There are few exercises as flashy and trendy as work on the battling ropes. Watch any promo for any gym, training program, or even sometimes diets, and you’ll often see videos of athletes and exercisers doing battle on the thick and heavy ropes.
Despite being flashy, and perhaps at the moment a bit trendy, it’s not without good reason. Battling Ropes are a legitimate fitness tool, and when used properly can provide a fun and challenging full body workout.
If you’re looking for a simple yet versatile tool that will help you combine cardio and strength training, the battling rope might be a good option, particularly if you are on a tight budget and need something that offers an effective workout in a short amount of time. Even 10 minutes on the Battling Ropes can be brutal!
Many people don’t put much consideration into which ropes to buy…after all, they all mostly look the same. But doing a bit of research before buying can go a long way in saving you time, money, and effort. I’ll show you in this article the best battle ropes to invest in.
Best Battle Ropes – Things to Consider Before Buying a Set of Battling Ropes
Although you’ll most often find battling ropes in small boutique style gyms that offer programs like Bootcamps and CrossFit classes, more main stream commercial style gyms are starting to house them for clients as well. They can also be a good option for the home gym owner…if you have the space. This is something you will definitely want to consider before buying a set.
Battling Ropes offer resistance in two ways, first the thickness of the rope with sizes ranging from 1 inch all the way up to 3 inches, to rope length. The longer the rope, the harder the workouts will be. Most ropes are anywhere from 30 to 60 feet in length, but keep in mind, you’ll typically wrap the rope around something, so whatever the rope length is, divide that by 2 to get an idea of how much space and distance you’ll need.
If you’re interested in using battling ropes in your home gym and are concerned about the space, keep in mind you can also use battling ropes outside, and wrap them around a tree, flag post, or even a mailbox (stand in your yard, not the road!) Using them outside can add some additional wear and tear, but a good rope will likely hold up to the outdoor conditions.
One other thing to consider is both the length and the thickness. A 1 inch rope will likely be too easy for most people, especially as you become more fit using your ropes. 3 inches is on the extreme side. Most exercise enthusiasts will find that 1.5” thickness to be a good mix of challenging but manageable.
For length I would recommend 40-50’. You’ll likely find that a 30’ rope doesn’t give you enough slack, and 50’ may be too long for your space.
One of the Best Battle Ropes on the Market: Iron Bull Strength Battling Ropes
As a small gym owner, the ropes in my facility get a lot of use, with sometimes 50-60 people using a single set of ropes in a day. I’ve purchased quite a few sets over the years, and most of them have suffered from the same problem: They wear and fray in the center wherever they wrap around a post. Iron Bull Strength has a few tricks up its sleeve to prevent that from happening. Here is a quick overview of some of the pros and cons of the Iron Bull Strength Battling Ropes Iron Bull Strength Battling Ropes:
- Comes with an anchor and protective sleeve to reduce wear at the center
- High strength rope material
- Comfortable Rubber Grips
- Affordable Price: Iron Bull Strength are some of the less expensive ropes on the market.
- Rope is a bit stiff when brand new
- Takes a while to break in
- Only comes in one color
Features & Benefits of the Iron Bull Strength Battling Rope
Robust Rope Material
The Iron Bull Strength Battling Ropes are one of the best set of ropes I’ve used in terms of their strength. Typically after even just a few months with other brands you many find yourself wrapping tape around the center of a rope to delay the fraying. We purchased our set from Iron Bull Strength nearly a year ago and they have shown zero signs of wear, and our clients don’t always remember to use the anchor or protective sheath that comes with the rope.
The ropes are made of Poly Dacron which is a blend of polypropylene and polyester combined, which makes the rope more durable and heat/cold resistant compared to traditional nylon rope. This material is also water and weather proof, making it an ideal choice for those who may be using it outdoors. If you were to use a traditional nylon rope outside, it would soak in the dust, dirt and any potential water you may encounter.
While you can purchase a third party anchor system to work with any brand of battling ropes, the Iron BUll Strength Ropes come with an anchor system included. This works by attaching a sleeve to a post or wall with a carabiner. The advantage here the rope is not sliding up and down against a post or pole while you perform your workout. The Iron Bull Ropes also have a protective sleeve if the anchor won’t work for your particular application. The fact that the anchor is included is another reason why the Iron Bull Strength Battling Ropes are a good choice for those on a budget. The ropes themselves are already well priced, so having the anchor included just saves you that much more money.
Heat Shrunk Rubber Grips
The issue I find with most battle rope grips is that they are either made of a cheap plastic casing (think the tip of a cheap pair of a shoe laces), or they’re too short. Having a long handle at the end of the rope goes a long way to adjusting your hand positions for various rope exercises. Especially when your hands start to get sweaty, it can feel good to adjust the position of your hands on the rope. If the grips aren’t long enough, you will have to grab onto the rope itself, which can be uncomfortable and hard to grip.
There are quite a few different exercises you can do with battling ropes like waves, slams, throws, and jax. You can also combine almost all of these techniques with other exercises like squats, lunges and burpees, making it truly a full body workout. Not only will you be working your upper body and core muscles with the ropes, your heart rate will be through the roof, which is why battling ropes have been a staple in martial arts training for years, as the endurance battling ropes builds, mimics the physical attributes in most martial arts.
What other People are Saying About the Iron Bull Strength Battling Ropes
At the time of writing this, the 1.5” 50 ft set on Amazon has an 82% 5-Star rating from 92 customer reviews. Here are some of the highlights:
“Love this rope! Never done this sort of work out before. It is different, fun, tiring yet exhilarating! Rope is stout, comes with anchoring straps”
Another reviewer says “Just what I wanted, another way to torture myself into shape. Use for another station on my circuit HIIT workout routine. Great product, make my arms feel like wet noodles after a couple rounds.”
Iron Bull Strength Alternatives
- The Rogue hyper rope is likely a popular option for most as Rogue is one of the biggest and best suppliers of fitness equipment in America. While you can always buy with confidence when buying from Rogue, that does come at a premium…the Hyper Rope is a little pricey (see pricing here).
- This technically isn’t a battling rope, but rather a giant rubber band, but you can do many of the same exercises as you would with regular old school ropes. There are however some drawbacks to the inertia wave. FIrst because it relies on band tension rather than true weight to give you a workout, some exercises like slams won’t be as challenging or effective. I also would be wary of their long term durability, as any gym owner will tell you, all bands lose tension and eventually break with enough use.
- These were the cheapest ropes I could find on Amazon, and while the reviews were mostly positive, they did only have 38 reviews. An interesting feature of the Geardo Ropes is a sheath that covers the entire rope to help protect it from wearing. This rope also comes with an anchor, but it’s one you must bolt to a solid object, which means it’s not as portable or adjustable as the Iron Bull Strength anchor.
Conclusion – The Best Battle Ropes
If you’re looking for a fast, fun and effective workout, battling ropes might just be the option for you. They’re portable, provide a full body workout, and take up very little space while being stored. You could easily throw them in a closet when not being used.
Battling ropes are a great option for anyone looking to blend strength training with cardio, and get a good conditioning workout. Even just 10 minutes on the ropes can get your heart rate up and provide an effective training session. They’re also a great tool for flexing your mental muscle, as there are many innovative and creative ways you can use them for a workout.
While buying a particular set of battling ropes might not seem like a big deal, you can save yourself a lot of headache and unnecessary spending if you buy a good set that will last you a long time. After all the abuse our Iron Bull Strength Battling Ropes have taken in our gym, I’m confident in recommending them.
To see a review about the best squat rack stands take a look here.
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