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Heavy Rope Training: Combine strength and cardio

Heavy Rope Training: Combine strength and cardio

Fed up with lifting weights?  It might be time to add the shock element to your routine with some heavy rope training. Not for the faint-hearted, rope training was originally used for MMA and high combat sports training. Today it’s become a popular and highly efficient way to workout. Here’s the facts to help you get to grips with it.

What is rope training?

Heavy ropes are attached to an anchor such as a weights machines. The free ends are held in your hands and you basically fling the rope around. The action of propelling heavy ropes will give your hands, arms, shoulders, legs, abs and heart a seriously intense workout.

What are the benefits?

  • Muscle building! Rope training is an amazing conditioning workout for the upper body, shoulders and core. The unconventional process of battling with rope taps into muscle fibres that don’t normally get used in traditional workouts. 
  • Killer cardio. Just 30 seconds of rope slamming will get your heart pounding fast, making it brilliant cardiovascular training. 
  • Low impact. Waving ropes around avoids the stresses of high impact activities, yet you still get a killer conditioning workout. Plus, you could burn around 10 calories per minute.

How do you do a heavy rope workout?

Although there is lots of variation to rope training, there are three main types. All involve pretty intense muscle burning.

  • Waves. This is the most basic technique as it’s the easiest to master. Simply hold the ends of the rope in each hand and move them up and down to make waves. A variation is to wave your hands outwards in opposite directions to create alternate waves. Start with repeating 3 sets of 30 – 60 second intervals with 45 seconds rest between. Here are some wave workout ideas:


  • Slams. Start with the rope hanging by your side with the ends in each hand. Raise your hands above your head and sharply slam down the rope to the floor. You can slam both together or alternate them. Here’s an example slam workout:


  • Throws. These are great for your core. Hold the ropes with the ends pointing upward. Swing both ends of the rope up and to the left side of the room as you pivot your body. Then swing both ends back up and to the other side of the room as you pivot the opposite way. Watch this video for guidance:


No rope at your local gym? You could do your own rope workout. All you need is 50ft of thick rope (around 2 inches thick) and an anchor to tie it to and you’re good to go!

the author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for Hussle. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.