Heavy rope exercises are not "for-men-only" exercises. Training with heavy ropes is not like your typical iron-pumping routine. It involves swinging thick ropes in controlled patterns for a period of time. Heavy rope training is intense and challenging but not intimidating. Try rope swinging to take your fitness to a new level. Not only are heavy rope exercises beneficial, they can add an element of fun to your workouts.
Benefits of Heavy Rope Training
Heavy rope training helps improve your cardiovascular endurance, core stability, grip and overall strength. This type of strength training works more than just your arms; it's a full-body workout, according to IDEA Health & Fitness Association. Heavy rope exercises work your arms, shoulder, back, chest, abdominal, hip and thigh muscles. Compared to other forms of conditioning training, such as sprinting or weight lifting, heavy rope exercises are easier on your joints.
Rope Types and Sizes
The ropes used for heavy rope exercises are typically between 1-1/2 to 2 inches in diameter with rubber ends. They are available in 30- to 50-foot lengths. Anchor the rope by wrapping the middle around a stationary pole or a tree. A 1-1/2-inch diameter rope is a good size for a woman because her hands are usually smaller than a man's and the rope's weight is a little less. The most common ropes used are Manila hemp, Dacron-coated nylon with a synthetic fiber core or an all nylon rope. Manila ropes tend to be heavier and shed fibers. The Dacron-coated rope might be a good choice for women because it does not shed; it's softer and is easier on the hands. The nylon rope is not the best choice because it will stretch over time and can unravel.
Rope Exercise Basics
To perform heavy rope exercises, you securely hold the ends of the rope and aggressively swing and whip your arms in different patterns to cause a waving, snaking or twisting action of the rope. The alternating wave and the single wave are two common rope exercises. With alternating waves, you repeatedly move your arms up and down opposite each other to create alternating rope waves that ripple from your hands to the anchor point. The single wave is done with both arms moving up and down together, creating parallel waves. Once you have learned a few basic exercises, progress to more advanced exercises.
If you are new to heavy rope training, start with a short rope, such as 30 feet and increase the length over time. Heavy rope exercises are done for time. Start by doing one set of each exercise for 30 seconds and as you become stronger, increase the number of sets before increasing the time. Gradually work up to three minutes per exercise. When performing more than one set, rest for one minute between sets.