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The Battling Rope System provides an intense cardiovascular and endurance workout in a very short period of time, while incorporating multiple muscle groups.

Battling rope alternating waves

(a.k.a. fitness, undulating, power, training or exercise rope alternating whips or slams)

The Battling Rope System provides an intense cardiovascular and endurance workout in a very short period of time, while also incorporating multiple muscle groups and improving grip strength and shoulder endurance. Working the ropes also requires a coordinated physical effort that emanates from your core as these muscles are the prime movers required to initiate the movement and keep the momentum going.

Form tip: The goal of this exercise is to create and sustain velocity.

  • Starting:
    Grab the ends of the rope in each hand with a neutral grip. Space your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees bent and your torso tilted forward at the hips. Lean back slightly.
  • The movement:
    With your arms slightly bent at the elbows explosively alternate your arms in an up and down motion to create a wave that runs down the length of the battling rope. Continue this movement by generating the force through your core and the velocity of the waves through your arms.
  • Reps:
    You can use this exercise as part of a Tabata set (20 seconds activity and 10 seconds rest repeated eight times), a high intensity interval training set or a straight set of 60 seconds or a set of 60 waves.
  • Muscles targeted:
    Primary – Major muscles of the shoulder responsible for extension and flexion, as well as scapula and clavicle depression, elevation and rotation.
    Secondary (stabilisers and synergists) – Muscles responsible for the flexion and extension of the hips, thoracic and lumbar spine, elbow and wrists, as well as your core stabilisers.

Variations to the move:

Two-handed battling rope slams (double waves):

You can perform small or big wave two-handed slams by gripping the ends of the rope with both hands and executing each wave at the same time. Use the same set up and form as described in the alternating wave exercise.

  • Form tip: Keep your back straight throughout the entire movement.
  • Tip: Aim to keep a constant pace so that the waves don’t slow down. If the waves do not reach the end of the rope then rest and start another set.

 

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