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Battle Rope Exercises: The Complete List

This is the most complete list of battle rope exercises on the web.

Here, you’ll find 52 exercises complete with before and after images.

Use the filters below to find the exact type of battle rope exercise to suit your needs.

 

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BEGINNER BATTLE ROPE EXERCISES

Classic Waves

  • Beginner
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

Hold the ends of the rope like you’re shaking someone’s hand. Your feet should be shoulder width apart, with a slight bend in the knee and your back straight.

Once you feel comfortable lift one of your hands up to head height then bring it back down. As you bring your first hand down your other hand should move up to head height.

Keep this movement going and the battle rope will start to make ripples that look like ‘waves’.

Lateral Whip

  • Beginner
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

Hold the ends of the rope like you’re shaking someone’s hand. Your feet should be shoulder width apart, with a slight bend in the knee and your back straight.

Once you feel comfortable lift both of your hands up and out to the side of you, to around head height. Then bring them back down at the same time, to just above your knee. Repeat this action.

Double Wave

  • Beginner
  • Shoulder

Download image

How to:

Your feet should be shoulder width apart, with a slight bend in the knee and your back straight. Hold the ends of the rope like you’re shaking someone’s hand. 

Once you feel comfortable lift both of your hands up in front of you, to head height, then bring them back down at the same time.

Keep this movement going and the battle rope will start to make a large ripple that looks like a ‘wave’.

Inside Circles

  • Beginner
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

Start with your hands out in front of you at waist height. Hold the ends of the rope as though you’re shaking someone’s hand.

Your feet should be shoulder width apart, with a slight bend in the knee and your back straight.

With a smooth, quick motion, make a circle with each hand. You can do this by moving your hands from waist height up and away from the body until you reach shoulder height then coming back in towards the body and back to your starting position at waist height. 

Repeat this action.

Outside Circles

  • Beginner
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

Starting with feet hip-width apart, hold the rope in both hands out in front of you, at waist height. Bend the knees slightly as you sit back into a high squat position, with back straight and core engaged.

From this position, make a circle by simultaneously elevating both hands up to chest height, then outwards away from the body at the same time. (Note: the right hand will be moving in a clockwise direction, while the left moves in an anti-clockwise direction.)

Repeat this action.

Side to Side Waves

  • Beginner
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

Place your feet hip-width apart and with legs bent, sit back into a high squat position with back straight. Hold both ends of the rope out in front of you at waist height, as though you’re shaking someone’s hands.

In one smooth and quick motion; bring the ropes together in front of you then pull them apart again. Repeat this motion, ensuring arms remain at the same height throughout the exercise.

Drummer

  • Beginner
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

Sit back into a high squat with slightly bent knees, feet hip-width apart, core engaged and back straight.

Hold both ends of the rope, one in each hand, in front of you at waist height.

In an alternating motion, raise one hand as you lower the other – as if hitting a drum one stick at a time. Repeat this motion.

As you do this, move your body from left to right while keeping both feet at all times.

Kneeling Waves

  • Beginner
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

Get into a kneeling position with knees slightly apart from each other. Keep your back straight and core engaged. Hold the rope in both hands out in front of you, gripping the ends as though you’re shaking someone’s hands.

At the same time as each other, raise the right-hand rope to head height while the left is lowered. This motion will create a ripple of waves out in front of you. Continue to alternate from side to side.

Rope Shakes

  • Beginner
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

Position yourself side on to the rope. (The full length of the rope should run either to your left or right, not out in front of you.)

Legs should be hip-width apart with a slight bend at the knee, as you sit back into a high squat with your back straight.

Hold the two lengths of rope together with both hands, so they become one rope. Fists are closed with palms facing down.

Starting from knee height raise the rope above the head in one smooth motion. Then lower it back to knee height, causing a wave to ripple out along the rope, to the side of you. Keep your feet stationary as you repeat this motion.

Uppercuts

  • Beginner
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

Hold the rope at waist height in front of you as though you’re holding a mug of coffee. Feet should be hip-width apart, with a slight bend at the knee.

In one smooth motion, raise the right hand up and diagonally across the body until it is above your head, then pull it back down to its starting position. At the same time, allow your body to twist and follow the direction of your hand, without moving from the spot that you’re standing in.
Repeat this with the left side and so on.

Figure of 8

  • Beginner
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

Stand with feet apart, knees slightly bent, back straight and core engaged. Hold both ends of the rope out in front of you at waist height, gripping each as though you’re shaking someone’s hand.

Moving both ends of the rope in the same direction at the same time, make a figure of eight in front of you, from side to side.

Repeat this motion.

Shoulder Fly

  • Beginner
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

Hold the rope in front of you, taking each end as though you’re shaking someone’s hand. Stand with feet apart and knees slightly bent. Make sure back is straight and core is engaged as you lean forward slightly.

Starting with both ends of rope in front of you at knee height, extend both arms back until they are both at shoulder height. At full extension, both arms should be straight. Bring hands back to starting point and repeat.

Shoulder Raise

  • Beginner
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

Stand up straight, feet hip-width apart, core engaged, looking forward.

Hold each end of the rope in front of you as though you’re shaking someone’s hand.

In a simultaneous motion, raise both ends of the rope up above your head before slamming them back down together. Repeat.

Kneeling Alternating Press

  • Beginner
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

Start from a kneeling position, back straight, core engaged and knees slightly apart. Hold the rope waist height in front of you as though holding a mug of coffee. Arms should be bent at a 90° angle to your body.

Raise the right hand up, extending the arm in full so that the rope is lifted above head height. As you drop it back down to its original starting point, perform the sane arm extension on the left side.

Repeat this movement, alternating between sides.

Kneeling Press

  • Beginner
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

Starting from a kneeling position, hold both ends of the rope at waist height, gripping the rope as though you’re holding a mug of coffee. Arms should be bent at a 90° to your body and rope in front of you. Knees should be slightly apart, back straight, core engaged.

Raise both hands at the same time, fully extending the arms until the rope is above head height. Then slam the rope back down, returning the arms back to their starting position. Repeat.

One Arm Inside Circle

  • Beginner
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

This exercise involves the use of one hand at a time.

Stand with feet apart and slight bend to the knee. Starting with your left hand, hold the rope in front of you as though shaking someone’s hand. Place your right hand on the top of your right thigh to help with balance. Engage core.

With your left hand, lift the rope up and across the body, in a clockwise circular motion.

Make full circles in this motion, repeating as many times as required, before changing over to your right-hand side.

One Arm Outside Circle

  • Beginner
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

This exercise involves the use of one hand at a time.

Standing with feet apart and slight bend at the knee, hold the rope in front of you as though you’re shaking someone’s hand. The rope should be at waist height. For additional support and balance, place your right hand on the top of your right thigh. Make sure core is engaged.

In one smooth motion, lift your left hand up and away from the body, in an anti-clockwise, circular motion.

Repeat these circular motions as required, before swapping over the other arm.

One Arm Waves

  • Beginner
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

This exercise involves the use of one hand at a time.

Hold one end of the rope in your right hand out in front of you, gripping it as though you’re shaking someone’s hand. The other end of the rope should remain on the floor.

Stand with legs hip-width apart, slight bend to the knees as you sit back into a high squat. Back should be straight, core engaged.

Starting with the rope at waist height raise your hand upwards in a vertical motion until it gets to shoulder height, then lower it back down to waist height. This is a strong but relatively short range of motion and it will cause the rope to create waves out in front of you.

Repeat this motion before changing over the left side.

One Arm Rope Shakes

  • Beginner
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

For this exercise, you only need one length of the rope, the other piece should be left on the floor.

Position your body so that you’re standing side-on to the rope. In this position the full length of the rope should be running out to the left of you, not directly in front of you.

Grip the rope in your left hand, palm facing down. Sit back into a high squat with feet apart and a bend to the knees. Knees should be line with your feet. Keep the back straight and core engaged.

In one strong, quick movement raise the rope from waist height to shoulder height, then bring it back down to its starting position. Doing this will create a ripple effect along the rope.

Repeat this motion before swapping to the other side.

Alternating Shoulder Press

  • Beginner
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

Stand up straight with feet hip width apart and a slight bend to the knee. Hold both ends of the rope just below the chest. Grip the rope as though you’re holding a mug of coffee.

Extend the right arm up until the rope is above head height. As you’re bringing the hand back down to its starting position, perform the same motion with the left arm. Continue to alternate from side to side.

INTERMEDIATE BATTLE ROPE EXERCISES

Side Lunge & Alternating Waves

  • Intermediate
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

Hold the rope in both hands, in front of your body. Legs should be wide apart and bent so that you’re starting from a squat position. Back should be straight, knees should be in line with feet.

Once in position, extend to full height while raising both hands to head height before lowering them and slamming the rope to the floor. This is the ‘big wave’.

As you lower the rope, drop back into the squat position. Stay in this squat position as you raise both hands to head height and then lower to the floor to create the ‘small wave’.

Repeat both steps, alternating between big and small

Power Slam

  • Intermediate
  • Shoulders Back Legs Bum

Download image

How to:

Feet should be hip-width apart and back should be kept straight. Hold the ends of the rope out in front of you.

When you are ready lift the rope up above your head then slam the rope down onto the ground. As you complete the slamming motion bend your knees into a mini squat.

Repeat this movement as required.

Squat and Slam

  • Intermediate
  • Shoulders Legs Bum

Download image

How to:

Feet should be hip-width apart and back should be straight. Hold the ends of the rope out in front of you as though you’re shaking someone’s hand.

When you are ready lift the rope up above your head then slam the rope on the ground. As you complete the slamming motion bend your knees into a full squat. Repeat this movement.

Alternating Outside Circles

  • Intermediate
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

With feet hip-width apart, back straight and slight bend to the knee, hold the ends of the rope out in front of you at waist height.

Starting with one hand, and with a smooth, quick motion, make a circle. This is achieved by moving the hand from waist height up and away from your body until it reaches shoulder height, then bringing the hand back in towards the body until it is back at its starting position at waist height.

As soon as the first hand is back to waist height, do the same with the other hand. Repeat, alternating between each hand.

Wrestler Throws

  • Intermediate
  • Shoulders Abs

Download image

How to:

Get into position, with feet hip-width apart, back straight and a slight bend at the knees. Hold the ropes out in front of you in a reverse grip, with the ends of the rope pointing upwards.

Pull the ropes up and over to the right, rotating your whole body as you do so. Repeat this action, but this time on the left-hand side.

Shuffle Waves

  • Intermediate
  • Shoulders Legs

Download image

How to:

Hold both ends of the rope as though you’re shaking someone’s hand. Knees should be bent, back straight and core engaged. The rope should be at waist height.

Raise the right-hand rope to shoulder level at the same time as lowering the left-hand rope to hip height.

At the same time as you raise your right arm, begin shuffling or stepping your feet to the right. In total you will complete two shuffles/steps to the right before changing to the left-hand side. Your arms should follow this movement.

Alternating Reverse Lunges and Classic Waves

  • Intermediate
  • Shoulders Legs Bum

Download image

How to:

Start with feet hip width apart, slight bend to the knees and both ends of the rope held out in front of you at waist height, as though you’re about to shake someone’s hand.

As you raise your right-hand rope to shoulder height, your left-hand rope is lowered to hip height. This creates a wave in both sides of the rope.

At the same time as you raise your right arm, step your right leg back into a reverse lunge. Repeat this action, alternating from one side to the other.

Chops

  • Intermediate
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

Start with legs apart and slight bend to the knee as you lean in slightly with back straight and core engaged.

Take both ends of the rope and hold them in front of you, at the top of your left thigh.

Raise both hands at the same time lifting the rope across the body diagonally, from left to right, until it’s above your head. Slam the rope back down to its starting position, reversing the above motion.

Switch to the rope to your right-hand side and repeat. Allow your weight to shift from left to right as you do this.

Continue to alternate from left to right.

Split Jack Double Waves

  • Intermediate
  • Shoulders Legs Bum

Download image

How to:

Hold both ends of the rope at hip height in front of you. Grip the rope as though you’re shaking someone’s hand.

Start in a split jack position: with feet a couple of inches apart, move the right leg behind you, in a straight line. Both knees should have a slight bend in them. Back is straight, core is engaged.

As you jump into a split lunge, elevate both arms to shoulder height before slamming them both down to the ground. Repeat.

Kneeling to Standing Waves

  • Intermediate
  • Shoulders Legs

Download image

How to:

Take both ends of the rope and hold them in front of you as though you’re shaking someone’s hands.

Stand with feet apart.

With your hands, simultaneously raise one arm to should height, as you lower the other to other. This effect will create a ripple of waves along both ropes in front of you.

As you do this with your hands, go from standing to kneeling position and back again. Alternating the leg you lead with each time.

Seated Wrestler Throws

  • Intermediate
  • Shoulders Abs

Download image

How to:

Sit down on the floor, legs extended in front of you with a bend at the knees. Lean back to create a slight V-shape with your body.

Hold both ends of the rope to your chest. Grip the rope as though you’re holding a mug of coffee.

From here, in one smooth action, lift both hands and bring them down on the right side of your body, before lifting them straight back up again and bringing them down on the left side of your body. As you do this, you should be slamming the rope down on to the floor on both sides.

Continue to alternate from side to side.

Hopping Wrestler Throws

  • Intermediate
  • Shoulders Legs Abs

Download image

How to:

Start in a standing position, feet slightly apart, both ends of the rope held in front of you at waist height. Grip the rope as though you’re holding a cup of coffee.

In one smooth and swift action extend both arms over to the outside of your right thigh, jumping straight up in the air as you do so. Repeat this motion on your left and continue to alternate form side to side.

Squat and Shoulder Press

  • Intermediate
  • Shoulders Legs Bum

Download image

How to:

For this exercise you need both ends of the rope. Hold them at shoulder height, palms facing inwards, knuckles facing upwards towards the ceiling and elbows close to the body.

Your feet should be just outside of your shoulders.

With your hands in position, sit back into a deep squat. As you come up extend both arms, elevating the rope above your head. Bring the rope back to starting position and repeat the full range of motion.

ADVANCED BATTLE ROPE EXERCISES

Side Lunge Slam

  • Advanced
  • Legs Shoulders Bum

Download image

How to:

With feet hip-width apart and back straight, hold the ends of the rope in front of you.

When ready, lift the rope up to above your head. As the rope reaches the top of this movement lunge one leg out to the side of your body taking the rope with you. As you reach the full extent of your lunge movement, slam the rope to the ground. 

Come back to the starting position by reversing this movement: bring the leg back to the centre, lift the rope back up to above head height and back down in front of you.

Repeat this movement, before swapping sides.

Jumping Slam

  • Advanced
  • Shoulders Legs Bum

Download image

How to:

Feet should be hip-width apart and back kept straight.  Hold the ends of the rope out in front of you. 

When comfortable, lift the rope above your head as you jump upwards, then slam the rope onto the ground. As you complete the slamming motion bend your knees into a full squat. 

Repeat this movement.

Classic Waves and Static Lunge

  • Advanced
  • Shoulders Legs Bum

Download image

How to:

Take both ends of the rope and move into a reverse lunge, remembering that the front knee should be directly above the front foot.

Once in position, alternate lifting each rope to around head height in front of you. Repeat this movement on one side, before swapping legs.

Alternating Lunges and Double Wave

  • Advanced
  • Shoulders Legs Bum

Download image

How to:

Start with feet slightly apart, legs a bit bent, back straight and rope held out in both hands, directly in front of you. 

In one fluid motion, step your right leg back into a reverse lunge, then jump into the air and switch legs so that your left leg extends back. As you jump into the air, lift both arms up to head height bringing them back down and slamming the rope to the ground, as you complete each lunge.

Big to Small Double Wave (Whilst Squatting)

  • Advanced
  • Shoulders Legs Bum

 

Download image

How to:

Hold the rope in both hands, in front of your body. Legs should be wide apart and bent so that you’re starting from a squat position. Back should be straight, knees should be in line with feet.

Once in position, extend to full height while raising both hands to head height before lowering them and slamming the rope to the floor. This is the ‘big wave’.

As you lower the rope, drop back into the squat position. Stay in this squat position as you raise both hands to head height and then lower to the floor to create the ‘small wave’.

Repeat both steps, alternating between big and small wave.

Burpee & Double Wave

  • Advanced
  • Shoulders Abs Legs

Download image

How to:

This exercise combines killer burpees with a classic double wave move.

To begin, hold both ends of the rope as though you’re shaking someone’s hands. Legs should be hip-width apart with a slight bend to the knee.

In one smooth motion, extend both arms up simultaneously to head-height, then lower them until both hands are on the floor. From here, jump both feet back into a burpee. Return to a standing position and repeat in full.

Alternating Side Lunges and Waves

  • Advanced
  • Shoulders Legs Bum

Download image

How to:

Set your feet wide apart, feet facing to the front at a slight angle outward. Holding both ends of the rope as though you’re shaking someone’s hand, sit back into a squat. Knees should be behind the toes, back straight, core strong.

The rope should be in front of you, at waist-height.

From here, perform a classic wave move by simultaneously elevating one arm to shoulder height, as you lower the other by the same distance. As you do this, alternate between side lunges.

Hop & Double Waves

  • Advanced
  • Shoulders Legs Bum

Download image

How to:

Start in a standing position holding both ends of the rope at the side of your body. There should be a slight bend at the knee.

From this position, jump forward. As you do so, make a classic double wave by extending both arms up simultaneously to head height before slamming them both back down again. Repeat this arm movement as you jump backwards.

Crouching Tiger Waves

  • Advanced
  • Shoulders Legs

Download image

How to:

Hold both ends of the rope at the waist. Knees should be slightly bent, back straight.

Create classic waves by simultaneously elevating one hand to shoulder height while you lower the other hand to hip height. Repeat this motion and as you do so, travel your feet forward and then backwards.

Single Arm Plank and Classic Waves

  • Advanced
  • Shoulders Abs

Download image

How to:

For this exercise you only need one end of the rope. The other end should remain on the floor.

First off, get yourself into a high plank position; right hand is on the floor, directly underneath your shoulder, feet are wide apart, back is straight. Your bum should be in line with your back – not elevated.

Taking the rope in your left hand with arm bent, raise and lower your hand repeatedly creating a wave that ripples out across the length of the rope. Note: you should not be slamming the rope down to the floor.

Repeat this motion several times, before swapping sides.

Side Arm Plank Slams

  • Advanced
  • Shoulders Abs

Download image

How to:

For this exercise get into a one-handed high plank position. Feet should be wide apart, hand directly underneath the shoulder, back straight and bum level with back.

Taking the rope in your right hand and holding it as though you’re shaking someone’s hand, raise it to shoulder height and then slam it down on the floor.

Continue this motion before swapping to the other side.

Seated Classic Waves

  • Advanced
  • Shoulders

Download image

How to:

Get into a seated position, legs as wide apart as you can, back straight and feet flat, toes pointing up to the ceiling.

Grip both ends of the rope as though you’re shaking someone’s hands, out in front of you. Arms are bent at a 90° agree to the body.

Raise one hand to shoulder height as you lower the other hand to waist height.

Repeat.

Jumping Jack Waves

  • Advanced
  • Shoulders Legs

Download image

How to:

This exercise involves adding a battle rope to the much-loved Jumping Jack.

Take both ends of the rope in your hands and hold as though you’re shaking someone’s hands.

Standing with legs together and arms to your sides jump to a position with your legs spread wide and hands touching overhead, taking the rope with you. Return to your starting position with feet together and arms by your sides.

Repeat this full range of motion.

Bunny Hop Slams

  • Advanced
  • Shoulders Legs

Download image

How to:

Stand, feet apart, holding the rope in both hands.

In one smooth motion jump sideways to your right. As you do so, extend the arms up and the rope to head height. Bring the arms back down, slamming the rope down as you land.

Repeat, in the other direction.

Side Plank and Waves

  • Advanced
  • Shoulders Abs

Download image

How to:

Starting from a side plank position. The arm on the floor should be directly underneath the shoulder. Lift the hips off the floor.

Using your free hand, lift the rope to head height and then lower it to the waist. Do this repeatedly to create a series of waves that ripple out across the length of the rope.

Classic Waves and Quick Feet

  • Advanced
  • Shoulders Legs

Download image

How to:

Start by holding both ends of the rope out in front of you, just in front of your thighs. Grip the rope as though you’re shaking someone’s hands. Legs are hip-width apart with a slight bend to the knee. Back is straight and core engaged.

Make classic waves by simultaneously extending one arm up to shoulder height while you lower the other and repeat. As you do this, hot foot from side to side as though you’re walking on hot coals.

Repeat this full range of motion.

Thanks to?

The following contributors made this resource possible

Trudy Sturkenboon
www.boomtownpt.com Growing up in New Zealand Trudy developed a passion for movement, training and nutrition from an early age. For over 10 years she’s coached around the world and taken part in several competitions including triathlons, the Roth IronMan and the 2014 Asia CrossFit Regional Finals in which her team took 2nd place. She’s since gone on to coach as a member of the CrossFit weightlifting SME staff. Trudy is passionate about seeing people achieve their fitness goals and places a special emphasis on the role of nutrition and fuelling with regards to sports performance, fat loss, metabolic conditioning and health and wellbeing in general. Trudy is now based in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Qualifications: Sports Nutrition & Physical Education Degree, Crossfit Level 1, Crossfit Weightlifting Level 1, Crossfit Mobility Level 1, Les Mills Body Pump, Les Mills TRX

Did we miss anything?

Do you know a battle rope exercise that we have missed?

Want us to add it to our list?

No problem, submit your exercise via email (hello@buyrope.co.uk) and we will review it.

If it looks like a good inclusion we will add it and credit you with a link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

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