By: Mark Elmasry
Benefits of the battling rope are huge because it is a well rounded exercise. Exercises with the battling ropes train so many different aspects. The battle ropes train your three physiological energy systems, train your mechanics to keep healthy posture, and is mental training as well. When executed correctly, battle ropes offer a plethora of disciplines that can be practiced.
Improves All Three Energy Systems
Working with the battling ropes challenges all three energy systems. Physiologically, when training with the battle ropes, you can move for a short term, 12 seconds or less, mid-length exercise bouts 10 seconds to a maximum of about 2 minutes, and long term as anything above 2 minutes. The short and explosive bouts will train your phospho-creatine “alactic” energy system. This is the powerful energy system that requires as many fast twitch muscle fibers as you can fire together and needs over a minute to recharge completely. The mid-length exercise bouts with the battling ropes is anything from 10 to about 120 seconds at a fairly intense pace, which is the lactic system. This is where our fast and slow glycolysis happens, put simply, where our lungs and muscles feel “the burn” and want to quit immediately. This energy system can be trained and maximized to an ideal near-2 minute capacity. Third, and finally, we can use the battling ropes to train our oxidative energy system. This is moving at relatively slow pace for a long period of time, or any amount of time longer than 1 and a 1/2 minutes.
Exercising with the battle ropes requires good posture. If you start to round your upper or lower back, your work capacity is severely compromised and you cannot fulfill your physiological potential. If you do maintain healthy and normal posture while training the battling ropes however, you can train your nervous system to learn a whole new endurance level and push your mechanical breaking point. The battle ropes inevitably fatigue every person at some point and we all find our spine’s “breaking point” where our posture is no longer at an optimum level for exercise. Training with this exercise/ physical therapy tool can be an excellent coach to teach our bodies to maintain spinal integrity through low grade or explosive movements. We can train an elderly person battling arthritis to slam the battling ropes as if doing a power lift, but we will never have that subject actually perform any power or Olympic lifts. The battling ropes are tremendously safe and user friendly for all levels and ages.
Improves Mental Discipline
Lastly, the battling ropes train a mental discipline to focus inwardly. We are not going any where with the exercise tool as it if affixed to an anchor, so we need to train ourselves to be mentally focused, clear minded for the exercise bout we are enduring, and to tune out any other mental and physical distractions that arise during our battle rope exercise. The ropes are mentally a beat-down while simultaneously can be a mental escape from reality for the short amount of work you are doing with them. You must have the right attitude, mindset, and mental state to perform this exercise.
The battling ropes or battle ropes train our minds as well as our bodies in different areas. This is and will be a great exercise tool for a long time.
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