Honestly, I find it really easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to HIIT or metabolic conditioning workouts. There’s only so many squat jumps, mountain climbers and (fill in the blank) I can do before I get so bored with it that I start concocting schemes to skip my workout.
Enter my search for more options and new toys to play with.
Admittedly, I really love to hate the battling ropes. Let’s put it this way, I feel about ropes the way that most people feel about burpees (am I seriously the only person on the planet that actually loves burpees?). Plus, I’m primarily a runner so I prefer to rely on my legs to get my cardio done.
But, you know what they say, if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.
So in an effort to shake it up a bit and find new ways to challenge myself (also to give my hardworking legs a break every now and then), I dusted off the old ropes and came up with a few workouts to add to my regular rotation.
And since we’re friends, I’m sharing my favorite one with you. FYI It’s killer for the upper body … you’ve been warned.
Battling Ropes Workout
It’s two circuits, each circuit is done twice. Each move in the circuit is done for 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of rest with a full 2 minutes of rest between Circuit #1 and Circuit #2. The whole shebang takes 20 minutes not counting your warm-up and cool-down (which you should definitely take the time to do).
1. Complete Circuit #1
- Alternating Single-Arm Slams: One end of the rope in each hand, slam one side at a time into the floor, alternating between sides.
- Overhead Presses: One end of the rope in each hand, right in front of your shoulders, palms facing in. Press the ropes up and down quickly, keeping your elbows hugged in.
- Snakes: One end of the rope in each hand, instead of making waves up and down, take both ends of the ropes out to opposite sides and back in as fast as you can.
- Single Arm Plank Waves: Assume plank position, one end of the rope under each hand. Lift your right arm out in front of you for a single-arm plank holding one end of the rope up and separate your feet shoulder-width distance apart. Make up and down waves with the right arm. Do the right arm for round 1 and the left arm for round 2.
2. Repeat Circuit #1
3. Rest 2 minutes
4. Circuit #2
- Side-to-Side Slams: One end of the rope in each hand, bring your hands together beside your right hip and pivot up onto the left toes. Keeping hands close together, take both ends of the rope up, across the body and slam the rope to the left, ending with your hands at your left hip and on your right toes. Alternate slamming from side to side.
- Bent-Over Flys: Assume a deadlift position with your legs, hips back, knees slightly bent, torso hinging forward at the hips with the chest lifted. One end of the rope in each hand in front of your chest, knuckles pointed to the floor. With a little bend in your elbows, take your arms out to opposite sides and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- Front Shoulder Circles: One end of the rope in each hand, extend your arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height, palms facing in. Make tiny circles in the air. Do outward circles for round 1 and inward circles for round 2.
- Double Infinity: One end of the rope in each hand, bring your hands together right in front of your right hip. Draw and infinity symbol in the air as you cross your body with the rope and back again. Go one direction for round 1 and the opposite direction for round 2.
5. Repeat Circuit #2
6. 2 minutes of rest … and you’re done!
Give it a shot and let me know what you think. My advice is to go hard during the work intervals and really earn those rest breaks. That’s how you make the real magic happen.
How do you feel about the ropes? Love them or hate them (or love to hate them)? —Alison