Rope training has been around a long time and has been used by the military in their training programs for years. Recently you may have seen ropes being used by participants in the popular TV show the Biggest Loser. Why is rope training gaining in popularity? Well for one reason it can be classified a High Intensity Workout which helps elevate your metabolism allowing you to burn fat all day long!
Training with items such as ropes, sandbags, kettlebells and even clubs and sledgehammers is known as an unconventional training method. Even though these methods may be classified unconventional the truth is that they work.
Using ropes to train will help you increase your strength, build muscle, gain more endurance and shed those unwanted pounds. Who doesn’t want to become a lean, mean muscle machine?
Rope training has been used by professional athletes for many years now. Football and rugby players train with ropes and endure hours of Battle the Rope to build up their strength. Russian soldiers used kettlebells as their form of exercise. If you delve into the history of unconventional training methods you will discover that Indians used sledgehammers and heavy clubs to gain muscle and build endurance required for hunting.
Today MMA fighters regularly use ropes as part of their training routine, along with kettlebells and sandbags. These training methods help increase their muscle strength and endurance while also helping them increase their speed and timing responses when in the ring.
Another popular form of rope training is the more traditional jumping with a rope. We wanted to include this here as it is a fantastic way to increase your fitness level and even a short time spent jumping can expend lots of calories.
Beginners Jump Rope Training
Remember when you were a child you probably jumped rope with your siblings and friends. This is still a wonderful exercise to do today. If you are short of time and money then jumping rope for exercise is one of the best ways to start getting healthier and losing weight.
As with any exercise when first starting out you want to take it easy and not over do it! There is no point in pulling a tendon or worse in the sake of getting fit. Slow and easy wins the race every time.
If you haven’t picked up a jump rope in years you should try jumping for approximately 30 seconds or around 50 repetitions. This would be classified as one set. Aim to complete three sets each time you workout. As this becomes easier for you increase the time to 60 seconds and then to 90 seconds and allow yourself only 30 seconds to rest before starting the next set. Work up to four or five sets three times a week.
As you become more advanced at jump rope then increase the time you spend jumping to 20 minutes each session. Your goal is to have each set last between two to five minutes completing five sets each workout. To get the best benefit try not to rest too long in between sets. Aim to do these five times a week.
Today rope training encompasses more than just jumping and makes use of different types of ropes. The ropes used are known as heavy or battle ropes and come in varying thicknesses and lengths.
Heavy ropes were traditionally used by men because of their weight, however today you will see more ropes being used by women as well. This is because this form of training is excellent for overall conditioning, strengthening and of course weight loss.
Basic Rope Training
There are many ways you can utilize ropes into your exercise routine. You can use ropes to make waves, for pulls, slams, climbing, jumping and even for dragging around. If you want to increase your lung capacity this is the perfect method to use. Your lungs will easily be burning after a workout.
When starting a rope training program you will come across hundreds of exercises with different terms. Below we have listed a few exercise moves that are commonly used in this type of training program.
* Shuffle Waves
* Hand Pulls
* Rope Twists
* Seated over the shoulder pulls
* Drag Pull
* Around the World
* Grappler Throw
All you need is one thick rope to get started and you don’t have to go out and buy a brand name sports training rope either. You can just visit your local hardware store and purchase a manila rope that is about 1.5 to 2.0 inches in diameter and 50 feet long. A manila type rope is very strong and sturdy and can take the excessive pounding that you are about to commence on.
You are also going to need a way to secure the rope so you can use both ends. If you have a large tree in your backyard this would be perfect. You can simply wrap the rope around the tree trunk. You may be able to work out with another person who can hold the rope in the middle, providing they are strong enough to hold onto it. Whatever methods you choose ensure that the rope is secure and safe. Another idea is if you have a sturdy pole in your basement that you can wrap or secure the rope too.
Mind you we have also seen people use the ropes unsecured. You just lay out the length of rope and then start making waves with it. Just be careful that the end doesn’t flay around and whip someone or something.
Making waves with your rope is one of the easiest ways to get started. You simply hold onto the rope and start moving it up and down with your arms until you see the wave motion happening. Be sure to stand with your feet firmly on the ground about shoulder width apart. The more motion you make with your arms the quicker your heart rate will increase.
It is best to start out doing a timed session of about 30 seconds, doing this for a beginner is really going to tax your arms and your breathing. As your ability improves you can increase the duration of each session or increase your speed.
A slam move is similar to a wave other than you hold your arms high above your head before slamming the rope down. You can perform this move with both arms or alternate your arms. Again start with a short session and increase the duration over time.
Benefits of Rope Training
The biggest benefit to rope training is to increase your strength, improve your endurance and your power. You will find that after training with heavy ropes you will be quicker, stronger and more agile. Which is one of the reasons why many pro athletes use this form of training, they notice a huge difference when it comes to game time!
The other huge benefit of rope training is that you will notice a difference in your aerobic capacity. Rope training incorporates cardiovascular training with high intensity training by combing intense short sessions which are repeated several times. This is a great exercise to help improve your lungs ability to take in more air. If you have lung problems consult with a doctor before attempting this type of exercise and get their advice on how best to start off.
Rope training is a full body workout and incorporates your entire trunk. There is no need to have to perform more exercises afterwards. It really is one piece of equipment that targets your whole body from head to toe.
As well rope training is just plain fun, it is the perfect exercise to take up if you are bored with your regular routine. Training with ropes is perfect for beginners to pro athletes and for anyone regardless of age. It is simply a matter of adjusting the length and weight of the rope to suit each person. This makes rope training perfect for a family fun filled exercise routine.
The nice thing about this type of training is that you can adapt it to suit your needs. If you have trouble standing you can easily kneel down or sit on a stability ball. For more advanced moves try squatting or lunging as you control the ropes. Plus don’t forget that you can use your heavy rope for climbing or pulling movements.
When buying a rope you want to take a few things into consideration. There is more to buying a rope than meets the eye and first off you need to realize that there are different types of rope.
One of the best rope choices is one made from premium double braided nylon. With a double braided rope you essentially have two ropes in one, with one being braided over the top of the other.
This type of rope is very strong, durable and soft and comfortable on your hands. They are a nice heavy rope that will not shed making them great for indoor or outdoor use. The only downside to this type of rope is its price. They tend to be on the expensive side but don’t forget they will last for many years.
The Manila rope is probably the one that you are more familiar with. This type of rope resembles the ropes you would have used at school! A Manila rope is a tough rope that is great for taking the kind of abuse rope training can place on it. This type of rope is also more affordable making it the number one reason why many people start off with one.
It is important to note that a Manila rope may tend to shed and is recommended for using outside and it can be a little rough on your hands. Take these points into consideration before making your final buying decision.
A middle of the road rope would be one that is made from polyester and polypropylene fibers. This type of rope is very strong and durable. It is also much softer than a Manila rope and does not shed so can be used both indoors and outside.
Ropes made from polyester tend to be lighter making them a good choice for beginners, seniors and children. Price wise they are right in the middle between the cheaper Manila ropes and the more expensive double braided ropes.
If you purchase a rope specifically made for rope training then it will normally have handles or covered ends on it. If you purchase a length of rope from your hard ware store it will have rough edges on it.
When selecting your rope try to pick a rope that is not too heavy for you but one that still has a thickness of 1.5 to 2 inches. The most popular length is 50 feet but 25 foot ropes are still long enough for you to get a great workout with. Some people prefer to purchase a longer length of rope and then tie knots in it. As your ability increases you can easily make the rope longer by untying the knots.
Rope training goes by many names and you may see this type of training advertised as:
* Undulating training
* Power training
* Battle Rope training
* Exercise Rope training
* Fitness ropes
Just remember that they all mean the same thing and would possibly have exercises with different names. Whether you are looking for something to add to your exercise routine or are just in the mood to try something new rope training may be your perfect choice. Your only cost is that of a length of rope and you are ready to go.
It is quite easy to find videos online that will instruct you on the basic movements and exercises. Or you can purchase DVD’s where you can follow along. You can train by yourself, with a partner or make it a family activity. Heck you can even invite your neighbours over and have a friendly tug of war game in your backyard.