Get Roped In

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In the fitness world, ropes are far much more than school yard game props. This versatile tool can help you tone your muscles, improve your response time and your overall synchronisation. This kind of enhanced reaction time comes in handy in daily life; from dodging irksome matatus in traffic to catching a glass before it hits the ground. Here are three calorie-torching ropes that your exercise routine could be missing.

Climbing Ropes

A popular addition to any CrossFit gym, this isn’t for the faint-hearted. It was an Olympics gymnastics event until 1932 and is used by military and martial arts disciples for physical training.

 Muscles Targeted: It targets the biceps, shoulders, forearms, back and abdominals. However, your body will still get the full workout experience as you improve your coordination and dexterity skills.

Beginner Prep: To climb successfully, you do require a decent fitness level. Improve your competency level with solid exercises such as pull-ups and push-ups.

Get Advanced: When comfortable with scaling the ropes, kick up the intensity levels by climbing without your feet, try it upside down, add in another way, rope and climb simultaneously or throw on a weighted vest.

Benefits:

 Psychological impact – Scaling heights will keep you holding on way past your tiring threshold. This also helps in learning some basic survival skills and increases stamina.

 Intermuscular coordination – To climb successfully, your whole body has to move together effectively. Thus, the large muscle groups will start to communicate with each other more coherently and faster.

 Improved Strength – The pulling sequence will build forearm strength, which takes the brunt of climbing, creating a noticeable improvement in grip strength. The core and the back muscles also strengthen as they play a major role in your pulling strength as well.

 Cardiovascular fitness – This is definitely a cardio workout and if the intensity of the climb doesn’t get your heart rate up, the risk element will. 

Jump Ropes

This calorie-burner comes in handy when other cardio greats such as the treadmill get a bit old.

Muscles Targeted: Swinging the rope engages the shoulders, arms, wrists and hands. In variations, the chest and back swing into action especially with the crossover jumping technique. In the lower body muscles, calves and thighs that assist with the jumping and landing function get a thorough workout. With variations, the core muscles are engaged for extra balance.

Get Advanced: Once you’ve gotten your rhythm sorted, incorporate more difficult moves such as high-step runs, crossovers, alternating legs, high knees, running skips, increasing speed or opting for a weighted rope to build endurance. 

Benefits:

 Burns Fat – This is an aerobic exercise so the breathing rate increases and your cardiovascular gets a good workout. Long sessions can lead to a lot of calories being burned while HIIT sessions give you a higher muscle activation. Remember, the more muscle you have the more efficient your body becomes at burning calories.

 Boosts athleticism – Advantages such as coordination, hand speed, footwork, agility, power and rhythm comes from training with a jump rope. That’s why it’s so popular with professional boxers.

 Skill Work – Not everyone finds skipping easy and often require time and effort to get it down. However, there’s something satisfying about getting it right, continuously being challenged and engaged.

Battle Ropes

Originally confined to football training and martial arts gyms, battle ropes are finally becoming mainstream. It’s the kind of training that allows you to build muscle without having to lift super-heavy weights. What makes it so effective is the angles it allows the user to achieve that create tension and force that simply weightlifting can’t achieve.

Muscles Targeted: Core and upper body are targeted, however, they also offer cardio and full body-strength training. Get Advanced: Moves include waves, whipping, circles, slamming, grapple throws and flies but as soon as you get this done, kick up the intensity. We’re talking about incorporating ‘beloved’ burpees, lunges, planks, jumping jacks and squats.

Benefits:

 Unilateral dominance – You may not notice it now, but one side of your body may move differently from the other side. Once you incorporate battle ropes into your training, not only do you notice this imbalance, but it starts to correct itself.

 Low impact – Most of the force gets distributed throughout the extremities by the neuromuscular system with only minimal stress making its way to the joints.

 Functional Fitness – Improvement in muscular and cardiovascular endurance due to the high intensity, speedy nature of battle rope training can be seen.

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