Best Battle Ropes To Buy for Battling Fat (or Zombies): Our 4 Favorites (2018)

I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about what I would do in the event of a zombie apocalypse (come on, admit it, you do too).

Imagine:

Where I would go, what I would do, who I would do it with.

I imagine I would need to run tirelessly, jump over fences, and save people from hoards.

Then, I think about how I would train for the zombie takeover, and inevitably, my mind wanders to the gym, but I don’t want MRSA (those gym floors are crawling with bacteria, let’s get real).

So: Just move!

“Super set sum up”: Best Battle Ropes for the Average Joe/Jane/Beginner/Parent You!

  1. Titan Fitness Battle Ropes (Budget/Beginner & Beyond)
  2. Nex Pro Battle Ropes (For The Serious/Budget)
  3. Iron Bull Strength Ropes (Budget/Beginner)
  4. Onnit Battle Ropes (my choice)

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. At no cost you, of course 🙂

These are in no particular order. Just pick one above!

If you want a new rope, pick one of the four above and then go outside! (It doesn’t even matter which rope you get, hell you can even use sheets or blankets!)

Even great to get the kids involved!

#MADspeed kiddos crushing their circuit at the end of their workout! Nothing like battle ropes, med balls, & p ullups to get the ❤ pumping! pic.twitter.com/2mwHGgulbe

— MADTraining (@MADTrainingATX) August 4, 2017

Getting back to the point:

What’s a zombie-apocalypse obsessed person to do?

Create an at-home training program, that’s what.

Not only is it cheaper (what what!), but I can sweat it out in the comfort of my own home or backyard or even my garage.

And I’ve found that there is no better, full-body workout zombie-apocalypse preparer than the battle ropes (I mean, battle is in the name).

Quick history lesson:
The name was originally coined from a rope training system called, “battling ropes®” by John Brookfield. Since he trademarked that term, you’ll find the myriad of names now used today like, battle ropes or heavy ropes.

You know the ones, they look exactly as they sound:

Thick, coarse, heavy ropes that you whip on the ground to whip you into shape (okay, to be fair, you can slam or create waves too).

This prepares you for battle.

Zombies don’t stand a chance.

Seriously though, if you want your body to be in killer strong mode (literally), then the best thing you can do for yourself is to exercise efficiently and effectively.

While I’m sure you’ll need to do some endurance training (to run away from zombie hordes), the best form of exercise for someone like me (who wants to exercise as little as possible with maximum results) is high intensity interval training, which battle ropes provide.

battle ropes benefits

Basically:

You’re getting more bang for my proverbial buck.

You’ll build muscle, while losing weight and improving my cardiorespiratory fitness (which means you can run faster longer, away from zombies).

The Hefty Battle Ropes Benefits & Training:

You might be thinking:

But don’t battle ropes just work out your arms?

Nay!

Geek mode: In a study conducted by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, O2 was measured between various resistance type compound exercises including burpees and battle ropes. Exercises like your squats, push-ups and pull ups.

Guess what?

This study concluded that the battle ropes used the most oxygen and burned an average of 10 calories per/minute.

Worth your time? Yes.

Battle ropes are a sneaky exercise tool in the fact that they work out your entire body as it was meant to be (especially if you pair the whipping, slapping, or waving movements with lunges, jumps, or squats).

Which is why I’ve chosen to use battle ropes as one of my go-to at-home exercises.

However:

Two of the biggest benefits of battle rope training is the HIIT factor and the strengthening of muscle imbalances you may have.

For instance:

battle ropes muscles used

During the “alternating wave” exercise (shown here), does one rope wave higher than the other? If so, you got some work to do on either arm!

With the HIIT (high-intensity interval training) you are able to heighten your VO2 max and train your anaerobic/aerobic energy systems.

Some other great benefits of this type of training:

Time: meaning that a set program of exercises you choose won’t take you an hour finish. So as a busy parent or anyone that’s short on time can get a full effective body work out in 15-30 minutes.

Why?

I’m sure 20 seconds doing this wave will knock you on your bum!

Setup: Easy to set up and store either at home or outside.

Strengthening: As I said before, this is great for the whole body and you can alternate from low to high impact.

Bonus – Grip Strength! You are only as strong as your weakest link!

Now:

Which battle rope to purchase for at-home use is another story entirely, but luckily for you, I’ve done my homework.

I’ve read hordes of reviews to make sure you get the best battle ropes for battling zombies (or belly fat, or dimple butt, or whatever it is you’re motivated to fight against!).

What to Consider Before Buying Your Battle Ropes?

Let’s look at 5 things you should consider when deciding to buy battle ropes:
  1. Space:

The first thing you want to consider when buying a battle rope is to determine where it will go, because it’s no fun buying a new exercise tool and not being able to use it because you don’t have enough space!

Ask yourself:

Where will I anchor my rope, and how much space do I have to whip, slam, and wave around in? That will determine what length you can realistically use at home.

More Information: [The Onnit Academy has a great beginners guide for you to look over for more information.]

Common question: What size battle rope should I get? I’ll cover size & length below…

          2. Length:

There are different lengths of battle ropes, go figure!

Generally, the lengths range between 30’ and 50’ (though you can find them shorter).

There is not a one-size fits all battle rope, but there are some guidelines to determine what length would be right for you.

Most workout professionals (and zombie apocalypse trainers) recommend 50’ ropes, if you have the space available, because you will have 25’ of rope in each hand to create fluid, low-impact movements.

But, again, this is dependent upon the space available, if you don’t have space for that type of movement, a shorter rope will suffice.

          3. Thickness:

Battle ropes usually come in two different thicknesses – 1.5” or 2.0” – each great for different reasons.

    • If you want high-intensity cardio, go for 1.5” (and if you have smaller hands).
  • If you want to build muscle (and to be winded), go for 2.0”. (With the 2.0”, be aware that you’ll need a strong grip and larger hands to be comfortable using the ropes.)

          4. Material:

Not all material is created equal, or to be used in the same space.

    • If you are going to use your battle rope indoors, go for a synthetic blend, like polypropylene, Poly Dacron, or nylon.
  • If you are going to use it outdoors, manila fiber ropes are a great choice (but they shed and leave behind fibers, which is why you should use them outside!).

          5. Price:

There is a fine balance between buying for durability and staying within your budget.

Like space, your personal budget can be a limiting factor in determining what battle rope you buy. Regardless, buying one is better than not! Think of the zombies!

Okay, okay, so we’ve established that battle ropes are the bees-knees, and we’ve looked at some things you should consider when purchasing them.

It’s my recommendation (and the recommendation of many other workout professionals) that purchasing a 50’ battle rope with 1.5” diameter is the best overall choice, given that you have the space.

With that in mind, we’re going to compare a few products on the market to determine which might be best suited for at-home exercise (and zombie annihilation).

Best Battle Ropes To Buy For Your “Home Gyming”:

1. Titan Fitness:

These ropes are made from Poly Dacron, so this rope will likely last a while without fraying.

You can choose any length or width. But if you are a beginner I would go with the 1.5″ by 30-40 feet.

You will need to get an anchor kit or use a tree outside. Something legit, like a tire with a bit of weight.

Once you buy the anchor, however, you can use it inside or outside (by wrapping it around a tree or pole).

Because these ropes are durable, versatile, and don’t break the bank, they are my number one choice for those considering purchasing battle ropes

2. Nex Pro Battle Ropes:

Made from polypropylene and polyester, this rope is water and wear resistant.

Like the Titan Fitness, you would need to buy an anchor to use this rope, it doesn’t come with one.

However:

The rope is incredibly strong as it twists three strands together.

Coming in at my second choice for battle ropes, because of their strength, durability and high-rated reviews.

3. Iron Bull Strength:

With this company, you can choose between 30’-50’ ropes with either 1.5” or 2.0”, so depending on your needs, you will be set!

They are made from high-quality Poly Dacron synthetic material and it comes with an anchor kit, so they can travel with you wherever you go (which is why they are my number 3 choice)!        

4. Onnit Battle Ropes:

There are many different battle ropes to choose from with this company.

Their ropes are made from durable polypropylene and have vinyl tape grips for grip support (and they come in a variety of colors).

These ropes are also the most expensive out of the bunch with not as many reviews to justify their expense (which is why they are my last choice), so depending on your budget, these may not be the best choice.

I’d recommend going to their website to grab one: Onnit – they also have a great sizing chart for their more popular ropes. Click the bolded link below to research more:

Onnit High-Quality Battle Ropes

Once you figure out which rope is best for you, buy it. Like now. Right Now.

I’ll wait… Or if you don’t have the cash there are a few alternatives you can use:

  • garden hose
  • fireman’s hose (This video HERE will give you a better idea of how he got one for free!)
  • bed sheet or blanket

Ok, I’m sure you didn’t right this moment but when you do you can view some videos on the basics.

How To Grip The Battle Ropes:

This video has poor sound quality but the content of learning the different grips is on point.

Knowing the different ways to grip a battle rope, and properly doing so, has a great impact on the overall effectiveness of your workout.

Certain exercises perform better with certain grips.

You can avoid some of the blunders I made as a beginner battle-roper, below are the main types of battle rope grips:

  • Traditional Grip, or the Overhand/Handshake Grip – (shown in the video above: 20 sec.)

This is the grip you’ll use most often, and it looks exactly as it sounds.

When the ropes are lying flat, you pick them up as if it were a hand you were shaking.

Your thumbs should be pointed toward the anchor (your mid-line—or belly button), and the end of the handle should be pointed towards your body.

Make sure to get a solid grip by keeping the handle in your palm, so your fingers won’t have a lot of pressure on them.

Also, be sure to leave a little space near the end of the handle or else that rope will fly out of your hand!

How tightly to grip the handles is up to you:

But if you want a firmer, more secure grip (that will also fatigue your muscles), you can place your thumb over your fingers (in a thumb-hug).

A looser grip without the thumb-hug will allow for more fluid waves. My suggestion is to try both and get a feel for what works best for you.

Exercises to try with this grip: Alternating waves, two-handed waves, outside circles.

  • Reverse Grip, or the Underhand/Microphone Grip (shown in the video above: 27 sec.)

This grip is the next most common and is literally the reverse grip of the handshake.

Basically, you want to grab these handles like a microphone, that you’re singing your heart out on at karaoke on a Friday night (no judgements).

The ends of the handles should be pointing towards the sky.

The video below will show this “microphone” style grip (shown at the 50 sec. mark) doing a rainbow/hip toss movement.

As with the handshake grip, you want to leave some room at the end of the rope.

Again, how tightly you grip the handles and whether or not you do the thumb-hug is up to you, experiment and see what feels best for you and your workout routine.

Exercises to try with this grip: Rainbows/hip toss, crazy eights, diagonal pulls

  • Four Finger/Sock Puppet Grip

This is a grip that you’ll try if you’re a more advanced battle-roper, as this grip improves your grip and finger strength, but is pretty freaking challenging.

I like to use it every now and then, because I like to rock climb (even though I’m terrified of heights), and this grip is a great way to strengthen my fingers for awkward holds.

But:

Let me say, I use the a regular rope NOT these massive battle ropes you see here.

Picture this:

Place the end of the handle into your palm with your fingers on top of the rope and your thumb on the bottom.

It should look like your hand is eating the rope (like Pac Man or a sock puppet).

Battle Rope Grips
“Four Finger or Sock Puppet Grip” – photo credit: Limitless365

You will have to grip the rope firmly as it is challenging to hold onto the rope. You will also notice that this grip changes the way you can move the rope, namely the speed and direction.

Exercises to try with this grip: Any, as this grip makes the exercises more challenging.

  • Folded or Double Grip (shown above at 30 sec.)

Like the sock puppet grip, this grip is meant to intensify the workout, this time by making your hold twice the size.

To grab the rope this way, grip it in a traditional handshake manner, extend the length of the excess rope, and fold it over so that the end of the handle is facing toward the anchor.

Exercises to try with this grip: Any that you want to make harder on yourself, you beast!

Now that you know the different types of grips for battle ropes training, go forth and battle on!

How To Set Up Battle Ropes:

Anchoring and Common Mistakes

The battle ropes are out of the bag!

Now What?

Here are three excellent anchor ideas for your at-home needs:

  • Wall Mount: Simply choose a wall anchor you like, and mount it to the wall in your workout space. This is a surefire way to ensure you have a strong anchor, as they will be guaranteed up to a certain amount of weight (usually much more than we’re using with our ropes!)
  • On-the-Go: Using a kettlebell and multiple sandbags, you can make a traveling anchor! By threading the rope through the handle of the kettlebell, setting it down on the ground, and laying sandbags on top of it to weigh it down, you’ve made yourself a moveable anchor! This is a great idea if you’re not committed to a certain place for your at-home gym, or you’d like to be able to move it with a moment’s notice!
  • Outdoor: Go ahead and take your workout outside, and wrap that rope around a pole or tree (for all your neighbors to see!). Just loop the rope around the chosen anchor! However, I might suggest buying an anchor kit for just such an occasion, as your precious (and probably expensive) battle ropes will suffer some wear and tear from the friction!

Now that you are properly anchored, you can begin practicing your alternating waves (or whatever other exercise tickles your fancy and builds your bulk!)

Any you know what?

While it may seem like there’s not much to these ropes, exercising with them is harder than it looks, and incorrectly using the ropes not only leads to a less effective workout, but could lead to injury.

Now that’s a problem.

So, let’s go over some common pitfalls when using battle ropes during one of the most common exercises (wave-making!) and how to overcome them!

Mistake Number 1: Pulling Too Much

The Problem:

When you’re doing battle rope exercises, pulling too tightly on the ropes will affect the creation of smooth waves, and we want smooth waves!

The Fix:

Hold both ends of the rope tightly, then take a step forward. The slack that you’ve created will make for smooth waves (and sailing!)

If you’re still experiencing choppy waves, this may be an indication that the rope is too heavy, or long, so change it up until you’ve strengthened up!

Mistake Number 2: You Hear the Ropes Smacking the Floor

The Problem:

You’re going to hear some noise, I mean, you’re smacking ropes on the ground, but if it’s too loud, there’s a problem with your exercise technique.

Basically, you’re waiting too long to bring your arms upward after jerking them downward. The delay in motion is causing a choppy, loud wave.

The Fix:

Make an immediate upward movement with your arms after your downward movement. Repeat this motion and you will create a smooth wave!

Mistake Number 3: Shoulder Waves

The Problem:

When our forearms have not been trained to the appropriate level, we will overcompensate with shoulder strength to create waves, meaning our ropes are being lifted higher than they should be.

They’re coming up to our shoulder and neck region. This can lead to headaches and neck tension—ouch!

The Fix:

Choose slightly shorter/lighter/thinner ropes until your arms have built the muscle needed to up the weight of rope!

This will allow your waves to come from the appropriate energy source: the flexion and extension of your elbow joint!

Now that you’ve increased your awareness of anchoring options and common problems and how to fix them, you can go forth and be a smooth operator of battle ropes (inside or outside)!

How To Use Battle Ropes:

Above we are viewing 3 basic moves you can do as a beginner safely and how to use proper form.
Beginning at the 15-second mark you will see the “double wave” movement followed by the “single wave” movement.

Battle Rope Workout For Beginners:

The video below is one of the best realistic battle rope training for beginners that I could find.

Adrian Bryant offers substitutions if you don’t have a rope and some great starter moves to practice on:

Top 5 Basic Starter Exercises for Battle Rope Beginners

So, you want to try out a battle ropes workout?

Excellent choice.

Not only can it be cathartic to smash ropes on the gym floor (especially if you’ve had a rough day), but the workouts are high intensity while being low impact, meaning your catharsis is going to build muscles and burn fat. Who wouldn’t want that?

For those out there who want to try their hand at battle ropes, I’ve detailed five of the top exercises for beginners, meant to blast fat and build muscle. And for those who are more experienced, buckle up and let’s take a trip down memory lane (it’s always good to be reminded of where you came from).

The Stance

First things first, before we get into the exercises themselves, we’ve got to establish the stance.

The way you will hold your body when you are doing these exercises.

Your stance is important, so be sure to pay attention to how you should position your body, as it will determine how effective your workouts are (and ensure you don’t injure yourself).

For each of these exercises, you will stand with your feet hip’s width apart, hinge at the hip into a squat with the weight in your heels.

(pro tip: don’t let your knees pass your ankles—keep as close to a 90-degree angle between your thigh and calf as you can).

You’ll want to be sure to tighten your core to protect your back (this is especially so when you begin exercises that involve twisting).

Check out this girl below:

Battle Rope Stance

Alright, now that you’ve got the perfect stance, let’s get into the fun part: the strength exercises.

  1. The Alternating Wave (watch the video above for demo: 15 sec. mark)

A classic exercise on the battle rope, the alternating wave will whip you into shape!

How it’s done:

  • Squat into your stance, hold a rope in either hand with the handshake grip, and create waves with the ropes by moving one arm up and down as if you were drumming on the ground.
  • As one arm comes down, bring the other arm up. This motion creates the “alternating” part of the wave! You can start out making slow waves and then pick up the pace! Focus on creating waves that travel all the way to the anchor point, and you are well on your way to a sexy physique!

Also, be careful not to pull back on the rope as you are slamming them on the ground—you want a clean up and down motion (for the best ocean!)

          2. The Two-Handed (Double) Wave (watch the video above for demo: 2:57 sec. mark)

This exercise is exactly like the alternating wave, except that both hands will be moving up and down at the same time!

How it’s done:

In your squat stance, hold the rope in either hand with the handshake grip, and create waves with the ropes by moving both hands up and down in a fluid motion.

As with the alternating wave, you want to ensure your waves are traveling all the way to the anchor, and be careful not to pull back on the rope as you are making waves—move your arms straight up and down.

          3. The Side-to-Side Wave (watch the video above for demo: 6:17 sec. mark)

Another classic battle rope exercise!

How it’s done:

Assume your squat stance. Then, grabbing the rope in either hand using the handshake grip, hold your hands together at about hip-level, then swing your hands side-to-side (to about the width of your knees).

Your core will be twisting a little bit as you move your hands from side-to-side (so be sure to tighten your core to protect your back!)

          4. The Power Slam (watch the video above for demo: 5:37 sec. mark)

This energetic exercise is sure to challenge and sculpt you!

How it’s done:

With the ropes in either hand in a handshake grip, come up on your toes.

Fully extend your body, reaching your arms overhead (but not extending too far back—you don’t want to go into a backbend), and then bring your arms down as you squat, slamming the ropes on the ground—wham!

Give yourself a few seconds rest before doing another.

          5. The Hip Toss (watch the video above for demo: 57 sec. mark)

This exercise will chisel you!

How it’s done:

With your feet a little closer together than normal, but still in your perfected squat stance, bring your hands (with the ropes in them in a handshake grip) to your midline (at about hip-level).

You are going to move your arms in an arc, up and over to one knee, slamming the rope on the ground, and then up and over to another knee.

As you are making this motion (as if you were throwing someone on the ground!), you will feel an oblique crunch.

Be sure to keep the rope together and to bring it up and over your knee. Also, don’t forget to tighten the core to protect your precious back!

Now that you’ve been introduced to these 5 excellent exercises for battle rope beginners, what are you waiting for?

Okay, now that we’ve established that battle ropes are excellent equipment for at-home full-body workouts (and zombie apocalypse training) because you can train in your own home, remember that when deciding what battle rope to buy, you want to consider:

The space you have available, the length, thickness, material, and price of the rope.

And for a durable, versatile battle rope that won’t break the bank (but will help you break a sweat…and defeat zombies), consider the Titan Fitness battle rope.

Battle on!

  1. Titan Fitness Battle Ropes (Budget/Beginner & Beyond)
  2. Nex Pro Battle Ropes (For The Serious/Budget)
  3. Iron Bull Strength Ropes (Budget/Beginner)
  4. Onnit Battle Ropes (my choice)

Sites Researched (not including the actual product sites):

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