. By putting more slack in the rope, you make it harder to create waves. This leads to a more intense core workout, plus a bonus workout for your arms and shoulders.
Planks are an excellent ab workout because they target your core without putting strain on your back the way sit-ups and crunches do. If you battle back pain during traditional ab workouts, try this one out.
- Get into the plank position, which is similar to the position you will be in at the top of a push-up.
- Straddle your legs slightly more than shoulder-width apart for increased stability.
- Keep your back straight. Bending your back upwards or downwards can strain the muscles.
- Grip a battle rope with one hand in a handshake grip.
- Extend the arm holding the battle rope and make waves in the rope.
- Create strong, even waves that travel all the way to the anchor point.
- Work for 30 seconds, then switch hands and repeat.
This workout is already tough enough on its own, but if you want an extreme challenge, turn the standard plank into a two-point plank. To do this, lift the leg opposite the working arm and extend it straight behind yourself as you hold the plank position. So, if you are making waves with your right arm, your left leg will be raised and held straight out behind you.
The side slam works the abs and obliques. It is an excellent core workout that can’t be replicated without battle ropes. It incorporates natural turning motions to produce the power to throw the heavy ropes. To do this exercise:
- Hold the ropes in a handshake grip.
- Take an athletic stance, with knees slightly more than shoulder-width apart and knees bent one-third of the way to a squat position.
- Start with the ropes both held down just outside your left knee.
- Drive up, using your legs and core to throw the ropes up and overhead with your arms extended.
- Turn and slam the ropes down.
- Bring your hands down to your right knee.
- Repeat, this time bringing your hands from right to left.
- Perform this exercise for 30 seconds, then rest.
When performing the side slam, throwing the ropes overhead and turning your body should all occur in one fluid motion. The rope will form a rainbow arc as you use your core muscles to help toss the ropes from one side to the other.
Are Battle Ropes Good for Abs?
Battle ropes are great for abs because so many battle rope movements recruit core muscles in order to maintain balance and rhythm during the exercise. Not only that, but you can use battle ropes to isolate the abs. The best battle ropes exercises to target your abdominals and obliques are:
- Battle rope Russian twists
- V-sit waves
- Side plank waves
- Plank waves
- Side slams
When creating battle rope workouts, you can incorporate a few ab-focused exercises along with movements meant to target the chest, shoulders, or lower body. This results in a full-body routine. Alternatively, you can blast your abs after a long workout by performing several battle rope ab exercises back-to-back.