There’s no need to use only barbells and dumbbells to get in good shape. You can also do it with ropes.
If barbells and dumbbells have been the only tools in your training arsenal, you may want to spice up your training by adding some rope work. Ropes are a great tool for anyone who’s looking to add lean muscle onto his frame. The reason why they are so effective is that they target each arm separately, which eliminates the development of potential strength imbalances whilst building new muscle mass. They are also great for an unconventional cardio workout. Continue reading to find out how they can help you maximize your muscle strength and size.
You can train at home
Training ropes vary greatly in size, length, and thickness, but a 1-inch-thick, a 50-foot rope would work best for the majority of guys. You can also make your own: buy 50 feet of 1 ½-inch rope and wrap each end in an electrical tape. As an anchor, simply use any pole and loop it around it.
Training Rule #1: Move in many different directions
Do not simply wave them up and down. You should try different movements in different planes which will target different muscles. For example, moving them side to side puts a greater emphasis on the hips and the core, which helps to build full-body stability. Moving them in circles will improve your shoulder mobility and flexibility as well as the range of motion, all the while increasing overall athleticism and decreasing the risk of injury. Switching up different movements in your workout sessions will help you build functional strength that can be applied in the real world.
Training Rule #2: Use training ropes for your whole workout
Many people use the ropes as a type of workout finisher or as just one movement in a bigger training circuit. However, ropes can give you a killer workout in and of themselves. For example, you might want to do every movement in this article for 10 minutes or do only waves for 20 minutes straight. Performing one task for an extended period of time teaches the mind to fully focus on it and helps the body flush the built up lactic acid in your muscles, which causes muscle soreness. This will also lengthen the time your muscles are under tension, which will help you build muscle strength and size whilst shedding the excess fat.
Training Rule #3: Adjust the level of resistance
How much slack the rope has, determines the resistance level. When you move further away from the anchor point the intensity decreases while coming closer to the anchor point increases it. Adjust the resistance so that you feel challenged to complete each set. If you are doing a battling-rope training session, switch between 2 minutes closer to the anchor point and 1 minute farther away. The time you spend when you’re farther away from the anchor point is actually an active type of recovery.
The two main rope movements you have to master
1. Battle-rope waves
This is the most common and classic battle-rope movement. It targets each arm separately and keeps the muscles under tension for an extended period of time. The way you do it is by holding the rope at arm’s length in front of the hips, with your hands shoulder-width apart. Brace the core and start alternatively raising and lowering each arm in an explosive manner. Keep switching the arms for about 5-20 minutes.
2. Battle-rope crossover slams
During this movement, instead of doing waves, slam the rope to the ground. This way, you will build more power and really engage your core. Keep both feet flat on the ground while you move the ends of the rope in an arc above the head, lifting them to your left and slamming them down hard on the floor to your right. Repeat this in the opposite direction. Keep switching sides for 5-20 minutes.
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