Best Battle Ropes

Updated May 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

19 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
98 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best battle ropes

Last Updated May 2019

Staying on top of the fitness game takes dedication and the grit to push through your physical and mental limits. Battle ropes entered the scene a few years ago, and they’ve taken the fitness world by storm. They do for arms what the treadmill does for legs. Endurance, stamina, and strength can all be built with this single piece of equipment.

But where do you start? How long and thick should the rope be, and what extras should you look for? If you’re asking yourself these questions, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve dug deep to bring you an all-inclusive shopping guide with the info you need to make a smart purchasing decision.

Avoid anchoring the rope to anything with a sharp or rough edge. The rope is still a rope, after all, and a sharp edge can slice right through it, especially when you’re moving the rope during exercises.

Key considerations

Indoor vs. outdoor

Where you plan to use the rope can definitely help narrow down your choices. Ropes made of synthetic fibers like nylon, polypropylene, poly dacron, and dacron do well both inside and outdoors. Battle ropes made of natural fibers like plant-based manila, shed small bits of fiber as they hit the floor or ground. While that's fine outside, you may not want your garage or exercise room littered with “hairs.”

Rope diameter and weight

Battle ropes come in two diameters -1.5 inches and 2 inches. The right diameter for you depends, in part, upon your goals. If you're looking to create well-defined muscles through intense cardio workouts, a 1.5-inch rope would be the best choice. These narrower, lighter ropes are used to focus on ramping up the heart rate, speed, and dexterity. They're also easier to hold, especially for those with smaller hands. Two-inch ropes are heavier and take a stronger grip. Therefore, they’re better for building muscle mass and bulking up the forearms, arms, shoulders, and upper back.

Rope length

Ropes are available in different lengths to accommodate each available space. The ideal distance for creating constructive movement with the greatest number of exercises is 50 feet. That's the total length of the rope so when it's attached to an anchor point you need at least 25 feet of available space. Don't worry if you don't have that much space in your backyard, garage, or exercise area. Battle ropes are also found in 30 and 40-foot lengths. You get the maximum benefit from the longest rope you can fit in your space, so measure carefully.

CAUTION

Water won't damage your rope, but it shouldn't be stored for an extended time while wet. Mildew and mold can aggravate allergies and bring a whole new meeting to a “smelly” workout.

Features

Anchor method and accessories

The battle rope will need to be anchored at its midpoint. Whatever you attach to the rope should be solid and immovable even when a decent amount of force is applied. Some ropes include an anchor strap that allows you to attach the rope to an additional piece of exercise equipment, inground basketball hoop, or another sturdy object. Other ropes boast a wall anchor and screws, which can be attached in an exercise room, garage, or to an outside building like a shed. Ropes that do not feature any anchor method or accessories will still have to be attached or looped around something. Before buying, know where and how you’ll use the rope to make sure you have all the necessary hardware.

Handles and grip support

Half the battle with these ropes, especially the 2-inch versions, is hanging on. Your hand and forearm strength will be seriously tested. The ends of some ropes have a plastic shrink wrapped cover while others also boast a plastic end cover. Designed for enhanced durability, both of these extras can help you maintain your grip even when your hands start to get sweaty. There are a few models that feature a separate handle piece with a handlebar, though this is not a common design. These usually are included as part of a kit and can also be used for other strengthening exercises besides those normally done with battle ropes such as pull-ups, butterfly press, and shoulder dips.

Protective sleeves

Ready to take your workout outside? A battle rope with a protective, water-resistant sleeve should be on your list. These sleeves do more than protect the rope from moisture, mildew, and mold; they also prevent excessive wear and tear.

EXPERT TIP

Try changing your body position to target different muscle groups or intensify your workout. Battle ropes can be used while on your knees, sitting in a chair, or while planking. You can also try shifting your position while doing an exercise for more dynamic movements.


Staff  | BestReviews

Exercise kit

Sometimes a battle rope is incorporated as part of a larger exercise kit. The kits may include exercise bands, extra anchor points, or free weights. Some of these sets are designed to use the battle rope in unconventional ways. Multiple wall anchors, for example, allow you to string the rope for use with additional upper body exercises.

Materials

Battle ropes can be made of either synthetic or natural materials. Synthetics include nylon, polypropylene, dacron, and poly dacron, while with natural fibers you're looking at various plant-based options like manila. Both are durable, though natural fibers are biodegradable and synthetic fibers aren’t. As previously mentioned, some natural fibers tend to shed while synthetics don't.

Colors

Ropes are created in a variety of colors from natural to black, blue, green, and alternating color schemes. The color has no bearing on the performance of the rope itself. However, if you’ll be using the rope outside, you might want to consider a darker color to hide grass or dirt stains.

Instruction video and booklet

Battle ropes that include a workout DVD or instruction booklet give you a jump start on your workout. You can do far more with these ropes than you may realize, and these extras can help you quickly move past the basics.

Price

Inexpensive: Thirty-foot, 1.5-inch diameter battle ropes start at $22. The longer and thicker the rope, the more expensive they become. Ropes at this entry-level price don't usually include an anchor strap or wall anchor. However, they may feature a small sleeve at the midpoint to prevent wear, and a plastic shrink wrap handle on each end of the rope.

Mid-range: Once you move into the $25 to $50 range, you'll find battle ropes with wall anchors, anchor straps, and protective sleeves. There are also longer 40 and 50-foot, 1.5-inch ropes, and 30-foot 2-inch ropes at this price. Between $50 and $100, you’ll find ropes with protective sleeves, anchor straps and wall anchors, along with various handles and end caps.

Expensive: Battle ropes can sell well over $100, though their features and materials don’t vary much from the lower-priced models.

DID YOU KNOW?

You can measure the intensity of your workout by counting your waves per minute. Once you’ve reached 120 to 150 waves per minute, you should be warm and engaged. Try to get into a good rhythm and maintain it for longer and longer lengths of time.

Tips

  • Battle ropes can be used in a number of different ways. With the right hardware, they can be attached to the ceiling and used as a climbing rope. However, if you need to build up your strength before reaching these heights, there are a number of different pulling exercises designed to prepare you. Check out the numerous online workouts, YouTube videos, and DVDs created to showcase all that battle ropes have to offer.
  • If you're ready to test your forearm strength, fold the handle over to double the size of the rope you have to hold. This challenge will increase both your hand and forearm strength.
  • You can make your workout more difficult by changing your distance from the anchor point. You should start with some slack, but the closer you get to the anchor point, the more difficult it is to start and maintain the rope’s movement.

Other products we considered

Our list was limited to five, but there are a few ropes that didn't make our list that are worth mentioning, starting with the POWER GUIDANCE Battle Rope and its protective nylon sleeve. On this model, the sleeve seamlessly fits into the shrink-wrapped handle. It comes in 30, 40, or 50-foot lengths and has comfort handles. If you're looking for a quality starter rope, the ZENY Battle Rope is another solid option. It comes in 1.5 and 2-inch diameters with three different lengths. While there’s no anchor strap, it does have a protective sleeve at the midpoint and ergonomic heat shrink ends. Finally, the Profect Sports Pro Battle Ropes with Anchor Strap Kit is a wonderful gym addition if you’re serious about your fitness routine. It has a protective sleeve, anchor strap, and sound handle grips.

Maintain a strong but relaxed grip on the rope. If you hold it too tightly, your whole upper body can tense up, which limits your movements and doesn’t allow you to reap the full benefits of your battle rope workout.

FAQ

Q: If I don’t have enough room for a long rope, can I make up for the loss of distance?
A:
Not everyone has 25 feet of space waiting for a battle rope. While that's the ideal length, you can make up for it with a shorter, thicker rope. A 30-foot 2-inch rope can provide a workout that’s similar to that of a 50-foot 1.5-inch rope. Keep in mind that the shorter the length the less fluid your movements will feel.

Q: Are there many exercises I can do with a battle rope?
A:
There are far more than many people realize. Most of the time you think of holding an end of the rope in each hand and moving them up and down to create a wave. That's certainly a great way to build muscle, but it's not the only way. You can wind the rope around a pole and pull it until the entire length is clear. This can also be done from the front and side as well as low and high. You can also check out partner exercises that go beyond a tug of war. Your best bet is to go online and search for a variety of exercises these ropes have to offer.

Q: Are battle ropes weighted or is it only the weight of the rope itself that acts as resistance?
A:
 Battle ropes are weighted to increase resistance. Of course, thicker ropes are heavier than thin ones. And, if your rope gets wet, the weight will increase substantially.

The team that worked on this review
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Kyle
    Kyle
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Stacey
    Stacey
    Writer

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