Battle Ropes – What are they and which is the best buy?
Battle Ropes. They’re an exercise that even sounds awesome! How can you not want to take part, with a name like that? But there’s more to exercise than a cool name, so today we will be getting to grips with this new fitness apparatus and trend, and giving you the lowdown on the dos and don’ts for this sport.
What are Battle Ropes?
Besides sounding awesome, Battle Ropes are one of the hottest new functional fitness trends. There was a time when you’d barely see them, but they’ve sprung into popularity in the last few years and now every gym and Addidas advert boasts a pair, as well as great home systems being available.
The downside of that awesome name is that it’s very easy to dismiss them as a faddish trend. A Battle Rope system doesn’t look like much, either- in fact, you’ve probably passed it in the gym and presumed it was the maintenance man’s leavings! The ropes are- quite literally- ropes.
They vary from 30 feet up to 50 feet in length, usually have a circumference of 2.5-5 cms, and can weigh between 7.5 and 20 kgs, depending on the exact specs of the rope. The ropes will be attached to a sturdy fixed point somewhere. And there you have it.
Sounds simple, right? For all the idea of waving some rope up and down may sound ridiculous, simple fact is it’s a proven upper body [and core] workout of note. And if you’re looking for endurance training, you have it. As power workouts go, this one is right up there.
So, what does a Battle Rope workout offer?
- While it’s probably not top of your priority list if you’re a serious exerciser, it’s worth noting one particular feature that Battle Ropes re-introduce to the workout mix- fun and variety. It’s very easy to get stale in your workout routine, and adding some fun back into the mix is a great way to ensure you keep working at maximum intensity. Their versatility of drills means you can cover a wide range of exercise combos too.
- Because they’re high intensity, you can also make workouts short without compromising on quality.
- They’re an insanely easy piece of equipment to set up, so if you’re new to the home gym idea, or you simple want a no-sweat assembly, Battle Ropes are for you. They’re incredible easy to store and transport, too, and make a great outdoor workout option.
- Battle Ropes offer a low impact exercise option with a high calorie burn- practitioners claim the same burn as for sprinting and heavy resistance training! All while stressing your muscles rather than your joints.
- They’re also a great core workout. They can contribute towards building up your performance in general, too, as they encourage you to work from the core in all moves. If you’re tough enough to keep going through a Battle Rope workout, there can be a significant contribution to mental stamina too- the ropes will not be kind to you for all they are low impact.
- What’s rather nice about Battle Ropes is that they build ‘real’ strength. This isn’t a dead weight or barbell type strength, but one based in grip and working through day-to-day positions, leaving you with muscle strength that translates easily to the outside world.
- Lastly- but not least- they’re a particularly safe choice for a home gym. Not only are they incredibly easy to store [though you need a lot of space to use them] they’re also easy to simple drop if you find yourself in difficulties- there need be no concern about dangerous positions or heavy weights falling on you.
Should I have any concerns?
There are a few downsides to Battle Ropes as a piece of home gym equipment, as there is with most things. Luckily, if you’re using them at home, you miss one of the primary downsides of gym-use, which is the exhibitionist nature of this particular piece of gym equipment. If you’re naturally shy, blithely occupying 30 feet of your local gym to wave the ropes around will probably not appeal to you- but at home, you only need to worry about the dog watching!
Whilst they’re a doddle to store, though, you need space to use them- and lots of it. From the anchor point, you will be pulling them out to almost full length- so you need up to 20 feet of clearance. It’s also important that that is clear space- there’s no point if you’re going to be hooking the best china off the shelf and snagging the ceiling fan every time you ripple a rope. You need a floor type that won’t damage the ropes, too.
Also give good consideration to how and where you’re intending to anchor your system. Remember, the whole point of the Battle Ropes is to generate force for you to [literally] battle with. The anchor point is also going to be bearing the brunt of that force too, whilst stabilising the whole thing- it’s no use if it’s going to rip out chinks of your drywall with it.
How exactly do I use them?
- After making sure your ropes are firmly anchored, you’ll want to pull them out straight.
- Make sure you brace your legs at slightly wider then hip distance apart and keep your core engaged and shoulders down. Practice good joint posture at all time in your workout. Consult a trainer if you need help with your form.
- Battle Ropes lend themselves to interval style training. There’s a literal ton of move combinations you can try, but the most common is the wave, created by squatting and rising whilst lifting the arms to create a rippling wave down the rope. Slams are also popular- performed by swing the rope over skipping style to slam into the floor. But the world is your oyster when it comes to your personal goals- you can use them in any direction and pattern that suits you.
What makes a good Battle Rope System?
Let’s be honest, the concept of the Battle Rope is so simple, that it would be tough to mess this one up. Unlike many types of gym equipment, there aren’t a huge variety of features or qualities to look out for- they’re heavy durable ropes you will be pitting yourself again.
It’s not standard practice to ship a Battle Rope System with an anchor point or weight, either, so it’s not even as though there is a lot of variation there- you are expected to source and supply your own anchor point. That said, you’re probably going to get a surprise when you look at pricing on these systems!
While there are some cheap brands out there, the average rope will be in the region of $150 or higher.
So, for what is an incredibly tidy price tag for a really simple idea, let’s look at where things to differ- and why they matter.
- Anchor point: As mentioned, mostly this will be your responsibility. Some systems will ship with an iron bracket to attach as anchor though. Whilst it’s mainly going to hinge on attaching it firmly and to a suitable surface, be sure the bracket is well made and sturdy too- you don’t want it snapping off. It should be smooth to prevent snagging on the rope
- Handles: Your ropes should be well finished at the cut ends, as these ends will take a lot of squeezing stress from your hands and you don’t want it fraying immediately you use it. High end models will come with more comfortably designed handles to make it more pleasant- and easy- to grip and to protect your hands from friction burn and sweat slicking.
- Materials: You want a tightly woven rope made of tough materials- mostly, you will want to look for an artificial fabric, as natural rope tends to separate too easily to withstand a lot of stress and may also shed. You don’t want a rope that will wear at the attachment point or fray in your hands- be sure to check reviews as this is the most important sign of poor quality. Some rope types are bull-jacketed, a nice touch but not necessary. Make sure the jacket is firmly attached to prevent shifting if you go for this option.
Now you know just what to look for, let’s focus briefly on some great brands of Battle Ropes that meet high approval from Amazon shoppers. They’re a great benchmark to use to evaluate your choice, and a fabulous place to start if you’re in the market for your first set.
Garage Fit Battle Ropes
AmazonBasics Battle Exercise Training Rope
Battle Ropes by Fitness
These come in a gorgeous graphite color that doesn't show dirt at all and doesn't scuff up the floors despite being dark. I love that the handles also match in color because it looks extremely smart and professional. You can also get a matching anchor kit that fits perfectly with all my other workout equipment. The gray color is really different and is going to get you plenty of compliments.
I love that it's made of 3 twist poly dacro because it's sturdy, thick enough to be comfortable, and won't fray easily unless it's on a rough surface. There's a massive 19 different sizes including jump ropes so you can have more than one and have them all matching including two different jump rope options. These are well built enough that they could easily be used by a trainer as well as someone like me who just needs a good full body workout.
Finally, the best thing about this is that the handles are a hard poly shell rather than shrink wrap so they're much more durable and less prone to wear through. Usually the handles are the first thing to go so I've been specifically looking for something like this that isn't just cheap shrink wrap. The design molds over the rope so you can workout without gloves but still have enough grip.
Features and Specifications
- The rope comes in 19 different sizes ranging up from a jump rope to a 2” thick 75ft length. It's ideal for all levels of fitness.
- The rope is a cool graphite gray which is designed not to show dirt and which doesn't scuff up the floor like black does.
- The handles are thick hardened plastic shell rather than shrink wrap which helps with the durability.
- It's cheaper priced than many other poor quality ropes and has free shipping.
- It's made of a three twist poly dacro but does not have a leading line. This is sturdier than nylon and will weather better than natural fiber.
- The rope is made in the USA.
- The ropes weigh upwards from 7lb to almost 50lb.
What Customers are Saying
These are simple and no fuss. They get the job done for a full body and no impact workout without expecting you to know a lot of different exercises. The rope comes at a great price, though you will have to purchase additional hardware if you're using them with anything other than a pole.
This is both good and bad as it means you can pick your hardware choices and aren't paying for anything extra which you won't use but it also means you need to order that with the rope if you want to start working out right away and don't have a pole.
Who Should Buy This Product?
Anyone who wants a full body workout that is no impact. The massive variety of sizes and weights means that you can find just about any set that will work for your fitness level and you can always return them if they're not heavy enough once you order. These are also great for professionals who want a rope that is durable because of the plastic handles since these will last longer than shrink wrapped ones. These are also great if you would prefer to buy products made in the USA.
Who Shouldn't Buy This Product?
While this is a great quality product this isn't ideal if you want leading lines or if you want a rope that comes with everything (instructions etc). This also isn't ideal if you don't have a pole since you'll need to purchase a hook or anchor set so that you can use it without destroying it. Poly dacron is also not suited for rough surfaces so this would not be good for someone who wants to work out outside all the time or on a rough surface like unfinished concrete.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best diameter?
The rope comes in 1.5” and 2” sizes. The larger diameter weighs more without adding length so it's better for people who are more fit, however, if you have smaller hands you may be better with a longer rope at the smaller 1.5” size instead.
Can you Climb it?
This is not ideal for climbing because the poly dacron is quite smooth but it would be possible to use it as a climbing rope.
This rope is ideal for just about anyone since it's sturdy and well built yet reasonably priced. It has strong plastic handles instead of shrink wrap and is made of a snazzy graphite gray tone that won't show dirt. Perfect for both trainers and enthusiasts.
As with almost all indoor crossfit ropes these are Poly Dacro and have a 3 twist design with a tracer line to keep it organized. These are made in the USA for quality and have a massive 14 different size options including a short jump rope.
In fact, you could get several ropes depending on your workouts because the jump rope is convenient and matches while the longer ropes are ideal for full body work. The rope comes in 1.5” and 2” sizes and is weatherproof and waterproof.
As a beginner to rope work, I love the fact that this comes with the online video access. There are so many ways I never knew about to work with rope and to work different muscle groups.
I'm really happy that this isn't a DVD too because I know I'd never watch it but with the online access if I take the rope to the gym or out I can still use the same training video as I would inside.
The hand grips are 3M military grade heat shrink which is great because these are usually the first place to fray and break down. It's ideal for frequent use because of this and they're in a nice shiny finish too. I like the fact that they're quite short so they fit well in the hands.
Facts and Specifications
There are 14 different sizes available including both 1.5” and 2” ropes as well as a jump rope size.
It's made of 3 twist poly dacro and there's a different colored tracer line for easy organization.
The ropes are made in the USA.
It is waterproof and weatherproof.
There is an included online access to 18 different workouts.
The hand grips are shrink wrapped with 3M military grade shrink.
It rolls up for easy storage.
It does not come with anchors.
What Customers are Saying
This is a nice and durable poly dacro rope and it will work for both indoor and outdoor workouts. It's sturdy and relatively heavy but with so many sizes it's quite tough to decide which one you need.
The difficulty here is that you may end up ordering a rope that is too light, but if it's too heavy you won't get the best workout from it either.
The biggest issue is the weight but it's all down to knowing what size you need to order.
I'm happy to recommend these ropes because they're really good quality and there's very little to say about them that's bad.
Who should Buy This Product?
This is ideal for home crossfitters and even personal trainers because it's durable enough to withstand frequent use.
It's simple, to the point, and gets your workout done so great for someone who isn't worried about fancy colors. Because there are so many sizes this is great for any fitness level and with the workouts being no impact, ideal for anyone with bad knees.
Who Shouldn't Buy This Product?
This is probably not suited for a gym or someone who plans on using them daily. The Dacro is very smooth and not meant for use on rough surfaces so this isn't suitable for outside and will get quickly torn up on trees or rough paving. It's also not ideal for anyone looking for a cheap rope as the bigger ones are upwards of $200.
Commonly Asked Questions
Can this rope be used outside?
Yes, however the material will degrade quickly on a rough surface.
Are anchors included?
No, you will have to purchase anchors separately.
Can you use it to pull or climb?
Yes, the rope can be used for pulling and climbing depending on the length and weight. It is very smooth though and may be hard to do without gloves. There is also no hook attachment and it would need to be purchased extra.
What is the rope made from?
The rope is made of Polyester Dacro, a type of plastic. It is not a natural fiber.
Can this be left outside?
This should not be left outside as it will degrade quickly in bad conditions and will likely be damaged by sun and water.
These ropes are ideal for any beginner or intermediate. The variety of weights and sizes means that there's something for everyone. While it's a little sad that they don't come in a variety of colors this is a design that simply works. The handles are comfortable and it's designed for a great no impact workout.
Great Battle Ropes for Home
I love the three strand design and it's made of a heavy weight polyester blend so it has plenty of heft to it and it will wear well on indoor surfaces.
The rope has a pretty slick, plasticky texture so it's not going to abrade your skin and the blue plastic line helps keep it untangled. It has wear resistance so that it's significantly stronger than a natural fiber rope and still rolls up easily so I can pack it away or take it with me.
Secondly, it's great that you can choose your size. As a beginner I don't want something huge and I also simply don't have the space at home. Being able to choose between 6 different sizes was great as I could pick between a heavier, short length, or a longer and lighter one.
This also helps because it means that once I get comfortable I can keep the same familiar rope but go up a size if needed. The same goes for being able to choose between the different colors as I can match the rest of my equipment, though they all look pretty smart.
The grips are heat shrink wrapped and have 10” of coverage so they're really long and plenty of space for two handed grips.
This stops them unraveling but also gives a better non-slip hand grip so I don't have to have gloves. The grips also help stop the ends unraveling so it will last longer.
Features & Specifications
- You can choose between 6 different sizes and 4 colors ranging from a 1.5” or 2” size and between 30-50 feet in length. This means it's great for everyone and every experience level.
- It has 10” shrink wrapped grips which are also waterproof.
- The rope is made from Poly Dacron 3 weave construction.
- The rope rolls up for easy storage and transportation.
- It has a blue tracking line woven in for easy maintenance.
- It is made in the USA.
- The weight ranges from 25lb to almost 50lb depending on the thickness and length of rope ordered.
- It can be split into double lengths of between 15-25 feet.
- Sturdy enough to drag weight with as well as use for climbing.
What Customers are Saying
The handles are the best feature of these, they're sturdy and easy to grip. They're made of better quality shrink wrap that is a little thicker which helps it last longer compared to other ropes.
Make sure you have a wet wipe with you because the rubber will mark the floor if you're not careful. The downside with these ropes is that they are made for indoor use primarily and on any rough surface they will start to fray quickly.
They do what they're supposed to – work indoors, so you can't really argue with them not working in a way they weren't designed to; if you're going to work outdoors get something that isn't made of poly.
Who Should Buy This Product?
This is ideal for both beginners and intermediates. The fact that you can get it in so many different sizes makes them perfect no matter what your skill level is.
They're designed for indoor use so someone who crossfits indoors or at the gym. Ideally, this would also be for someone who isn't looking for a super cheap rope either as the larger sizes are a little more expensive.
Who Shouldn't Buy This Product?
This isn't a rope for someone looking for a cheap design to simply try out. They're really well built but they're designed for indoor use and while they say you can take them to the beach etc these would rough-up very quickly on trees or sand.
They're also not for someone who is really picky about having to clean up floor marks because of the rubber ends.
Commonly Asked Questions
Which sized rope is best?
The rope length and size is dependent on fitness level. A wider or longer rope is best for those who are fitter while a shorter, thinner rope is best for beginners.
Where is it made?
The rope is made in the USA.
Are Battle Anchors included?
How badly does bare concrete affect it?
It will eventually wear on concrete but you can also wrap the rope with tape to protect it from the roughness.
The Garage Fit battle ropes are ideal for any crossfitter and they're the perfect addition to a home gym. I love that the poly dacron is so smooth but strong and the grips are much better quality than some other brands.
First Battle Ropes Review!
Fitness Answered Training Products Battle Training Ropes
My favorite feature has to be the material. The Poly Dacron is really strong and durable but has a smooth finish so it's not going to chafe or shed like a natural fiber. It has a nice smooth finish and a semi glossy outside.
They look very smart too and the black color means I won't have to worry about getting them dirty. The three strand design seems like it would be much stronger than a single rope and it's not so think that it's bulky.
Secondly the handles are shrink wrapped so they won't come off and you'll still get the texture of the rope which helps you grip them better.
The 600D Oxford material is also pretty durable so I wouldn't expect these to wear through any time soon. I like that they're red and that it matches the fiber running through the rope itself.
The length is ideal for me, it's not amazingly long but I feel it's enough. At 20′ it's almost too long but since I'm a beginner and that's the standard size……I figure the length is something that may require getting used to.
Features & Specifications
There is a total of 40′ of rope or enough to do two 20′ rope sections.
It comes in a braided black and red color.
The rope is protected with 600D Oxford 3M Friction and Fray Heat Shrink Wrapped Handles.
It is made of 100% Poly Dacron material.
The ropes are 1.5” Diameter.
It has a 3 Strand Twisted design.
It weighs approximately 40-50lb.
What Customers are Saying
These ropes are quite durable. They stand up well to concrete and carpet use and can be used for other exercises like climbing because of the strength.
The handles aren't as durable as they seem and usually wear through over time, though the rope itself seems to wear well. This isn't a big deal though because you can always buy more shrink wrap for them or wrap them with grip tape which will actually give you a better hold.
Even if the handles start to wear the rope doesn't fray because it's sealed at the end which means you could even use it without the handles if you wore gloves.
It's easy for me to recommend these ropes because at this price it this seems like such a minor thing – a cheap $1 Heat sleeve and it's like the problem never existed!
Who Should Buy This Product
I think these are great for someone like me who has issues with their knees to use when working out. They're a great full body workout and they work out so many different muscle groups at the same time.
These are also a good addition to someone who already has a home gym and wants a little more variety. I would think these would also be good for someone who doesn't have a lot of time to work out and wants a “one size” workout that is simple and doesn't require a lot of changes. At the price these are also good for someone on a budget.
Who Shouldn't Buy This Product
This is really not a good choice for someone who has shoulder problems or arm trouble. It's quite extreme on the rotator cuffs.
This is also not ideal if you're looking for pro grade ropes or something that is especially heavy since these may be too light and not hardwearing enough to withstand more frequent workouts, even if the handles are simple to replace.
These would also not be good for someone who wants a purely cardio or purely resistance workout because it's a little bit of both. This is also not good for isolating muscles.
Commonly Asked Questions
Are these suitable for use on concrete?
As long as the surface is smooth these will work fine. Dacron frays easily against rough surfaces.
Can You Anchor it?
Yes. It is 40′ total in length and can be anchored into two 20′ halves for working out.
Can You Climb it?
Yes. The rope is smooth to the hands and does not provide much grip though.
This is a good battle rope for a beginner or intermediate because it's not expensive and it's nicely made. It's a good length and a good weight plus the Dacron is solid enough to withstand basic home workouts.
The handles are a weak point but they're also a cheap and easy fix once they do start to go. It's the ideal workout for someone who doesn't want to deal with impact issues and the Fitness Answered Battle Ropes are perfect for that.