What is it? A big, thick, long rope – the sort of thing that looks as if it should go around a boxing ring. The middle wraps around a post, and holding the ends, you slam it on to the ground over and over again.
How much does it cost? Your gym might have them. But if you’ve got the money and space to try them at home, they start at about £25.
What does it promise? A high-intensity, low-impact workout that builds muscle and burns up to 1,000 calories an hour. Plus it allows you to the be the noisy show-off at the gym for once.
What’s it actually like? The battle rope has become the thing I gravitate towards first whenever I go to the gym, especially if I’m in a hurry. Depending on how you use it, you can work yourself into a state of dizzying exhaustion within about 10 minutes. My current favourite exercise is the double-rope slam, which is the fastest way I’ve found to completely wear myself out – you grab both ends of the rope, draw them up above your head at once, then bring them crashing down as violently as possible, 20 times in a row. Other exercises include waves, where you use less force and alternate your hands, and moguls, where you add a jump into proceedings. My love affair with the battle rope is as tragic as it is all-consuming; try as I might, the thing seems determined to kill me.
Best and worst bit I cannot recommend it highly enough. Although, if you’re me, you might be embarrassed by the sheer paucity of your endurance when you begin. I hope you are not me.
Is it worth it? Definitely.
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