It’s been a while since I have written about exercise because, well, frankly I fell off the wagon.
My personal training journey last year came to an abrupt end in January and since then I have been on my own workout wise and it just hasn’t been fun or easy, to be honest.
Recently, I started working out with a new trainer and this man loves rope workouts.
Between our weekly training session, he has me doing my own 15 minute at home workouts using my two new favorite pieces of equipment: Jump Rope & Battle Ropes. You can purchase both online, and I will post my favorite purchases at the bottom**
The battle ropes are my personal favorite training tool because you can feel and see a difference quickly and just a short time after starting to use them. They are my own personal Everest. Years ago, I saw a video of an old bf and his ex doing couples battle ropes battles in Central Park and ever since then I have been determined to try them. I have never seen anything look so easy and fun and yet in reality be so extremely difficult.
My old trainer taught me the ropes (pun intended) and even though they are one of the most difficult workouts I have ever done, I quickly became obsessed. I eventually had to purchase my own because I found myself craving them between sessions.
I live in a high-rise, so upon the recommendation of my trainer, I put my battle ropes on my balcony. This is an INTENSE workout and I don’t feel comfortable doing in front of other people! Your facial expressions are funny, you sweat beyond belief and if you’re anything like me, you will scream profanities while using them — and possibly even throw up after. That just means they are working and so is your body.
Battle ropes have been a popular workout choice for many athletes like football players and MMA fighters because it provides a high-intensity full body workout. It has the same effects of lifting dumbbells with the major difference being that the ropes show you whether you are moving correctly. If you aren’t doing the workout correctly, the ropes will be the first to tell you to pick it up and get in shape (no trainer yelling at you required for that — although I do miss that). Battle ropes work your upper body, abs, back, and of course your butt. If you are feeling fancy or extra sporty, you can also add in some other movements, such as squats and jumps to work out your legs as well ( I haven’t gotten that far YET.)
Jump Rope has always been one of my favorite things to do. In Canada we used to have a fundraiser in our middle schools where the students spend the day seeing who can jump rope the longest without messing up and its the only thing I used to train and practice for as a kid. I LOVED IT. Again, my old trainer gifted me with a professional jump rope a few years ago and they do make quite a difference (I would have settled for one with the beads on it like I had as a kid, let’s be honest).
Jump rope is surprisingly an incredible workout and no wonder endurance athletes like boxers swear by it. Upon searching for jump rope workouts online I discovered that 10 minutes of skipping is equivalent to an 8 mile run (not to mention it isn’t as hard on your joints as running is and improves bone density). Not only that, you must force your brain and muscles to work together. It is an incredible workout for your brain health because it involves coordination, rhythm and strategy. As an added bonus to being an incredible calorie burner, it helps improve balance, coordination, quickness. Football players, soccer players, and even musicians who perform in large teams often use jumping rope as a way to get in sync with each other and connect the upper and lower body.
Oh, and it quickly activates and sculpts your upper body, so it’s a win all around.
Make sure you remember the basics:
Breathe: In through your nose and out through your mouth.
Stretch: Even if it’s just 100 jumping jacks, get your heart rate up and your body ready before the workout.
Warm up: Jumping Jacks, air squats, and front lounges
For about 10 minutes a day, I do two simple battle routines on repeat with a 30 second rest in between:
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and get into a squat position if you really want to up your workout. Keep your abs flexed and keep your ropes at arm’s length and hands shoulder-width apart. I’ll post YouTube links below each exercise so you can get a feel without having to imagine me doing it – although I’m sure you’d get a kick out of that! Getting your breathing right will also help a lot while using battle ropes.
- Slam the ropes in a uniform fashion. I pick up both of the battle ropes in a squat position and I slam them down in the same place at the same time. This may sound easy but I dare you to do it 25 times without yelling or crying (no judgement!). If you aren’t doing this correctly or are getting lazy, believe me, the ropes will tell you. They will speak to you without words, you’ll know.
- Next, I do a small wave. I rotate between aggressively making small and large waves with the ropes, 25 times each. Each rope will be moving opposite to each other so when one wave is up, the other is down. This one hurts but I love it because I can see and feel it sculpting my body. If you want to go all out and kill your arms, grab the ropes like you are holding a microphone. It will require you to use extra arm strength to keep those waves going. No judgement if you throw up after, I’m not even kidding.
Doing a few sets of both every day should be more than enough.
Jump rope is a little easier: I do this for 10 minutes a day in 30 second reps with 10 seconds of rest between each rep. Here are the jump rope variations I practice:
- Regular Skipping (30 seconds)
- Run in place (30 seconds)
- Side Straddle (aka jump side to side while skipping) (30 Second)
- High Knees Jumping (30 Sec)
- Super Speed Skipping
- Double under (If you cant do this one, replace with high knee)
Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat.
Good luck and remember to stay hydrated and breathe. Breathing correctly will help you tremendously with both of these workouts.
For the battle ropes I use: CLICK HERE
Size: 38mm/50mm Width 9m/12m/15m Length
For the jump rope I use: Click Here