Battling Ropes Upper Body Workout

Stretch and Roll Out:


Complete as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes. Try to rest as little as possible. Do only as many dynamic stretches as you need to recover each round.

Rest 2-3 minutes between each 15-minute circuit.

8-15 reps per side Single Arm Anti-Rotational Chest Press
20-40 reps Battling Rope Snakes
3-10 reps per side Wall Pec Stretch

8-15 reps per side Single Arm Anti-Rotational Inverted Row
20-40 reps Battling Ropes Outward Circles
5-10 reps Cat/Cow Stretch

Stretch and Roll Out:


During the 15 minute circuits try to get as much work done as possible. Rest only when absolutely necessary. To get more work done, you can’t go to failure on any exercise. Stop a few reps short of complete fatigue so you can move back and forth between the exercises, using the stretch for rest only when needed.

You can use either a 1.5 inch rope or a 2 inch rope. Even advanced exercisers can be challenged by the 1.5 inch rope. I like the 1.5 inch, 50ft battling rope for this workout.


Single Arm Anti-Rotational Chest Press – Do this move with either a band or a cable pulley machine. You can do it with a dumbbell, but a band or pulley is preferred. Stand facing away from the band or cable anchor point. Take a few steps away from the anchor point. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart. Hold the band or cable handle in one hand at your chest. With your knees slightly bent, press your arm out straight from your chest. Do not let your core rotate as you press. Then bring your arm back in toward your chest. Don’t let your arm raise up to your shoulder or above. Press straight out from about nipple height. Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other. Do not rotate as you press or let the band pull you back. Press slowly and maintain control.

Battling Rope Snakes – Loop the rope around an anchor and hold one side in each hand. Pull the rope out straight then take a step or two in. With your arms relaxed and slightly bent and you feet about hip-width apart, pull the ropes together and then pull them apart. The movement is almost like a chest fly with your arms hanging down. Move quickly creating “snakes” with the ropes on the ground. You can even use your legs to move quickly, squatting just a very little bit and then straightening your legs as you create the waves. Do not round your back. Keep your back flat even if you hinge over just a little.
Wall Pec Stretch –  Stand by a bar, doorway or corner. Place your hand on the edge and walk past your hand to feel a nice stretch in your chest. You arm can be straight or bent behind you. Do not shrug. Hold for only 2-3 seconds and then switch.

Single Arm Anti-Rotational Inverted Row – Place one hand across your chest and grab the strap in the other hand. Set up in a nice straight line, squeezing your quads, glutes and core. Do not let your body rotate. You want to move in a straight line as you row up and down. Pull you arm in toward your chest. Do not shrug your shoulder as you row. Drive the elbow back and pull your hand in toward the bottom of your pec. You should move as if both arms are pulling instead of letting the side not rowing rotate open toward the ground. To advance (or regress this move), change the incline of your body. The closer you get to parallel to the ground, the harder the move gets.

Battling Ropes Outward Circles – Loop the rope around an anchor and hold one side in each hand. Pull the rope out straight then take a step or two in. With your arms slightly bent, you are going to bend your knees slightly and then start to pull the ropes upward and outward. As you pull them up and out, stand back up. As you pull the rope down and around, squat a little back down and then explode back up as you pull the ropes back up and around. Use your legs to move quickly with the outward circles, pulling down around and then back up and in.
Cat/Cow Stretch – Set up on your hands and knees with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keeping your arms straight, round your upper back and tuck your chin toward your chest. Then exhale and arch your back and look up toward the ceiling. Repeat, rounding your back again and tucking your chin.