Battle Ropes [Review] Are They the Best Workout for You?

Although the Battle Ropes exercise might seem simple and easy, it’s anything but.

These ropes can be used for an effective full-body workout that will challenge your cardiovascular endurance and leave you sore for days.

Incorporating Battle Ropes workouts into your current exercise regime can provide various benefits. Still, it can also leave you vulnerable to injury, especially if you have a history of shoulder issues.

Please keep reading to learn more about battling ropes, how you can use them, and some of the best alternatives for anyone who finds Battle Rope exercises to be hard on their shoulders.

What are Battle Ropes (BRs)?

Battle Ropes are long weighted ropes often found in gyms and used for workouts designed to increase strength in the core, arms, shoulders, and upper and lower back.

Besides being an excellent workout for strength training, they also allow users to do exercises that are effective at conditioning the cardiovascular system.

To use Battle Ropes, you hold onto the end of the rope furthest away from the anchor point and swing the battling ropes with both your arms simultaneously, or you can choose to use one arm independently, alternating your movements with your arms.

This is all done while staying in a squat position with your feet hip-width apart.

You can swing the ropes quickly or slowly, slam both ends of the rope down simultaneously, or use a wave pattern while swinging the ropes vertically, horizontally, or even in a circular motion.

The direction in which you swing the ropes and whether you swing them with both arms simultaneously or use one arm independent from the other can affect the targeted muscles. Other than those of the core and upper body, which will be involved in all movements.

Using both arms simultaneously can target the muscles on either side of the spine, also known as the erector spinae muscles, whereas movement done with alternating arms is better for strengthening the muscles in the sides of the abs, more specifically the external obliques.

Battle Ropes also come in a variety of lengths and weights. This is a big selling point for some users as it means that as your strength increases, you also have the possibility of increasing the weight of the ropes.

Increasing your load to match your new level of strength is the best way to stave off a plateau in your training and is something that some other exercises don’t offer.


Pros of Battle Ropes

It Can Be Used for Full-body Workouts

Although it may not seem like it, using Battle Ropes during your workouts opens you to various exercise options that work for all major muscle groups.

Doing single-arm plank waves, which involve doing Battle Rope waves with one hand while holding a pushup position with the other, are great for targeting your core and strengthening the shoulders.

Alternating wide circles are an effective exercise for hitting the deltoids, which are problematic muscles to target, and using the full range of motion through the shoulder joint.

But not only can you use a wide range of movements with the Battle Ropes themselves, but you can also incorporate several bodyweight exercises like squats and burpees that help to involve more of the major muscle groups throughout the entire body.

Studies support the idea that doing a single exercise until you reach total muscle fatigue can provide a complete workout.

Since doing a Battle Rope workout allows you to hit the whole body, you have the opportunity to strengthen all of the major muscle groups, even if you only have 15 minutes to spare.

Are a Low Impact on Bones and Joints

The impact level of specific exercises relates to how much stress an exercise puts on your bones and joints.

An example of a high-impact exercise is like running. The movement involves having both feet off the ground simultaneously, followed by a jarring impact when they land back on the ground.

Although high-impact activities can strengthen bones, if you are in the early stages of exercising, recovering from an injury, or are currently overweight, high-impact activities can put unnecessary strain on the body. This can result in overuse injuries like stress fractures in the shins.

Using low-impact exercises allows you to build strength and endurance without unnecessary strain.

Eventually, as the body becomes stronger, you can begin to work in higher-impact exercises to experience their strengthening effect on your bones and muscles — but only if you want to.

Improve Cardiovascular Endurance

Improving cardiovascular endurance allows you to get through moderate to high-intensity physical activity without feeling tired.

This is because it strengthens the blood vessels, lungs, and even the heart and allows them to distribute oxygenated blood to the parts of your body that need it most with minimal effort.

Although it might not seem like it, the level of intensity and number of muscles used while doing Battle Rope exercises get the heart pumping and blood moving quickly throughout the body.

Studies have shown that even as little as six weeks of consistent 15-minute Battle Rope HIIT workouts can significantly improve endurance and V02max.

When a cardiovascular disease is at an all-time high, finding exercises you enjoy doing and can use to strengthen your heart is more important than ever.

Cons of Battle Ropes

It Can Be Hard on the Shoulders

Battle Rope exercises might not be the best option for anyone with pre-existing shoulder issues.

Regardless of your exercise choice, almost all the movement involved in using these ropes comes from the shoulders. It’s a repetitive motion that can wear down the shoulder joint since it is already at a higher risk of injury than most other joints.

If you’ve ever experienced a shoulder dislocation or any pain in the joint, it’s best to either avoid this exercise or start with gentle movements and not use heavy ropes.

Doing so can help you rebuild strength in the joint but will also limit the intensity of your workouts and, therefore, the number of benefits you can expect from this exercise style.

Requires a Lot of Space to Use

To use Battle Ropes, you must have a minimum of 10-15 feet. Not to mention that they are pretty noisy, so they’re not ideal for anyone with downstairs neighbors.

Since they are lightweight, you can always use them outdoors, though this won’t be an option for the colder months. These limitations usually mean that most rope workouts must be done in the confines of a gym.

Not Available at All Gyms

One of the most significant setbacks of using Battle Ropes is the level of accessibility. Not all gyms offer Battle Ropes for their members to use, and even if they do, that doesn’t mean that they are always set up and ready for members to incorporate into their workouts.

Alternative Workouts to Battle Ropes

Jump Rope

Most of us know jump rope from our childhood. It’s a simple exercise involving holding both ends of a rope in each hand and then jumping through the loop created in the middle.

It is a popular exercise used to warm up the body before exercise. It can even be used for a more high-intensity aerobic exercise that strengthens your cardiovascular system and muscles, though it can be hard on the joints in the lower body.

These ropes are inexpensive, easy to purchase, and lightweight. This makes them easy to use at home, in the park, or even in the office.

They can be difficult to use simply because they require a certain level of coordination, but other than that, jumping rope is an accessible exercise for everyone.

Jump Rope Pros

  • Improves cardiovascular conditioning
  • It can be used anywhere
  • Easily transported
  • Inexpensive to purchase

Jump Rope Cons

  • High-impact exercise for bones and joints
  • Will eventually hit a plateau with workouts
  • It takes a certain level of coordination
  • Not the most effective cardiovascular exercise
  • Repetitive and slightly monotonous movement pattern

Assault Bike

Assault bikes are a type of exercise bike that use the resistance of large fans spinning at the front of the bikes to impact the level of difficulty, instead of the traditional style of stationary bikes that use magnetic resistance.

Another way these bikes differ from regular exercise bikes is that they also have handles that move backward and forward as you pedal, like a combination of an elliptical and a stationary bike. This means you have the potential to fit in an upper body workout as well.

The different levels of resistance allow users to break through any plateaus they’re experiencing during training. These bikes are also often used by people rehabilitating an injury or who are overweight since they provide endurance conditioning and muscle growth with minimal impact.

The downside of these bikes is that they are not easy to transport and are expensive to purchase for a home gym, so a gym membership is generally required.

Assault Bike Pros

  • Low-impact exercise
  • Boosts aerobic conditioning
  • It makes use of many major muscle groups

Assault Bike Cons

  • Not transportable
  • It can be high-impact on the wrists
  • Are expensive to purchase for yourself
  • Require a gym membership to use
  • Workouts can get monotonous

Flow Ropes

Flow ropes are probably the most similar exercise to battling ropes. They are better suited for anyone looking for a more versatile workout or dealing with shoulder or upper back injuries.

Rope flow is a less-known exercise that uses a long weighted rope that can be used for various movements best described as a combination of poi, dancing, and jump rope, though, unlike jump rope, it is entirely impact-free for the joints.

The ropes provided by a company called Octomoves come in various weights, with their most heavy rope, the Black Swan, weighing in at 1.1lbs, and the Funky Zen, a lighter 0.66lbs. The lighter ropes provide the opportunity for injury rehabilitation, while the heavier ropes can be used for a higher-intensity aerobic workout.

In addition to effectively relieving long standing shoulder and back pain, increasing mobility through the shoulder joints, increasing aerobic endurance, and even strengthening all of the major muscle groups, the biggest bonus of this exercise is that it feels more like play than work and can be done anywhere.

Flow Ropes Pros

  • Low-impact exercise
  • Easily transportable
  • It can be done at home
  • Inexpensive to purchase
  • Variety of different weights
  • Encourage a fuller range of motion
  • Fun to do
  • Guided tutorials available for learning

Flow Ropes Cons

  • Must be purchased by you
  • It cannot be used for high-intensity strength training


Burpees are a light exercise involving a push up followed by a jump into the air in which both feet leave the ground.

The combination of the two movements makes it an effective workout for the lower and upper body, as long as you use proper posture, often used in circuit training or as a means to warm up the body before taking on higher-intensity exercise.

Although it helps strengthen all major muscle groups, including the back, shoulders, arms, legs, and even the core, it is a monotonous workout many people dread doing.

It is also on the higher end of impact since it includes jarring movement for the lower body’s wrists, bones, and joints.

That being said, burpees don’t require any fitness equipment to be done and can be modified to be less impactful. However, anyone suffering from shoulder or wrist injuries should avoid them altogether.

Burpees Pros

  • Don’t require any equipment
  • Improve mobility and coordination
  • Build strength in the entire body

Burpees Cons

  • High-impact for bones and joints
  • Hard on the wrists
  • Monotonous and not fun to do
  • It leaves you at risk of shoulder injuries

Medicine Balls

Medicine balls are weighted balls that come in various sizes and weights, ranging from 2lbs up to 150lbs, that can be incorporated into multiple exercises.

The heavier balls can pack quite a punch, providing an effective strength training workout that can target the entire body, depending on the exercises that you choose to use them with.

The lower-weighted balls are often used for injury rehabilitation since they can be used with a wide variety of exercises that use the full range of motion through the shoulders and hips.

Buying a variety of weights will involve an initial investment, but having an at-home collection will remove the need for you to purchase a gym membership, though they can take up a lot of space and be a pain to transport outside of your home.

Medicine Balls Pros

  • It can be used for a range of full-body workouts
  • Different weight options to stave off plateaus
  • It can be used to rehabilitate an existing injury

Medicine Balls Cons

  • Can increase injury risk if used incorrectly
  • Not as versatile as free-weights or kettlebells
  • They are not easily transported due to weight

Purchasing Battle Ropes

Battle Ropes can be purchased from the official website. There are four options available at the following prices:

  • Black Swan 1.1lb: $69.99
  • Phoenix 1.1lb: $69.99
  • Flowzilla .99lbs: $74.99
  • Funky Zen .66lbs: $64.99

A 30-day money-back guarantee backs all Battle Rope purchases. For more information, contact customer service via:

  • Email: hey@octomoves.com

Battle Ropes Bottom Line

There are many reasons to try a Battle Rope workout, but it’s also essential to be mindful of the limitations and be open to trying different exercise options.

If you have a history of shoulder dislocation or any other kind of shoulder injury, doing Battle Rope workouts using lightweight ropes and gentle movements can help strengthen the joint muscles and aid in rehabilitation.

But if you ever feel pain or discomfort while using them, it’s best to skip the Battle Ropes and try your hand at one of the other exercises mentioned in this article.


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