Learn the (Battle) Ropes
Intimidated by those heavy ropes at the gym? Don’t be. Grab an end in each hand and alternate up-and-down drumming motions for 15 seconds. Not only will a rope workout build upper-body power, but it’ll also bring you these benefits:
1. You'll burn calories.
A 10-minute bout of rope training burned 112 calories, on average, according to a small study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. The best part? The 11 study participants alternated 15 seconds of high intensity with 45 seconds of rest—so they exercised all-out for just two and a half minutes!
2. You'll be quick.
Forget about slogging away on the elliptical for hours. “With rope training, you can get a great workout in as little as 10 to 15 minutes,” says Ingrid Marcum, CSCS , Illinois-based director of programming for Battling Ropes.
3. You'll strengthen your core.
“The weight and movement of the ropes forces you to engage your entire midsection to maintain a stable, upright position,” says Justin Flexen, certified trainer and regional group fitness manager of Crunch Fitness in New York City. Say it with us: No more crunches!
4. You'll target body fat.
Just use your muscles. “Rope exercises are total-body moves, which tend to make higher metabolic demands and could lead to reductions in body fat,” says Nicholas A. Ratamess, PhD, professor of health and exercise science at The College of New Jersey, in Ewing.
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5) You'll make your heart stronger.
In the study mentioned earlier, participants’ heart rates averaged about 163 beats per minute. That meets the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for improving cardiovascular fitness in 20- to 45-year-olds.