In collective imagination, among the functional training tools the Gym Ropes are surely one of the most attractive one: oscillating them in spectacular waves with all your strength seems a perfect way to let off some steam in the shortest possible time.
If correctly used, the Gym Ropes (also called Battle Ropes or Training Ropes) become indeed a perfect tool for global training, and they can also be very helpful as anti-stress.
Which are the Gym Ropes technical features?
In order to understand how challenging their use can be, we have to consider the structural characteristics of this tool in terms of length, diameter of the grip part and total weight. The first distinction is between the two different models of Gym Rope:
- Gym Rope (click here): length 15 m, diameter 50 mm, total weight 15 kg
- Easy Gym Rope (click here): length 10 m, diameter 38 mm, total weight 8 kg
It is easy to understand that the difference between these two models is clear and consistent, both in terms of work on the grip and in terms of length and weight. These characteristics have substantial effects on the strength and on the speed involved during the performance of the exercises with this tool.
Every Gym Ropes exercise is indeed performed at really high intensity and requires a great speed in the execution so long as it is possible to keep performing it in a fast and technically correct way.
If the user loses its control on the posture and starts to slow down the oscillation movement, he or she would better stop, take some rest and then start again when ready.
Performing slow or technically incorrect exercises with the Gym Ropes would not only be ineffective, but also dangerous for the involved joints, namely the shoulders, the cervical spine, the elbows and the wrists.
What exercises can I do with the Gym Ropes?
The standard battle ropes exercise consists in sagittal double grip alternated oscillations. From this movement it is possible to derive a vast range of different training possibilities for the arms and the legs, and also some exercises performed form a prone plank position.
How should these exercises be correctly performed?
Every Gym Rope exercise starts from a standing position with the hips flexed backwards on the sagittal plan (until the correct eccentrical activation of the back muscle chain and in particular of the hamstring muscles), stabilizing the torso through the activation of the abdominal muscles and the shoulder girdle through the activation of the Latissimus Dorsi muscle, keeping the shoulder blades backwards.
From this position, the arms are flexed, and the oscillations should be performed using the neuro-muscular tension that originates from the Core and reach the upper limb through the Latissimus Dorsi and the shoulder girdle.
Which physical characteristic can be improved with Gym Ropes training?
First, the grip strength, specially if you are using the 50 mm model. Despite having a strong and safe grip is essential for every activity that involves handling an external object, both in sports (tennis, golf, baseball, fencing, climbing, throwing sports, combat sports etc.) and everyday common activities, the grip is often a weakness for the athletes and represents a problem for people who use frequently their hands and wrists during their working activities (creating the conditions for joint problems that involve also the nervous system, like carpal tunnel syndrome).
Integrating Gym Ropes in your workout will be certainly very helpful to strengthen your grip, but not only. Performing high speed movements, with a medium weight load (the weight of the rope) may result in an increase of the intensity of your workout session, which makes it perfect for Interval Training as it improves both the aerobic (cardiovascular) and anaerobic (lactacid) intensity. With correct postural conditions and a proper technical knowledge of the exercises, the Gym Ropes become an optimal tool for every user, regardless of the training level or goals, both for group and personal training sessions.
by Emilio Troiano
WTA International Functional Training Academy Master Trainer
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