How Long Should You Do Battle Ropes?

For best results, perform 30 seconds of battle rope exercise followed by 30 seconds of rest. Perform battle rope exercises in a circuit for 10–30 minutes. Typically, a battle rope circuit contains 5–8 exercises with a 30-second rest period in between each exercise. Once the circuit is completed, rest for 2 minutes. Then, begin the circuit again.

How long should you do battle ropes?

The Optimal Battle Rope Workout

Battle ropes are a tough training tool that recruits muscles throughout your lower and upper body to power through exercises. Therefore, each exercise with the ropes should be treated like a sprint. This means you will go as hard as you can while maintaining good form. Here are the rules for the best battle rope workout:

  • Perform each exercise in this circuit for 30 seconds (we’ll point out when you should count reps instead of seconds).
  • Rest for 30 seconds after each exercise.
  • Rest for 2 minutes after completing the circuit.
  • Repeat the circuit for 10–30 minutes.

If you’re worried about this circuit getting too easy after you’ve had a little practice, battle ropes will find new ways to test you. You can increase the difficulty of the workout as you get stronger. One way to increase difficulty is by performing the movement faster. Another way is to move closer to the anchor point, increasing the slack in the rope. This requires you to generate more power to move the heavy ropes, increasing the intensity of the workout.

Alternating Waves in Squat Position

For this double wave exercise, you will simultaneously target your shoulders, arms, core, and legs. It’s a classic battle rope exercise and probably the first one you think of when you spot the ropes in any gym. To perform it:

  • Sink into a squat position.
  • Grab a rope in each hand.
  • Move each rope up and down independently, so that one hand is moving up while the other is moving down.
  • Create symmetrical waves in the rope that travel from your hand to the anchor point.
  • Hold the squat position or do squats throughout the exercise.
  • Work for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds.

This is a great way to start the circuit because it uses several large muscle groups to create power. It’s up to you whether you want to hold the squat position for the full 30 seconds or perform multiple squats. As your fitness level increases, choose the one that’s most challenging for you.

Chest Flyes

Most people think of battle ropes as tools to work out the arms and shoulders, but they’re much more than that. When used for different movements, battle ropes can work the entire body. There are several battle rope exercises that target the chest. Here’s one of our favorites.

  • Face the anchor point, holding a rope in each hand.
  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, back straight, and eyes forward.
  • Bend at the knees, 1/3 of the way to a full squat position.
  • Move your arms in and out instead of up and down.
  • Focus on making symmetrical waves.
  • Allow your hands and the ropes to cross over one another to activate the chest muscles completely.
  • Work for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds.

The in-and-out pattern of this exercise recruits the muscles in your chest and upper back. As with the others, increase speed to make the workout more intense.

Side Lunge Slams

For this exercise, we will combine rope slams with lunges to work the shoulders and arms as well as the legs. To perform this exercise:

  • Grip the ropes with the handles pointed toward the ceiling.
  • Drop into a lunge, turning to the right, so that you are perpendicular to the ropes.
  • Grip the ropes in front of you.
  • Power upright, turning your body as you bring the ropes overhead and down on the other side.
  • Pivot so that you drop into a lunge facing the opposite direction.
  • Work for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds.

One of the biggest positives of battle rope training is that you can incorporate other exercises into a battle rope movement to reap the benefits of both. This doesn’t stop at performing squats while making alternating waves. Lunges, push-ups, burpees, and more can be combined with ropes for a great workout.

Rope Circles

Now, it’s time to focus on your upper body again. This exercise targets the arms, chest muscles, and rear deltoids (the muscles at the rear of your shoulders). To achieve this:

  • Grip the rope in each hand.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, back straight, and knees slightly bent.
  • Extend your arms and rotate them toward each other, creating corkscrew circles in the ropes.
  • Work for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds.
  • If you perform this exercise rotating your arms inward on the first circuit, rotate your arms outward on the next circuit to activate slightly different muscles.

This exercise is great for maintaining time under tension for the muscles in your chest and shoulders. It will lead to excellent lean muscle development. It also works crucial stabilizer muscles that will improve your overall strength and fitness.

Hip Throws

This exercise really focuses on the core muscles and movement aspects of battle ropes. So many gym exercises require planted feet, but battle ropes allow you to train your body in its full range of motion. Here’s how to perform hip throws:

  • Grip the battle ropes with the ends of the handles pointed toward the ceiling.
  • Bring both hands down to your left hip.
  • Bend at the knees slightly, 1/3 of the way into a squat.
  • Drive-up through your legs and extend your arms, tossing the rope from one side of your body to the other.
  • Bring your hands down to your right hip, poised to repeat the exercise in the opposite direction.
  • Work for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds.

This workout trains muscles in your core that are often forgotten. By incorporating this natural twisting movement, you will see real benefits in your core strength.

Burpee Power Slams

Remember how we said you could blend other exercises with battle rope movements? Here’s another great example that will get your heart rate up.

  • Stand facing the anchor point.
  • Hold the battle ropes in a standard handshake grip.
  • Drop into a full push-up position until your chest touches the floor.
  • As you push up, gather your legs beneath you and spring to your feet.
  • Raise your hands over your head as you jump upright.
  • Bring the ropes down overhead in a power slam.
  • Perform 5 reps, then rest for 30 seconds.

This exercise combines push-ups, burpees, and rope slams into a monster workout. Begin by performing 5 reps, then resting. As you advance, you can increase to 10 reps if you want.

Battle Rope Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks may seem like a simple exercise, but add in battle ropes and you make them much more challenging. Because battle ropes can be added to aerobic workouts to increase their difficulty, they will increase your heart rate quickly and start burning calories. Here’s how to do this one:

  • Grip the ropes with the handles pointed toward the ceiling.
  • Start with your feet together and the ropes at your side.
  • Perform jumping jacks, bringing your hands out and overhead while holding the ropes.
  • Work for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds.

At this point in the circuit, even basic movements like jumping jacks will be a brutal workout. If you’re worried these are too easy, just increase the speed.

Russian Twists

What better way to end a circuit than on an ab-burning super exercise? This one takes an old gym favorite—the Russian twist—and kicks up the intensity with battle ropes. To perform this exercise:

  • Sit on the floor with your back at a 45-degree angle to the floor.
  • Put your legs in front of you, with your knees bent and heels on the floor.
  • Grip the battle ropes with the handles pointing toward the ceiling.
  • Hold the battle ropes on the right side of your body.
  • Twist to the left, bringing the ropes up and over your legs to slam them down to your left.
  • Repeat, this time twisting to bring the ropes from left to right.
  • Work for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds.

This circuit is designed to deliver a total body workout, with exercises targeting shoulders, back, core, legs, arms, and chest, plus aerobic exercises to boost your heart rate and burn calories. Once you’ve completed it, take a 2-minute rest, then start over. You should be able to complete the circuit 3 times in a 30-minute workout.

How Many Times a Week Should You Do Battle Ropes?

There is no hard and fast rule for how many times per week you should perform your battle rope training regimen. However, it’s crucial to allow your muscles to rest and recover in order to avoid injury and overtraining. If you perform an intense full-body HIIT workout, like the circuit above, we recommend resting for a day before tackling another intense workout. You can typically perform 3–5 intense battle rope workouts per week.

  • You can safely work out with battle ropes 3–5 times per week.
  • Allow rest days after intense workouts to allow your muscles to recover.
  • If you’d like to train more often, reduce the duration of your workouts or target specific muscle groups and allow the others to rest.

If you’d like to work out with battle ropes more frequently, keep your workouts short or use them to target specific muscles each day. For instance, a 10-minute full-body battle rope workout can be safely performed daily. Or, you can perform chest-targeting battle rope exercises one day, then do a lower-body-focused battle rope workout the next day.

How Long Should a Battle Rope Workout Be?

A battle rope workout can be effective anywhere from 10–30 minutes in duration. With battle ropes, you can burn 90 calories in 10 minutes. A 30-minute workout burns about 270 calories, provides an excellent cardio workout, and builds lean muscle. For best results, perform several different battle rope exercises in a circuit to achieve a full body workout and burn calories at a high rate.

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