In the quest for the ultimate exercise, many have tried different approaches. Running, weightlifting, cycling, cross-fitness, jump ropes, all those are great but they all have one or two disadvantages when compared to one another. Battle ropes, on the other hand, are as well-rounded as it gets when it comes to full-body workouts. They can push your body hard into the anaerobic workout zones or simply give you the strength and conditioning the other exercises do.
When browsing through the best battle ropes nowadays you will notice that they are all quite similar to one another. That is why I wanted to create this guide where will discuss their various aspects and go through what I think are the top models for 2020. Now, without further ado, let’s jump straight into this!
Best Overall – Power Guidance Battle Rope
The Power Guidance Battle rope is one of the best ropes out there for a few very good reasons. First off, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to own, and even more importantly – it is extremely durable compared to other similarly priced ropes. One of its standout features is that it comes with a nylon sleeve which adds a lot the long-term durability. It also dampens the sound the rope makes when hitting the ground in the gym or in your home.
In terms of materials, this rope is made out of 100% Dacron which is better than some other polyurethane and polypropylene composite materials. It is also a bit heavier allowing for a better weight-per-cubic inch ratio. There are a few lengths you can pick from with this particular battle rope. The lowest you can go is 30 ft while the longest version is 50 ft. All of the ropes are 1,5 inch thick, unfortunately. There are also 2-inch thick versions that are geared more towards people that look for a tougher workout and better grip performance. The 1.5-inch versions weigh from 18 to 30 lbs while the 2-inch thick ropes weigh from 30.5 lbs to 49 lbs.
On both of the rope’s ends, there are heat-shrink handles that are solidly put into place and are far more comfortable to hold compared to holding the naked rope. There is also a 4-bolt anchor that comes with the rope as a bonus, although this is pretty standard nowadays for ropes of all price ranges. Speaking of price, that may be one of the biggest downsides here, if not the only major one. Still, if you want to invest a little more into something that will outlast other cheaper models, go with this battle rope.
- Superb build quality
- Has a protective sleeve
- Comes with an anchor
- Very comfortable handles
- Comes in three different lengths
- Quieter when you work out with it
- The 2 inch thick versions are hard to transport
- Fairly expensive
Best For Beginners – Amazonbasics Battle Exercise Training Rope
AmazonBasics products have always been known for two major things – affordability and decent performance. They are by no stretch of the imagination the best products out there but are also very affordable and aren’t as bad as some cheaper options sold alongside them. The Battle Exercise rope by AmazonBasics is a good mix of durability, longevity, ease of use, and practicality.
The materials here aren’t as premium as some other ropes on this list that are made out of 100% Dacron. Instead, Amazon has taken the safe route by using the already well-established polypropylene and polyester mix. These materials are quite durable in the long run although they are prone to a certain amount of wear and tear depending on how often you use the battle rope. Still, polyester is known for its tensile strength, allowing the rope to resist deforming or bending over time. I wouldn’t advise on using this rope outside or on a rough concrete without a sleeve, though.
One of the best things about this rope is that it comes in a very large variety of lengths and thicknesses. There are length options ranging from 344 to 580 inches all with either 1.5 or 1.9-inch thickness. Another good thing is that even the longest size is still quite cheap compared to some other well-known battle rope brands out there. In other words, the price-to-value ratio here is amazing, which makes the rope ideal for beginners that need something lighter and cheaper that will still be fairly durable.
- Very well-priced
- A lot of size options
- One-year warranty
- Easy to use
- Ideal for cross-fitness
- There are some long-term durability concerns especially when used outdoors
- Not ideal for experts
Best Grips – Perantlb Heavy Battle Rope
In the world of battle ropes, one feature really sells a rope and that is its handles. How comfortable the handles are determines how easy the rope will be on your hands, wrists, and shoulders, and will further your desire to use it. Most ropes have coarse threads and that translates into handles that are awkward to hold over longer periods.
This rope is actually different than most other battle ropes as its finely woven and has a smooth texture to it, other than the coarse architectures of most other battle ropes out there. This has a few advantages. First, it doesn’t create a lot of sounds when it hits the ground, second, it is more flexible and much easier to control when you workout with it. Third, the rope is actually lighter and easier to transport and is quite resistant to deformities as well. All that, however, can be also a downside for people that are looking for a tough and heavy rope that will require a lot more effort to keep in motion. On top of that, there is no 2-inch version, with both the 40 and 50ft ropes having 1.5-inch diameters. There is also a 30 ft version which is, unfortunately, rarely available. The rope itself is made out of 100% Dacron polymer which is typical for high-end ropes out there.
On both ends, there are 8.66-inch long heat-shrink handles that are very comfortable and allow for a superior grip even when your hands are wet. There is another polycarbonate protector on the rope which is located at the middle portion in order to protect the rope from the anchor friction. Another cool thing about this rope is that the 50ft version is relatively well-priced compared to some expensive alternatives on the market. The support team of the company is also quite responsive and caring which is a big plus in today’s world.
- Very quiet and Lightweight
- Easy to transport
- Great for beginners
- 2 size options
- Fairly cheap
- Comfortable handles
- No 2-inch version
- Not ideal for experts
- Not very good for people that want to work on their grip and strength
Best for Cross-Fitness – Profect Sports Pro Battle Rope
The Pro Battle Rope by Profect sports is one of the best-selling cross-fitness ropes out there thanks to a few very important features. First of all, it has an extremely durable core that is further supplemented by the outside DuraMax sleeve. This prevents the rope from creating a lot of noise when being used and further extends its life even when used daily.
The Pro battle rope comes with two free anchor straps that can be attached to the center reinforced part of the rope through a hook system. There are two very comfortable secure-grip coated handles that really improve grip on all size options. Size-wise there are 30, 40, and 50ft options with the 30 and 40ft ones getting 1,5 and 2 inches, while the 50ft only comes with a 1,5-inch thickness.
Despite its heavy price tag, the rope actually comes with a full-refund option if you aren’t happy with your purchase which is quite rare among expensive battle ropes.
- Excellent for cross-fitness
- Very durable
- Has a protective sheet
- Easy to use
- Reinforced anchor system
- Comfortable handles
- Too expensive for most people
- No 2 inch version for the 50ft rope
Best Budget Rope – Smartxchoices Black Battle Rope
When you are gearing up your home fitness or are a small gym owner, prices matter. Still, the goal is to keep your bills low without sacrificing the quality too much. This can be done by buying some of the products with the best price-to-value ratios or simply put – the ones that cost little but have decent performance. The Smartxchoices Black Battle Rope is one of those products. It costs a third of what some expensive ropes cost but is still durable, fairly practical, and good for both beginners and experts.
The rope is surprisingly made out of 100% Dacron polymer which is very unusual for this price point. Still, this 3-strand twisted rope brings all the expensive advantages at a fraction of the cost. There are still some long-term concerns thanks to the average build-quality but as far as materials go, this is as good as it can get. The rope’s flexibility is also fairly average and can be sometimes hard to use by beginners, especially the 2-inch version. Speaking of sizes, there are two thickness options – 1,5 inches and 2 inches. Length-wise there are 30, 40, and 50ft options. The 2-inch thick 50ft rope is quite heavy and ideal for experts that want to train their endurance and grip.
In the middle of the rope, there is a 600D oxford cover that is waterproof and friction-proof allowing for the rope to attach safely to its hinge. A downside is that it doesn’t come with a hinge included but those are typically fairly inexpensive. As a whole, for a budget rope this one is surprisingly well-rounded and it well worth its price tag.
- Very cheap
- Fairly durable
- A lot of size options
- Good for both beginners and experts
- Has a waterproof cover in the middle
- Not very flexible
- Long-term durability is questionable
- The handles aren’t very comfortable
- No hinge included
Battle Ropes Buyer’s Guide
According to many fitness experts, battle ropes are the future of cross-training and are the key to complex body exercises. They are ideal to put in any type of workout, be it aerobic or anaerobic. Thanks to that versatility more and more gyms opt to have them in their open sections. Furthermore, short versions are becoming popular as well thanks to their convenience for people that live in larger apartments or houses. For all of you that want to buy a battle rope for your own home, this guide is geared to help you with your choice!
Now, before we dive into the features that define a good battle rope, let’s answer the most important question here…
What is a battle rope?
Battle ropes are a relatively old contraption of the fitness community but their popularity has skyrocketed in recent years, especially by having a lot of high-level athletes adopt this workout. From MMA fighters like Khabib Nurmagomedov to professional football players, every type of athlete wants to reap the benefits of this complex exercise. Just like jump ropes, battle ropes are, in their core, a single long rope. They are wrapped around an anchor point and held at both ends with your hands. You exercise with the rope by swinging both its ends and creating a wave-like motion across the rope’s length. They come in different lengths, widths, and with different materials in them, but essentially they are all long ropes that are also quite heavy. The aerobic and anaerobic benefits from workout out with battle ropes come from the different drills that you can perform with them.
Types of Battle Ropes
There aren’t a lot of battle rope types out there that are drastically different from one another. The main difference between modern battle ropes is the materials used in them. Most new ropes are built with synthetic fibers such as dacron, polypropylene, and nylon. Those are quite durable and don’t shed a lot even in the long run. They are also durable both indoors and outdoors even though nylon is a bit more susceptible to some weather conditions such as direct sunlight or big temperature swings. Additionally, there are ropes that are wrapped in a protective sleeve that adds a few benefits. First off, it makes the rope last long by not allowing the threads to hit the ground. It also makes the rope much quieter to work out with, which is a major advantage for some smaller gyms.
Click here if you want to learn how to warm up for various exercises!
Features to Look For
Battle ropes are relatively easy to shop but there are still a fair amount of features that you should at least consider. Furthermore, due to the vast diversity of models, things can be a little confusing at first. Let’s go through all of these important features now to see what role they play in the practicality and quality of your future rope:
- Length & Width
- Rope Materials
- Anchor options
- Durability & Flexibility
Length & Width
The rope’s length is one of its most important features. Longer ropes will be much harder to move and will appear less reactive as a whole. They will, however, take up more space in the gym and aren’t ideal for home gyms for that same reason. Shorter ropes are much easier to carry around and use on a daily basis but they are much more dynamic in their response. They are also lighter and easier to workout on by kids and women. Most ropes are around 30-60ft but there are some notable exceptions that can go up to 90-100ft in length.
In terms of the rope’s width, you should keep a few things in mind. First of all, a thicker rope will be easier to hold onto for people with larger hands but will be much harder to hang onto for women and younger people. This may feel uncomfortable at first but will work your grip strength out over time. The thicker rope will also be heavier which is something we will touch on in a few moments. Most ropes are either 1 and a half or two inches in width which are two almost universal sizes at this point. There are, still, some exceptions that have a 2 and a half-inch width. These are typically reserved only for the people that really want to emphasize their grip strength and anaerobic capabilities.
Most battle ropes don’t have specially designed grips but do offer a healthy alternative to this issue. Since they need a way to keep the rope from unraveling at both ends, almost all models come with a heat-shrunk material that wraps around the end of the rope and acts as a handle. These materials are often soft and have a rubber texture to them that allows you to grip it well even when your hands are sweating. Still, there are ropes out there that take things to the next level by adding materials like thin neoprene that makes the rope softer and easier to grip. Still, when using the battle rope you will notice that the grip will be the least of your concerns so if you are on a tight budget, stick with the other important factors.
Most battle ropes are made out of a specific polyester blend, while some are made with pure polyester. While that is the clear material of choice, most brands prefer going forward with their own blend due to some of the disadvantages of pure polyester. It is brittle and doesn’t stand a lot of change against the constant bashing in the long run. This is why some ropes are further protected by having a sleeve around them. The most common material for battle ropes is a 100% poly dacron blend which is durable, wear-resistant, and can be used without a sleeve. Furthermore, this polyester blend can be easily twisted and is often used in 3-strand ropes. Another durable and cheap blend is a mix of polypropylene and polyester.
When it comes to anchors, most battle ropes come with an anchor set included in them. That is typically a cast-iron hook that can be bolted either to the ground or the wall in the gym. Once hooked, the battle rope’s middle part has another set of hooks and maybe even a carabiner that latches onto the bolted iron loop. Some iron loops are wide enough to have the rope pass through them, eliminating the need for the rope to have an additional set of attachments. Still, that does create a sharp dent on the rope that can be a potential weak spot further down the road.
The weight isn’t as important with battle ropes since you won’t ever lift most of them at once. You will be using a wave-like motion that will distribute the load evenly across your hands. Still, a typical 50 ft rope with 1.5-inch thickness weighs around 30 lbs. Longer and thicker ropes can weigh as much as 50 lbs and even more, so have that in mind if you plan on transporting this rope frequently.
Durability & Flexibility
The durability of the rope is mainly determined by its materials and the way it is twisted. Most modern battle ropes use a 3-strand architecture which makes them incredibly hard to tear or unwind. Having a sleeve over the rope makes it even more durable and long-lasting. In terms of flexibility, that same 3-strand structure can actually be detrimental to the rope’s mobility. Ropes with complex strands and small fibers are much easier to work out with and are far easier to bend and create waves with.
Lastly, look for ropes that are priced well. Certain models out there rely on brand names and artificially inflate their prices. The good ropes should set you back around a hundred bucks and not more. Some longer and thicker ropes with special material blends can cost up to 150-200 dollars but that isn’t a range you should be going for with your first rope. In other words, the cheaper models are usually more than enough. Now, let’s discuss some of the potential benefits of having and using a battle rope!
Benefits of using Battle Ropes in your Workout
There is a very good reason for the continuously increasing popularity of battel ropes in modern gyms. Better yet, there are actually reasons (plural)! Here are some of the best ones:
- Battle ropes increase your aerobic capacity
- Working out with a battle rope exercises every muscle in your body
- They can be easily diversified into training each and every muscle group
- They increase your grip strength
- When you push hard, battle ropes become an excellent anaerobic exercise
- They are easy on the joints
- Don’t require a lot of space to move, apart from laterally
- Aren’t that expensive compared to other fitness equipment
- Can be taken outdoors
- Generally, last more than other training gear
If fat-loss is your main goal, I suggest starting with my dedicated article on that topic. In there, we will discuss which are the best fat-burning exercises as well as the pros and cons of each one! Now, let’s answer some common questions when it comes to battle ropes…
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I mix weight training with battle ropes?
Yes, in fact, this is one of the best ways to incorporate weights into your weekly workouts. The intensity of battle ropes will keep your body loose while at the same time prepared for a heavy workload. The weights will further signal the need for anaerobic performance and your body will respond by not only building up more muscle mass but also making you more flexible and agile.
How many times a week should you use battle ropes?
It really depends on what your goals are but using battle ropes at least once per week should suffice if you just want to keep a general good fitness level. If you are deep into cross-fitness, doing battle ropes as a part of your circle drills two or three times per week will give you all the benefits from this type of exercise. If you want to work on the battle ropes only, you can easily use them 3-5 times a week with various drills on them each time emphasizing a different part of your body.
Can battle ropes get you ripped?
If by getting ripped you mean having all the endurance, power, and strength you want, then yes- battle ropes are the ideal exercise for you and will even add flexibility to this already good mix of benefits.
Finding the best battle ropes will depend on a few very important factors. First, figure out your budget so that you can rule out some of the cheapest and most expensive models out there. Then, figure out how much space you have to work with. Look at the length of the space you have in order to determine the rope’s length. For men and women with higher ambitions, I suggest a heavy, long rope with a 2-inch diameter. Look for ropes made out of 100% Dacron since this blend is more durable than other standard poly blends.