How to Whip Your Arms Into Shape With Battle Ropes

Lately, there have been a few questions about good forearm exercises on the Anytime Health Q&A. Here are two of my favorites using the battle rope system. These will temporarily make you feel as if you have the forearm strength of Joe Mauer!

Battle Rope Sled Pull in Static Squat

String out a battle rope to full length, and attach the rope to a weighted sled, or some kind of resistance. I like to put furniture sliders under a step up box platform, and then just weigh the rope down with weight plates or dumbbells; or I just sit in the box atop of the step up platform and have the exerciser pull me. This works well because you get a smooth, consistent pull, but you could also improvise by pulling a sled over grass, or by pulling something on level pavement with wheels (like a furniture dolly or radio flyer) that is weighed down.

Next, descend into a 90 degree static squat, (making sure back is straight and knees are behind toes) and pull the rope hand over hand, (keeping it taut the whole time,) and making sure to pull equally with both hands, as to not favor the dominant side. Also, make sure that you don’t pull too far back with each pull-go just until your elbows brush your side’s, so that you keep the arm muscles engaged, and also stay balanced. Pull until the weighted device reaches you and then get your rest by stringing it out again, and shoot for at least 3-5 sets. If you want you can lower or increase the weight with each successive set, depending on what your goals and comfort level are.

Battle Rope Pull in Static Squat Atop the Sled

This is essentially the same exercise, except this movement requires much more balance, and cognition of proper form throughout the movement, because you will be standing atop of the sled as you pull yourself towards the other end of the rope! For this exercise, tether one end of the rope to something secure, or have a partner securely hold the opposite end of the rope for you without any slack. Set up your sled by putting the step up platform atop two large furniture sliders, and add at least a 45 pound plate for added stability, squarely in the center of the platform.

Next, stand atop the sled platform with the rope taut, and begin to pull yourself to the opposite end, being mindful of staying as square as possible with the static squat position. Make sure to engage your core during this exercise, because with each pull you are being directed either slightly right or left. Just make sure you keep the rope pressure tight and the muscle tension constant, and then you will be able to stay square as you pull. Also, try and maintain a good squat the entire time, without bending below 90 degrees, or coming up too high. And keep the back straight and knees behind the toes the entire time!

What’s your favorite battle rope exercise?

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