Battling Ropes are making waves!

When the public sees a training tool on TV being used by NFL players on HBO’s Hard Knocks or the contestants on NBC’s Biggest Loser, it is only a matter of time before everyone wants to know all about it.  Battling Ropes are becoming very popular in strength & conditioning circles as a great alternative to traditional forms of cardiovascular training.  A Battling Rope is commonly a 50ft rope, either 1 ½-2 inches in diameter, but length and diameter does differ to offer varying levels of difficulty.  Here is a picture of the ropes in action.

To quote John Brookfield, the creator of the Battling Ropes System, “The velocity principle is where the user creates a wave or series of waves which flows down the entire rope to the anchor point. This system was created with the flow of a Hurricane or fast moving water in mind. If you look at the constant motion of water during a Hurricane you will quickly notice that the flow is nonstop and relentless with no lull in the action. The faster you move the ropes the more waves will be flowing to the anchor point. Your goal is to sustain the series of waves without letting the waves slow down or stop. By watching the waves flow the athlete has a tremendous visual motivation factor which helps push them not to stop or let the waves slow down. Many people use the Battling Ropes® velocity/wave system exercises in short bursts or an interval which is very effective (10-60 seconds).” With this in mind, battling ropes have become one of the most effective methods of interval training, developing muscular strength, endurance, cardiovascular conditioning and upper body speed. Because of the high heart rate response and anaerobic challenge, the ropes have become a great way to maximize caloric expenditure and fat burn.

If you are looking for an alternative to your traditional means of cardiovascular exercise, Battling Ropes may be for you. For more information on the Battling Ropes System, go to

As always, when starting any form of new exercise (especially exercises with high levels of intensity) please consult your doctor or exercise physiologist at the PLC to see if you require further testing or clearance.

Chris Volgraf, CSCS—Senior Exercise Physiologist