More and more gyms up and down the country are starting to appreciate the importance of alternative pieces of equipment. This can only spell good news for you and your workouts. Several years ago, you could pretty much guarantee what kit you’d find in the gym before you had even stepped foot in it.

Although there’s nothing wrong with the traditional machines and free weights area, if you really want to take your training to the next level then sometimes you just have to think a little outside the box. We’re talking ropes, tyres, sledge hammers, sledges and atlas balls.

If you’re fortunate enough to train at a forward thinking gym which possesses such equipment then you really should make the most of your opportunity and get familiar with this kit. If nothing else, it will serve as a change of scenery from your bog standard monotonous workouts which you’ve been doing for the last 12 weeks!

This article considers the use of the rope and how you can successfully enrol it into your training regime with minimal effort and maximal effectiveness.

These heavy duty ropes are built to last and built to be tested. For these workout ideas, you’ll need to give it all you’ve got if you’re going to get the most out of these exercises. Most gyms will have these ropes wrapped around a stable base, providing you with both ends. It is here that the fun begins.

Utilising The Rope

The variation with these ropes is almost endless and your creativity really will determine your limits on this. To start, stand facing the rope and grasp each end in separate hands. Ensure there is a little slack in the rope and begin to fan both arms up and down together, as if you were shaking out a mat. This will provide a continuous set of waves through the rope. Continue this with a steady rhythm, utilising your shoulders, back and arms to produce this movement.

Other simple alternatives include working your arm alternatively, so as one goes up the other arm comes down. You can also work the ropes from side to side whilst keeping this wave motion running through the equipment. If you really want to step it up a notch or two, why not throw in some circle movements, either clockwise or anticlockwise. As previously mentioned, the choice really is endless with this simple piece of kit.

To those of you who think this sounds simple, think again. This is a phenomenal workout and the variations will have you hitting almost every major muscle in the upper body. Speaking from experience, this exercise works best in circuits, allowing for a set time period on the ropes and a period of time for active recovery or rest. For those of you that find it hard to visualise, the video below covers all of the basic movements mentioned throughout;

Rope Workout Demonstration Video

Final Word

So there you have the rope workout. If you have this equipment at the gym then you really should be making the most of it. Your physique will definitely thank you for it later! With all this in mind, why not try some of the variations and create your own circuit today. We’ve planted the seed, now it’s time for you to take this equipment and blossom.