Both our top seven chart and battle rope buyer’s guide saw some updates to start the year! This means three new additions, including our new chart leader, the Profect Sports Pro Battle Ropes. We also added the wildcard Inertia Wave from Gronk Fitness, and the affordable Gymenist Battle Ropes.
While dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells are still some of the most utilized fitness tools, 21st century fitness is all about mixing it up!
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Introduced to the fitness world in 2010 by legendary strength athlete John Brookfield, battle ropes – sometimes known as battling ropes or heavy ropes – are a simple but effective tool to add to your muscle-building, fat-burning, body-conditioning arsenal.
Whether you use them as part of a HIIT class or CrossFit session, or add a pair to your garage gym, battle ropes will work your arms, legs, back and more to help you get strong, fast and ripped. Plus, they make you look pretty badass when doing it!
Of course, before you go buy a pair of battle ropes – or head to the port to steal some old mooring rope (which we advise against!) – there are some things to consider.
In this article we will outline all of these considerations, from how long your battle rope should be to how to anchor it in place.
To get you started, our top seven chart below highlights some of the best battle rope choices on the market in 2020, in all price ranges. Then our buyer’s guide and FAQ section take you into the nitty gritty.
Lengths: 30ft, 40ft, 50ft
Diameters: 1.5″, 2″, 2.5″
Features: 100% PolyDacron rope, DuraMax protection sleeve, heat-shrink handles, two heavy-duty non-slip anchor straps, stainless-steel carabiner
While plenty of battle ropes were pushing for our top spot, we opted for this simple yet impressive set from Profect Sports. This pro-grade set offers all the features a good pair of ropes should have, along with everything you need to get started.
This includes a 100% PolyDacron rope in lengths of 30ft to 50ft, with diameters of 1.5”, 2”, and even a massive 2.5”, allowing you to tailor the set to your ability and specifications. The rope itself is protected from wear and fraying by a DuraMax sleeve, along with durable heat-shrink handles.
While this set is pricier than some others, it comes with important accessories such as two heavy-duty anchor straps with a non-slip design, along with a strong stainless-steel carabiner.
Next up, a battle rope set that catches the eye thanks to being intertwined with a choice of either red, blue or yellow rope (or – if you are particularly boring – black!). Of course, aesthetics certainly isn’t everything and thankfully these Garage Fit ropes stand up to scrutiny in the performance department.
They are made from a hardwearing blend of PolyDacron, with a 20” nylon sleeve that makes the rope more durable when anchored. As for sizes, you’ll find versatile lengths of 30ft, 40ft and 50ft, with both 1.5” and 2” diameters.
Meanwhile, heat-shrink handles are in place to offer ample grip. This set also comes with two anchor straps and a carabiner, allowing you to set up and go right from the box.
Features: Two colors (gray or blue), versatile anchoring system, lightweight and portable (less than 2.7lb), reinforced solid steel O-ring, durable nylon rail anchors, steel carabiner
We love a wildcard at Fitness Verve, and the wildest battle rope option we found is the Inertia Wave Workout Ropes from Gronk Fitness – owned by the family of legendary Patriots tight end, Rob Gronkowski.
Used by a plethora of professional athletes, this battle rope substitute weighs in at less than 3lbs, yet offers a beastly HIIT workout. You can perform a surprising amount of rope movements, and – most impressively – control the resistance by how far you pull them.
While first impressions may suggest otherwise, the Inertia Wave Workout Ropes are very durable, with a reinforced solid steel O-ring on the anchoring end, along with robust nylon rail anchors and carabiner. In fact, it can withstand up to 600lb of torque! A bonus is that it’s easy to anchor pretty much anywhere.
This heavy-duty battle rope set from Power Guidance is another solid option for your home gym, with a slightly cheaper price than our chart leaders.
With a simple all-black design, this rope set is available in multiple lengths and diameters – 30ft to 50ft, and both 1.5” and 2”. The rope itself is made from 100% Dacron for superior durability, which is enhanced by the protective nylon cover and 7.5” heat-shrink handles.
This rope set also comes with a heavy-duty steel anchor and four bolts, allowing you to attach the ropes securely to a concrete/brick wall with no worries about pulling the anchor away. It’s not the cheapest set on the list, but offers good value nonetheless!
Another very popular battle rope option is this set from Perantlb, which boasts a durable 100% Poly Dacron rope featuring a distinctive blue tracer and a protective nylon cover.
These popular ropes feel secure in the hands thanks to extra-long (8.66”) heat-shrink vinyl handles – no slipping off here! While the rope is only available in a diameter of 1.5”, it can be purchased in lengths of 30ft, 40ft or 50ft to cater for your gym space and fitness goals.
To boost the value, the set comes with a heavy-duty steel anchor for attaching to a wall, along with anchor straps and a carabiner. It also features a handy (if slightly thin) Perantlb-branded bag for storing your ropes, should you need to transport them.
This budget-friendly set from Bonnlo is pretty distinctive thanks to the bright yellow Bonnlo logo that peppers the rope’s protective nylon cover.
The nylon/polyester rope is available in three standard lengths – 30ft, 40ft and 50ft – with a 2” diameter (the 30ft length is available in both 1.5” and 2” diameters), so will suit most intermediate athletes pretty well. Weights differ from 20lbs to 53.6lbs depending on the diameter and length you choose.
The 7” handles are made from a heavy-duty heat-shrunk vinyl to offer great grip when you are enduring a sweaty workout. While it comes with a user manual, there is no anchor with this one – you will have to use your own or purchase one separately.
While this basic rope from Gymenist may be one of the cheaper options on this list, it also happens to boast some of the most choice in terms of lengths.
This is because, in addition to standard 30ft, 40ft and 50ft ropes, it also comes in a 20ft option. This shorter rope is ideal for beginners and those tight on space, although more experienced users will want something heavier. Note that some lengths come in both 1.5” and 2” diameters, while some offer just one diameter option.
The rope itself is nothing special, but it does the job required. It’s made from three weaved ropes of polyester for a solid performance with good durability. It doesn’t feature any protective covers, but it will last pretty well for both at-home and gym use.
So, you’ve decided to make battle ropes a part of your fitness life? Great idea – these relatively simple ropes can work your body in more ways than you could imagine!
However, now comes the tricky part of settling on a rope that suits you. You may have to ask yourself a few questions. Do you have the strength to deal with a 2.5” rope? How does a 1.5” x 40ft rope differ from a 2” x 30ft rope? Do you need an anchor? What about a sleeve?
Confused? Don’t worry. Over the next few sections we will explore these questions and other considerations to make before buying a battle rope set that’s right for you!
Compared to something like a good CrossFit glove, there is arguably less involved in the design of battle ropes. Ultimately, it is one long rope with handles at either end. However, there are still things to consider when it comes to the design and materials.
The rope will sometimes be one single rope or a braid of three narrower ropes. Most will be made of synthetic fibers, such as polypropylene, polyester, nylon or Dacron, or a blend of any of these materials (sometimes referred to as PolyDacron or similar).
These materials will all offer good durability – particularly Dacron – so the rope won’t wear quickly, and fibers won’t split off onto your floor as may be the case with a natural rope.
Many ropes will also come with a sleeve, usually made from nylon, to protect the rope from damage, friction, dirt and dust. This sleeve will either cover the entire length of the rope (which protects the rope itself from contact with the ground), or just the section that folds and makes contact with the anchor point.
The friction caused by the anchor point will result in more wear in this area, so having at least a short sleeve for this section of the rope is a benefit and will increase the longevity of your battle ropes.
When choosing your ropes, you will have two main variables to consider – the diameter and the length. Both will determine how heavy the rope is and how suitable it will be for your needs.
The diameter naturally determines how thick the rope is. Battle ropes typically come in diameters of either 1.5” or 2”, although some come in a hefty 2.5” option.
It should go without saying that the thicker the measurement, the heavier the rope will be. For example, a 30ft rope at 1.5” diameter should weigh around 18lbs. Increase this 30ft rope to a 2” thickness and the weight will be almost double at around 31lbs.
Ultimately, the diameter you go for will play a part in what results you achieve. For an average athlete, using a thinner 1.5” rope will be ideal for HIIT and circuit training, where your main aim is to move quickly, torch fat and build endurance. If muscle-building is your goal, then a heavier 2” or 2.5” rope will be your best option.
However, a further consideration – when buying a thick rope, you should consider if you will actually be able to hold it comfortably. Thinner ropes are obviously easier to hold, while thick ropes will be harder to get a good grip of. If you are opting for a mammoth 2.5” rope, ensure you will actually be able to hold onto it while waving and slamming it around!
If in doubt, a 1.5” rope will be ideal for the majority of people who want to try battle ropes at home.
In addition to the diameter, the length of the rope plays a big part in how heavy the total weight is. For example, a 1.5” rope at 40ft will come in around 24lbs, while a 1.5” rope at 50ft will weigh around 50lbs.
The main consideration when it comes to the length is whether you have the space to use it. Firstly, remember that you always fold the rope in half, so the usable length is always half of the length you purchase. For example, a 30ft rope technically becomes two 15ft ropes; a 40ft rope becomes two 20ft ropes, and so on.
Even so, not many people have space inside their homes for twenty or so feet of rope. You should buy your rope only after measuring the space where you plan to use it. For example, if you have a decent-sized backyard and space is not an option, there’s no problem in buying a 50ft rope.
If you are working out indoors or in a garage gym, you can go as low as a 10ft rope in some cases (that’s one 20ft rope folded). These shorter ropes aren’t as fluid in their motion, but still do the job required in smaller spaces.
One thing you may have noticed is that battle ropes have handles. Whipping around a rope without handles will result in an uncomfortable experience at best – insane friction burns on your hands at worst!
There isn’t much to consider when it comes to handles, as most ropes use the same kind. This is a vinyl cover that is placed over the ends of the rope, then heated until it shrinks to fit the rope tightly. This heat-shrinking system offers a smooth yet grippy surface for your hands to hold, while protecting the rope ends from fraying and moisture.
Most handles will be around 6” to 9” long. The longer the better, as it gives you more choice of where to hold the rope, while catering for larger hands.
Finally, some ropes do come with robust plastic handles with end caps. These are less common, although are useful as they prevent your hands from slipping off the ends of the rope while in mid-swing.
While not part of the rope itself, an anchor is a very important consideration. Ultimately, a battle rope without an anchor is just a regular rope!
A wall anchor is a solid metal plate with an enclosed half-loop that you thread the rope through. This anchor can be attached to any concrete wall via thick bolts (usually included with the anchor).
Some ropes come with strap anchors, which use a system of reinforced nylon straps and carabiners to hold the rope in place. Here, you simply tie one end of the strap to the rope and the other end to an immovable object (such as a pole or squat rack). The advantage of this kind of strap is that it holds the rope without causing friction, therefore prolonging the rope’s lifespan.
If your prospective rope doesn’t come with an anchor included, then don’t worry – you can easily buy them separately. Just ensure, in the case of metal wall anchors, that the diameter of the half-loop is larger than the diameter of the rope and you will be fine.
However, you may not need to buy a separate anchor if you can use your creativity. For example, if you have an appropriate tree or metal pole in your backyard, or a squat rack/power cage in your garage gym, then you can simply loop the rope around this for a similar experience as using a wall anchor.
Using a heavy dumbbell or – even better – a heavy kettlebell with a large handle is another good way to hold the rope in place without a mount.
Walk into any good gym, circuit training class, or CrossFit box and you will notice a few pairs of battle ropes. Since 2010, these simple ropes have become a fitness mainstay because they are an efficient and low-impact way to target your entire body, whether training for muscle, speed, power or endurance.
What muscles the battle ropes will work depends on the exact movement you are performing, whether unilateral or bilateral waves, inside circles, outside circles, horizontal movements, or power slams.
Of course, battle ropes are generally a great workout for your arms – biceps, triceps and forearms. They test your muscles from different angles and keep them under tension for prolonged periods. They also work your arms individually, allowing you to eliminate strength imbalances. As an additional benefit, battle ropes also help you enhance your grip strength!
In addition to your arms, your whole upper body can enjoy the benefits of an intense battle rope workout, including your delts, traps, lats, chest and core.
Meanwhile, to some degree, you will usually work your lower body with battle ropes simply by keeping a strong stance to stabilize and balance yourself (always be sure to wear a good pair of training shoes to help with your battle rope stability).
However, you can also add in squats, jump squats, side lunges, reverse lunges, or side shuffles to emphasize the legs more and turn the session into a full-body workout.
In addition to your muscles, battle rope workouts are great metabolic conditioners, raising your heart rate considerably and thoroughly working your cardiovascular system. Not bad for a pretty simple rope!
Battle ropes are a surprisingly effective tool for building strength, stamina and speed… but can they get you ripped?
Firstly, achieving the coveted ‘ripped’ look – muscular with low body fat – is a combination of working your ass off in the gym and having an excellent diet, combined with discipline and consistency.
To lose body fat you must remain in a slight caloric deficit. Aiming for a deficit of around 500 calories per day will result in a 3,500-calorie deficit over the week, which is the suggested deficit to lose 1lb of fat. This deficit can be achieved through diet or working out, or – perhaps the best method – a combination of both.
Battle ropes are an excellent way to help torch calories. A 2015 study discovered that people will burn an average of 112 calories in 10 minutes of using battle ropes. Of course, each person’s caloric expenditure will differ depending on their age, weight and workout intensity.
However, assuming you can burn around 350 calories in 30 minutes of battle rope usage is comparable to high-knee running, sprinting or indoor biking for the same amount of time.
That’s pretty good going and a great way to send you on the right track to creating your required daily calorie deficit – providing, of course, that you don’t pig out on pizza and soda after your session!
In addition to losing bodyfat, you must have some muscle to reveal when the fat melts away – otherwise you will just be looking skinny as opposed to ripped. This means you should also be lifting weights at least three times per week, while eating a high-protein diet.
Luckily, in addition to helping you burn calories, battle ropes can also help you pack on some good upper-body muscle, depending on the weight of your rope and the program you are following.
A good muscle-building-fat-loss program goes beyond the scope of this article, although countless articles and ‘how to get ripped’ books have been written on the subject.
You may be completely sold on the idea of buying battle ropes for your home gym to reap the calorie-blitzing, muscle-building, endurance-enhancing benefits they offer. But as battle ropes come in multiple lengths and diameters, how do you know what to go for?
It all boils down to your current fitness levels and your goals.
Firstly, ropes differ in length and diameter for a reason. The longer the rope, the more difficult it is to move it. The thicker a rope, the more difficult it is to move it. So, a 40ft rope with a 1.5” diameter is going to be much easier to move than a 50ft rope with a 2” diameter.
If you are aiming for cardio endurance and conditioning, you should go for a thinner rope (around 1.5”). In addition to being easier to grip, it will be the right level of challenge to allow you to use the rope in different ways – from unilateral waves to power slams – while also incorporating moves such as squat jumps, burpees and star jumps for a total body workout.
If muscle-building is your goal, you will need to opt for the heavier rope, with a diameter of 2” or above. The additional weight will be required to stimulate the breakdown of muscle fibers.
As for length, if you are an advanced trainer and planning on building muscle and endurance, a longer rope (50ft ideally) will be worthwhile.
Beginners to battle ropes or working out in general, may be better going for a shorter rope (around 30ft or 40ft). However, unless you are tight on space, buying a longer rope can be worth it in the long run. If you need to make it easier to begin with, you can tie a not in the rope to shorten it, or stand further back from the anchor point, which will make the movement slightly easier.
Just bought a pair of battle ropes? The next step is finding somewhere to put them (although, as a sensible person, you will have hopefully considered this before you purchased!).
This means finding somewhere to attach the ropes – and there are several options.
Your battle ropes will either come with a wall anchor or anchor straps, which allow you to attach the ropes to a wall (or other surfaces). You can buy these anchors separately if your rope doesn’t come with one.
Wall anchors will be made of metal and are screwed into a concrete/brick wall with heavy-duty lug nuts, usually around a foot or so above the ground. Your rope will slot through a half loop, or attach to the anchor via a separate reinforced nylon strap, giving you a secure attachment.
If there is no suitable wall or are unable to drill holes into an existing wall, then there are other ways to attach and anchor your battle ropes.
If you have a garden or nearby green space, you can loop your ropes around an immovable object, such as a tree, a goal post, or the pole for a basketball hoop. The only issue here is that, without proper anchoring, the rope will move up and down, causing a lot of friction which may damage your rope in the long run.
If you are working out in a gym, you can use a squat rack, plate rack, weighted sled or power cage in a similar way, looping your rope around the back. Alternatively, you can thread your rope through the handle of a large, heavy kettlebell, which will give you a similar experience to using a wall-mounted anchor.
Use your creativity and imagination and you will find there are countless ways to thread, tie and anchor your battle ropes!
After reading this article, we assume you are now converted to the power of battle ropes. This simple piece of gear is a huge asset to any commercial or home gym – or any backyard for that matter!
Our top seven chart offers suitable recommendations, although there are plenty of other ropes worth considering. Use the information we have given you to make an informed decision.
All that’s left to do now is buy ropes with the right length and diameter for you, then get waving and slamming yourself to peak physical fitness!