Battle Ropes – Worth the Risk? (of Looking Ridiculous)

Admit it. You’ve scrolled through the Instagram accounts watching fitfluencers like @lbs_metrodetroit, @kfoylefitness, and @primal.swoledier and thought, “Hey, they have those battle ropes at my gym! It looks like a great cardio and full-body workout …but I’m not willing to risk looking like a rabid caveman …am I?

Well, you really should be willing to risk it, because battle ropes bring results! 

What are Battle Ropes?

Battle ropes are quickly becoming a popular form of functional fitness equipment, and for good reason. Although they are… well… just ropes… for lack of a better term; you really can get fit with them. Battle ropes are weighted ropes at varying lengths that can be used in a large variety of workouts to build muscle, burn fat and increase endurance.

The Battle rope is just about injury-proof. Of course, there is a right and wrong way to use battle ropes, and misuse could cause injury. But for the most part, it’s very unlikely to injure yourself when using a weighted rope compared to traditional weights and dumbbells.

Training Benefits of Battle Ropes

Training benefits from battle ropes can be noticed throughout the entire body as they can be used in a wide variety of workouts. Other training benefits of battle ropes are cardio and endurance related as they are meant to be used at a high-intensity level, over an extended period of time. Our team here at Third Coast are the people in the gym looking like rabid cavemen we referenced earlier. Here are the training benefits we’ve noticed in our own workouts.


First and foremost, battle ropes are fun! One might even drop a dad joke and say, “they put the fun in functional fitness.” Weighted ropes are a welcomed break from the normal “fitness routines” filled with generic push-ups, sit-ups, squats and the like. There is something about grabbing both ends of the rope and working as hard as you can at full intensity until the timer expires that makes it fun.

Increased Stamina

Battle ropes are meant to be used with high intensity, over an extended period of time. If you are new to battle ropes, that period of time may only be 30-60 seconds. Oh, and believe us, that 30-60 seconds will feel like an ETERNITY when first starting out. As you go, though, you’ll strengthen your muscles and get them used to working at a high level for an extended period of time.

Mental Toughness

It may sound odd to say you can build mental toughness while building physical toughness, but it’s true. Think about that 30-60 seconds period we just referenced. We all know… every. single. one. of us… will hit a point during that time period where we want to quit. Continually pushing through that barrier in our minds, over and over, will build mental toughness and stamina as much as it will build physical endurance.

Balanced Strength

During a workout, especially when using a single bar or exercise like squats or pull-ups where both sides of our body are working together, can cause imbalance. The imbalance can be caused due to our dominant side taking over and doing more of the work if we’re not consciously making sure to distribute our strength evenly. Combine that with the fact it’s our dominant arm or leg and you can have some strength imbalances.

Battle ropes workout the arms independent of each other and, therefore, can help to increase your non-dominant arm strength and balance out overall body strength.

Get that Aggression Out

No matter if you are a red meat-eating manly man or a laid back chill person who rarely gets angry, we all have stress, and battle ropes can be a great way to get that out. Pick-up some weighted ropes and turn up the intensity on one of our favorite workouts we’ll talk about a little later on, and get that aggression out!

Battle Rope Types

A quick interval workout with the ropes, can really test your cardio, exhaust your major muscle groups and ignite your core. As with our other functional fitness posts, let’s take a look at why types of this equipment are out there. 

If you’re like us, your first experience with a heavy braided rope like this was in gym class. A classic test, the rope climb! Nothing better than getting vertical to highlight the strength to bodyweight ratio.  Sometime between recess and now, the exercise/battle rope has evolved. Today, you can buy a few various options for ropes, including attachment and harness equipment.

When buying a battle rope, there a few things to consider first. Things including indoor vs outdoor use, rope length, and width, and sheathed or unsheathed. 

Sheathed Battle Ropes

Sheathed battle ropes can be used both indoors and out and are built to withstand most environments.

sheathed battle rope

Warrior Elite Fitness Rope by Gopher Sport

Unsheathed Battle Ropes

Unsheathed battle ropes are best used on non-course surfaces.

Battle Rope Lengths and sizes

How long of a battle rope should I use? 

More length (and rope width) = equals more weight

Typical sizing can range from 30ft by 1.5in up to 50 ft. by 2.5 in. For most who workout here and there and are somewhat active, a 40ft by 1.5in is a good starting point because it will be difficult at first, but allow you room to grow into the weight. Our team’s favorite is this polypropylene unsheathed battle rope with rubber end caps from Onnit. 

Battle Rope Attachments

Starting off…let’s keep things simple, wrapping the rope around a sturdy pole, tree or looping it through some dumbbells or kettlebells works great. If you do use weights, make sure you use enough to withstand the force you exert on the rope.

How you attach or anchor your battle rope will be driven by the type of workout you are doing. Here are a variety of ways to anchor your battle rope

Best Battle Rope Workouts

Now that we are comfortable with the gear, what does the best battle ropes workout look like?

We generally like to incorporate ropes into workouts with other functional equipment, but if we focus on just on the ropes, give this circuit a try and let us know how it went in the comment section.

3 rounds of 5 minutes on each exercise (max effort on every round)

  1. Two arm rope slams
  2. Alternating single arm speed slams
  3. Side to side swings
  4. Alternating single arm speed slams with lunges
  5. Russian twist to press

Do you have a best battle ropes workout of your own? Leave it in the comments below! We’d love to try it out!

Weighted Rope Workout Recovery

Of course, after any and all training, make sure to have a proper wind-down or cool off routine to help your body get into recovery mode. The sooner we can get our body into recovery mode after a workout, the sooner our muscle fibers can begin to repair themselves, and help us get these GAINZ!

Stopover to our shop page and check out our wide selection of CBD products, which can aid your body in getting into recovery mode more quickly!