9 Battle Rope Alternatives

When it comes to conditioning training, cardio, and fat burning, a lot of people are well and truly stuck in the dark ages! They think that things like running, cycling, swimming, and group exercise classes are the only way to go.

However, if you are looking to get the best results in the least amount of time, there are better ways to work out – namely high-intensity interval training and circuit training.

With both of these workouts, you work hard and fast, often using unusual exercises and training tools. The result is a time-efficient workout that is as fun as it is effective. One of the most popular exercises for this type of training is battle ropes.

Battle ropes are, as the name suggests, heavy ropes designed for high-intensity training. You anchor the middle of the rope, hold the ends, and then lift, swing, and slam the rope to train your upper body, core, and legs.

While battle ropes are undoubtedly effective, they’re not always practical. After all, you’ll need the ropes themselves and plenty of space to work out.

In this article, we reveal the nine best battle rope alternatives.

Battle Rope Workouts

Pros and Cons of Battle Ropes

Battle rope workouts are popular for a reason – they work! But, before we take a look at some excellent battle rope alternatives, let’s discuss the pros and cons of this HIIT and circuit training staple.


  1. battle ropeLow-impact – most battle rope exercises are done with your feet firmly planted on the floor. No impact means battle rope workouts are usually very joint-friendly.
  2. Full-body workout – you can use a battle rope to train every muscle in your body, from your forearms and arms to your core and legs. This makes working out with a battle rope very time-efficient, and it also burns a lot of calories.
  3. Self-regulation – the harder and faster you work, the more intense your battle rope training becomes. If you want an easy workout, just take it easy! This means battle ropes are ideal for beginner, intermediate, and advanced exercisers.
  4. Easy to perform – most battle rope exercises are relatively straightforward, so they’re easy to learn. There ARE some more complex exercises, but most beginners should have no problem using battle ropes for at least a few basic movements.


  1. Equipment – needless to say, to do battle rope training, you’re going to need a suitable rope. Not all gyms have them, and buying your own can be expensive.
  2. Space – you’ll need plenty of room to use a battle rope. If your workout space is small, you may not be able to do this type of training.
  3. Noise – a lot of battle rope exercises involve lifting then beating the rope on the floor. If you live in an apartment, this noise may be unwelcome.

9 Alternatives to Battle Ropes

Keep your workouts fresh and interesting with these battle rope alternatives

1. Medicine ball slams

A lot of battle rope exercises involve raising the rope above your head and slamming it back down into the floor. This exercise uses the same movement, but all you need is a medicine ball to do it.

How to do it:

  1. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, holding a medicine ball in your hands.
  2. Raise the ball above your head and then, using your entire body, hurl it down at the floor just in front of your feet.
  3. Catch it as it bounces and then repeat.

2. Sledgehammer swings

This exercise is very similar to medicine ball slams, but you’ll need a sledgehammer and an old tire to do it. This exercise should be done outside for safety.

How to do it:

  1. Lay your tire on its side. This is your striking target.
  2. Standing close to the tire, swing your sledgehammer overhead and then down to hit the side of the tire.
  3. The hammer will bounce off the tire. Use this momentum to raise it and get ready for another swing.
  4. Try to alternate shoulders every rep or set to work both arms and shoulders equally.

3. Burpees

woman doing burpeesYou don’t need any workout equipment to develop your fitness or burn calories for weight loss.

All you really need is a little space and your body weight. Burpees might not be easy, but that’s precisely what makes them so effective.

How to do it:

  1. Stand with your feet together and your arms by your sides.
  2. Squat down and place your hands flat on the floor in front of your feet.
  3. Jump your feet out and back into the push-up position.
  4. Do a single push-up.
  5. Jump your feet back up and into your hands.
  6. Leap up into the air and then repeat.
  7. Omit the push-up and final leap into the air to make burpees a little easier.

4. Air bike sprints

Air bikes are exercise bikes with a large fan at the front instead of a flywheel and arm levers as well as pedals. They’re great for high-intensity workouts and an excellent alternative to battle rope training.

How to do it:

  1. Adjust the saddle on your bike so that your knees are slightly bent at the bottom of each pedal revolution.
  2. Grab the handles and pedal and push as hard as you can for 20-30 seconds.
  3. Slow down (but don’t stop) for 40-60 seconds and then repeat.
  4. Continue for as many reps or as long as necessary.

5. Bear crawls

Like battle ropes, bear crawls are a full-body fitness and conditioning exercise. You’ll need a little space for this alternative, but you won’t need any workout equipment.

How to do it:

  1. Kneel down and put your hands on the floor. Your arms and thighs should be perpendicular to the floor. Brace your abs and lift your knees a few inches off the floor.
  2. Keeping your back flat to the floor, crawl forward as far as your training space permits.
  3. Stand up, walk back to the start, and repeat.

6. Thrusters

thrusters with medicine ballIf you’ve got a barbell or dumbbells, you’ve got everything you need to do a great battle rope alternative. Thrusters combine squats with overhead presses to work every muscle in your body.

How to do it:

  1. Rest and hold a barbell across the fronts of your shoulders. Brace your core and stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend your legs and squat down, so your thighs are roughly parallel to the floor. Do not round your lower back.
  3. Stand back up and use this momentum to help you press the weight up and overhead.
  4. Lower the bar back to your shoulders, squat back down, and repeat.

7. Punch bag training

Hitting a punch bag might look like an upper body workout, but, in fact, it involves all of your major muscles. Of course, you’ll need a punch bag for this exercise, but if you’ve got one, it’s a great alternative to battle rope training.

  1. Put on your gloves and square off in front of your punch bag. Adopt a staggered stance and raise your hands.
  2. Hit the bag using a variety of punches with both hands. Move your feet, too, to simulate fighting a live opponent.
  3. Continue for a specified time, e.g., 60 seconds, or until you have thrown a certain number of punches, e.g., 20.

8. Box jumps

Box jumps are a lower-body power exercise that, when done for high reps, is an excellent conditioning tool. Compared to battle ropes, you don’t need much space to do box jumps.

How to do it:

  1. Stand in front of a sturdy knee-high box or bench.
  2. Using your arms for extra momentum, jump up and onto the box, landing with your knees slightly bent.
  3. Step (don’t jump) back down and repeat.
  4. The higher the box, the harder this exercise will be.

9. Jump rope

man jumping the ropeBuild your fitness and endurance with another kind of rope – a jump rope!

Jumping rope is a favorite exercise amongst fighters. It might be old-school and basic, but it’s still one of the best ways to get fit, burn fat, and improve agility.

Jump ropes are invariably a lot cheaper than battle ropes, too!

How to do it:

  1. Stand with your feet together and the middle of your jump rope on the floor behind you.
  2. Using your wrists, flick the rope up and over your head and jump over it as it nears your feet.
  3. Keep the rope turning and continue jumping.
  4. Stay low – you only need to jump a couple of inches to clear the rope.

Bottom Line

Battle ropes aren’t your usual workout. Instead of slow, controlled movements, working out with a battle rope invariably means large, explosive movements and a whole lot of noise. In short, battle ropes are both fun AND effective!

On the downside, battle ropes aren’t cheap, not all gyms have them, and they take up a lot of space. And, even if you do have access to a battle rope, using it all the time could soon become boring.

So, no battle ropes? Or just bored of this workout tool? No problem! You can develop a high level of fitness, burn fat, and improve total-body strength with these battle rope alternatives.

Ultimately, your body has a hard time differentiating between doing sprints on an air bike, jumping rope, doing burpees, or doing slams with a battle rope. So long as you work hard enough, your muscles, heart, and cardiovascular system will respond by getting stronger, no matter what exercise you do.

Use these tried and tested battle rope alternatives to develop total body fitness, burn fat, and get strong. Visit the Fitness Equipment Reviews homepage for more expert information and guides.


Patrick Dale is an ex-British Royal Marine and owner and lecturer for a fitness qualifications company. In addition to training prospective personal trainers, Patrick has also authored three fitness and exercise books, dozens of e-books, thousands of articles, and several fitness videos.

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