What Muscles Do Battle Ropes Work?

You may have heard about the success of battle ropes among the workout sphere. These handy pieces of equipment have been making waves across the world, and it is no wonder.

Depending on the particular routine that you choose, you can use battle ropes to work out both of your arms, your legs, your chest, shoulders, core and back.

Therefore, you can actually implement battle ropes into your gym routine for a full body workout that burns fat and builds muscle. So what actually are battle ropes, and why are they so good?

What Are Battle Ropes?

Battle Ropes Work

Battle ropes are one of the newer fitness trends that you may have already seen on influencer’s pages already.

Battle ropes are a type of gym and workout equipment that are most often used to ‘make waves’ in the air, for a dynamic, full body work out. These types of ropes can be used for multiple exercises to workout various different areas of the body. 

These are most beloved for their fat busting qualities, and ability to help build muscle and pack on good, lean mass. The great thing about battle ropes is that they work each arm effectively and independently, which can eliminate imbalances and help to sculpt strong muscles.

However, as with most exercises, if you are doing them for the first time, then you will need to start slowly, and build up your skills over time.

If you do not, and just dive in head first without much practice, then you are likely to make your muscles super sore, or even end up winding yourself. 

If you keep at it, and incorporate battle ropes into your workout routines, then you are sure to see results and build your expertise over time.

Why Are Battle Ropes Good?

Battle ropes are increasingly popular nowadays, seen in many viral videos, and on workout platforms across the globe. This is largely due to the fact that they are incredibly useful for burning calories, building muscle and improving your strength. 

Most people enjoy using battle ropes as they provide a great full body workout when used correctly. By using battle ropes in various different ways, you can work out multiple muscles, and improve your strength by focusing on muscles in particular. 

In addition, with battle ropes, you can use them for each arm, and work it independently. This is perfect for working out any muscle imbalances that you may have.

With the right technique, there is hardly any muscle group that cannot be worked out with a good battle rope routine. 

Best Battle Ropes

If you are ready to try out a battle rope routine for yourself, then you will need all of the necessary equipment. We encourage you to use battle ropes that are at least 1.5 inch in thickness, which is the standard, but you can choose 2 inch thickness to work on your grip more. 

In addition, you are going to want to use 50ft long battle ropes at least if you have got plenty of space, as this will be 25 ft in each hand once the rope is anchored.

If you are working out in a smaller space, then you can try battle ropes with a smaller length such as 30ft versions. 

Our favorites are the Power Guidance Battle Rope, Kingso Battle Rope and the AmazonBasics Battle Ropes.  

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Once you have purchased or located your battle ropes, you are ready to start training.

Luckily, we have a few simple and beginner battle rope exercises for you to try out. Each one will target a different muscle group, and build strength in those areas.

How Long Should A Rope Exercise Be?

Battle Ropes
Battle Ropes

If it is your first time trying out a battle rope exercise, then you will need to know exactly how long a rope exercise should be so that you do not overwork your muscles, or cause any injury to yourself.

At first, you will want to work on sustaining a battle rope

exercise for about 20 seconds. However, the first few times this will seem near impossible, and can be quite hard.

As they say, practice makes perfect, and you will have to work on this. Sometimes, it can be tempting to stop after 10 seconds, and you will be wondering how anyone can continue these exercises for minutes at a time, let alone seconds! 

However, the deep burn will be worth it, and after the first few goes, you will find it much easier to sustain for 20 seconds.

Once you have mastered 20 seconds, then you can move onto 30 seconds with the battle ropes, and then 45 seconds, 1 minute and so on and so forth. Just make sure that you are taking your time, and working to perform the exercise accurately and safely before increasing your time. 

Just be aware that using battle ropes is popular for a reason, the results are great, but these exercises do burn, and take a lot of work!


Battle Ropes Exercises

Once you are ready to use battle ropes for yourself, then you can take a look at some of these simple exercises here.

Each one will work a different muscle group so that you can isolate a certain part of your body and build up your strength where needed.

Double Wave – For Upper Body And Arms

The first exercise we have for you is the double wave. This is the most popular and widely known battle rope exercise, and this one works the upper body and arms perfectly. 

To perform the double wave, you are going to want to stand facing the battle rope’s anchor point, such as the wall, or pillar that it is connected to.

Then, you will need to stand with your feet a shoulder width apart, and grasp onto one end of the rope in each hand. Once holding the rope, you will need to keep the palms of your hands facing each other.

Then, you should brace your core, soften the knees slightly, and move both arms up and down rapidly. This one looks simple, but trust us, you will be feeling the burn in a matter of seconds.

Alternating Waves

The alternating wave exercise is very similar to the double wave, and you should be in the same position in order to perform this one. Instead of moving your arms in the double wave, you should alternate your arms for this one.

This means that when your left hand is at the highest point, your right hand is at its lowest, and then you just alternate between them. The goal of the alternating wave and the double wave is to make the rope wave up and down all of the way towards the anchor point, bringing your arms up and down. 

If you are a beginner, then you can stand further away from the anchor point, as there will be more slack to help you create the waves.

However, as you progress, you may want to move your position closer to the anchor point, as this will make it more difficult to create the waves, and will therefore be a harder workout. 

To work more muscles whilst doing the alternating wave and the double wave, you may want to sustain a squat position, as this will help work your lower body muscles, legs and core. But, prepare to ache in the morning!

Snakes On The Floor –  For Shoulders and Legs

If you need to build strong deltoid muscles, then you will need to try out the snakes on the floor exercise. This one will help to build strong, lean muscles in the shoulders and legs that will be highly beneficial in other workouts too.

This one focuses mainly on the shoulders, but you will also feel the burn in your legs, and give them a workout simultaneously. To do the snakes on the floor, you will again need to face the battle ropes anchor and place your feet at a position that is only slightly wider than the regular shoulder width position. 

Then, you need to take the ropes at your sides, and lower yourself into a squatting position. Next, pull your arms out wide, but keep them parallel to the floor at all times.

Once this is done, you will need to start moving your hands in and out, without crossing them over. This exercise, when done correctly, will make the ropes seem like two snakes writhing and wriggling on the floor, hence the name!

Lunges – For The Legs 

As promised, battle ropes are not just for working out the arms and shoulders.

With battle ropes, you can additionally work out your glutes and legs. For instance, while you are performing any other battle rope exercises with your arms and shoulders, if you squat or do lunges, then you are also working your legs at the same time.

This can provide a full body workout, giving you stronger glutes, and helping you gain muscle mass in your legs, whilst also strengthening your upper body muscles.

We would recommend that you only combine leg exercises with your battle rope exercises once you have mastered them a little first. This way, there is less risk of you causing an injury, or losing your balance during squats and lunges. .

Arm Circles – Shoulders

Again, if you need to work out your shoulders and build strength in your rhomboids and deltoids, then the arm circles exercise with battle ropes is for you! To do this one, you will need to adopt the shoulder width stance, but keep your knees slightly bent.

Then, grab the ropes with both hands, and keep your palms facing towards the floor.

Next, lift your arms up over your shoulders, and make circles in a clockwise motion. Once this is done, you can reverse the move by going anticlockwise for the same amount of time.

Shoulder Presses

You may be surprised to find that you can do shoulder presses with the battle ropes. These are done much in the same way as you would with dumbbell weights.

All you need to do is hold the ropes on your shoulders, and ensure that there is some tension at the anchor point, and then just press up before bringing your hands back up to your shoulders.

Side Slam – For The Core

In most workout routines, you will want to engage your core, and luckily you can do this with battle ropes, too. Strengthening your core can also help you work on your abs, burn fat or even achieve a six pack! 

For this, you will need to place your feet a shoulder width apart, and stand facing the anchor. Then, you will want to keep the knees bent, and grab hold of the ropes with your hands, keeping the palms facing each other. 

Then, tighten up the core muscles, and hold your hands at the left side of your body. Next, raise the arms over your head, and bring the ropes down quickly in a slamming motion to the right side. Keep doing this, alternating sides, as long as possible. 


With a few of these exercises in mind, you can master the battle ropes in no time.

Just remember to take it slow, and keep practicing, and building up your time over an extended period. This way, you can work out multiple muscle groups at once, or isolate a problem area with ease.