Training With Ropes


Fed up of the more conventional workouts for HIIT? I don’t know about the rest of you, but I find that varying my workouts stops me from getting bored and stagnant and when it comes to HIIT especially, utilising different methods has helped keep me motivated and more mentally interested in CV – I usually stick to relatively traditional methods for this though: static bike, rowing machine or sprint intervals in my local park.

My recent move in gym has given me a great opportunity to experiment with different training methods, and the inclusion of heavy rope training has helped me really fry myself after the completion of a gruelling weight session or adding further variation into a metabolic circuit to really mix it up! I also wanted to include a method of HIIT training to incorporate on a leg day too, as using the rower, sprinting or getting on a bike is quite frankly, for me, is a no go…

Heavy rope training was originally developed as a method of training for MMA and high combat sports such as rugby and American football. This will bring a new element to your fitness routine, break any plateau effect you may be currently getting with your HIIT training and is a great alternative method for adding strength, explosive power and endurance. I’ll throw this out there, I feel that switching your HIIT cardio up has an important place. The more inefficient you are at it, the better (drop me a twitter message if you want that statement further explaining).

There are lots of variations to heavy rope training too, with the main ones I use being, waves, slams, and throws. I’ll talk briefly about the variations of this below. If your gym has a heavy rope, great, you can easily set this up with the aid of a PT or staff member. Find an area where you have enough room and put the rope through or round a post, weight, machine etc that will hold it in place safely or round an object that lets you use the half the length of the rope with some slack:

My view here is, keep your position relatively similar with each variation, lean forward slightly, knees bent with a ¼ squat or so, and keep your core firm and in position during each blast. In regards to the sets here, for HIIT, I have personally been doing 8-10 sets of 15-20 seconds with 30-45 seconds rest between. This will differ with each of you dependant on fitness levels.


This is the most basic of techniques and usually my go to as it’s the easiest one to control and effectively master. Simply, hold your hands together, parallel with an end of the rope in each hand and quickly move each hand up and down to make waves with the rope – you can do this in two ways too, either move your arms simultaneously or in opposite directions to make the waves alternate. Horrific on your arms and shoulders, so you have two options, avoid on a shoulder or arm day or include to really finish them off!


Start with the rope down at your waist, with the rope having a good amount of slack on the floor, explosively raise your arms simultaneously in the air before “slamming” them to the floor. You can slam using alternate hands but my recommendation here is to do it simultaneously. I read one of the best ways to get this motion right, is to imagine you are cracking a whip with both hands or if you ever have done medicine ball slams, it’s a very similar movement.


Standing with one foot slightly in front of the other here (like a fighter/boxers stance) you are flipping the rope with your arms and hands. I’d describe this motion as like throwing someone to the floor. Stand with your hands at just above shoulder level, twisting your body as move them across to your chest across the other side of your body.


Remember this is just one form of HIIT, check out our brutal LDNM HIIT Workout Packs here.


There you have it. DOMS a’hoy.