Training with battle ropes is gaining strongly in popularity! You can see more people swinging the ropes in their outdoor workout in green areas around the city and many gyms make space for a battle rope area.
What seems to be so easy and self-explanatory in theory will prove to be significantly more complex in actual training sessions. Thus, in this article I would like to give a short account of the most common training mistakes in battle rope training and give you surefire ways to correct these mistakes instantly.
You are pulling on the battle ropes too much, or you hang in them too much respectively
If the ropes are pulled too tight they can’t form smooth waves during training. Often times this is an indicator that the chosen waves are simply too heavy. If you swing the ropes more loosely and with less tension it will increase the difficulty of the training. You can help yourself with the following rule of thumb: take a hold of both rope ends and pull them tight, then make a step forward. Now you will have enough leeway for smooth waves. Should you not be able to make smooth waves because of insufficient strength this probably means that your battle rope is too long, or too heavy respectively, for you.
The training ropes pound audibly on the floor
The problem probably is that the coordination of the up and down movements is not on point yet. The common cause: the upward jerk comes too late after the downward impulse. Often times it might already help to follow up the downward movement with an immediate upward movement to create smooth waves. Often times this mistake is also connected to the third mistake.
(german only, sorry!)
The waves are predominantly created in the shoulders, not in the elbow joints
With most basic rope exercises (like double waves, alternating waves, and variations) the energy for the waves should mostly be coming from a cyclical flexion and extension of the elbow joint. If the necessary strength is lacking you can often observe strong compensation movements in the shoulder and neck region with which the ropes are lifted up to neck and head height. This is especially problematic when the strength in the shoulder blade stabilizing muscles is lacking and can’t control the resulting upward movement and keep the shoulder blades fixed to the back. The result of this can be headaches and neck tension. Since this can be very uncomfortable it is recommended to not let your ego get the best of you and to choose slightly shorter/thinner/lighter training ropes.
If you take these three tips into consideration you will have a lot of fun with a challenging rope workout that will improve your strength and endurance. And for those of you that want to use Battle Ropes in their own coaching I have another tip that should help you choose the right length and diameter of the Battle Rope.
If you are uncertain which diameter and length of the battle rope you should choose then it is often better to get the lighter alternative. With a shorter distance to the anchor point and, thus, more room for the rope to be moved you can significantly increase the training intensity.