The 4 benefits of incorporating battle ropes into your cardio workout
It’s somewhat unsurprising to learn the inventor of battle ropes holds a number of crazy grip-strength world records, including tearing 100 decks of poker cards in 2 minutes and 15 seconds. A session on the ropes leaves any athlete exhausted – out of breath, shoulders burning and biceps shredded – so only someone with a quirky obsession for brutal fitness feats could have come up with it.
American John Brookfield, who first developed ‘The Battling Ropes System’ in his backyard, has just that. Brookfield says he invented his signature programme because he was trying to find a way to develop strength, speed, power and mental endurance.
With those principles in mind, battle ropes have a number of benefits and give a well-rounded training effect.
No.1: Targets whole body
By maintaining a solid stance in the squat position, the quads, glutes and hips are engaged in each wave of the rope.
The core is also being utilised to maintain stability so the action is working much more than just arms and shoulders.
No.2: Low injury risk
While the traditional go-to cardio exercise of running involves a high level of impact on the ankle, knee and hip joints, battle ropes put much less stress on the skeletal system in comparison.
The natural range of motion involved and the use of different muscle groups in a way that is not frequently seen in other exercises makes for a significantly reduced risk of injury.
No.3: Burns a high number of calories
Brookfield works with a number of MMA stars, boxers and NFL pros, and encourages his athletes to work the ropes for up to 20 minutes. But more commonly, you’ll see people doing short sprints for about 40 seconds.
The benefits of such HIIT workouts have been widely documented. Most notable among them is evidence which shows the body uses a high number of calories during intense intervals, meaning it burns more fat than when performing a standard 30-minute aerobic cardio session.
No.4: Improves Coordination
As a unilateral, high-speed exercise, battle ropes can have a positive impact on hand-eye coordination, which is pretty unique to cardio workouts.
The degree of skill involved means working ropes is applicable to a number of sports. Plus it makes for a funner session than pounding pavement or sitting on an exercise bike!