Try These Rope Workouts For a Toned Upper Body

Try These Rope Workouts For a Toned Upper Body


If tools like weights and resistance bands aren’t for you, try rope. Here’s a rundown of how battle rope and cable rope workouts can give you the upper body of your dreams

When you think of an upper body workout, you may think of deadlifts, arm curls, or bench presses, but that’s not where resistance training ends. If you are looking for more ideas on how to transform your upper body while at the gym, we suggest trying rope. Specifically, try workouts using battle rope or cable rope.

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A rundown of benefits

battle rope training
Photo: ROCKWELL ATLETICA (via Instagram)

The ropes you may have already seen lying around gyms before are called battle ropes. Just as the name suggests, a workout surrounding battle ropes is an intense strength training exercise. It may look easy, but battle ropes are heavy, so swinging them around in quick succession absolutely burns. Knowing that can make them intimidating, but it’s also important to know that battle ropes are effective in full-body strength training and improving cardiorespiratory fitness.

One study on collegiate basketball players even found that battle rope training effectively improves multiple physical fitness dimensions and shooting accuracy over an eight-week period. Meanwhile, further research shows that, despite how demanding the exercise is, battle rope training is not only doable for those with a sedentary lifestyle, but beneficial for them as well, even more so compared to conventional training.

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cable exercise
Photo: ROCKWELL ATLETICA (via Instagram)

Not too far from battle ropes are cable ropes, which are connected to the pulley machine you may often see in gyms. These cable machines are incredibly versatile in targeting different muscle groups while remaining simple to use. Similar to how resistance bands provide added resistance to a strength training exercise, cable ropes are effective in building and toning the muscles in your upper body, from your forearms up to your shoulders and back.

But what makes a cable exercise stand out from a battle rope exercise is that, since the rope is attached to a machine, you can control the weight and intensity of the exercise, letting you slowly build up your strength over time.

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How to do it

The kind of exercise you perform with these ropes also provides different results. For one thing, when it comes to battle rope exercises, a study concluded that performing unilateral waves results in higher external oblique activity, whereas bilateral movements can result in higher lumbar erector spinae activity.

Meanwhile, cable rope workouts using cable machines can look like the routine demonstrated below. Notably, doing this will help to tone your back all while increasing your endurance.


a back workout all in one place 🫡 perfect for when the gym is busy or you want something quick! #gymtok #backworkout #workoutroutine #shygirlworkout #fittips

♬ Speed Drive (From Barbie The Album) – Charli XCX

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Famous results

Rhian Ramos flexes her toned upper body
Photo: RHIAN RAMOS (via Instagram)
Celeste Cortesi has our dream upper body
Photo: ARNOLD ANINION (via Instagram)

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Many women veer away from strength training because they don’t want to look too bulky, but with the help of certified personal trainers, you can follow a workout and diet routine built around your body type and lifestyle. Plenty of local celebrities prove this, too, such as Rhian Ramos and Celeste Cortesi.

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