Fitness Training

How to use battle ropes for boxing training

battling ropes for boxing
Chris Farina/Top Rank
Boxing Science's Danny Wilson on how to use battle ropes for boxing

BATTLE ROPES are fast becoming one of the most popular pieces of kit to condition boxers

We use battle ropes as part of our circuits and do support the use of rope conditioning, but only when used with a purpose.

Danny Wilson explains the potential benefits and limitations of battle ropes as a conditioning tool, and shares some useful ways on how to use them.

Benefits of Battle Ropes

  • Good conditioning tool with reduced impact on joints
  • Increased muscle demands – which can increase oxygen demand and, in turn, increase heart rate
  • Increase muscle demands can encourage neuromuscular and peripheral adaptations.
  • Improve local muscular endurance
  • Handy to increase heart rate for conditioning circuits
  • Can be used for full body or upper-body workouts

Limitations of Battle Ropes

  • Takes time to develop an effective technique to push to intensities high enough to elicit positive physiological responses
  • Local muscular fatigue can limit the intensities needed for cardio-respiratory adaptations.
  • Hard to quantify intensity and volume, therefore it becomes structuring and monitoring training loads for effective conditioning programming becomes difficult.
  • Upper-body dominant, so lower-body endurance, oxygen delivery and neuromuscular function will not be optimally developed. Although there are methods that can work the full-body, the techniques can be quite difficult.

When Should I Use Battle Ropes?

  • As part of conditioning circuit to increase heart rate
  • Target peripheral adaptations
  • Conditioning session for 1-2 times per week max to reduce training monotony through training variation
  • Conditioning stimulus during de-load weeks or between training camps.
  • When carrying lower body injuries

Try Out These Battle Rope Workouts

Here are two handy battle rope workouts that target two different conditioning adaptations. These approaches are designed to limit how local muscular fatigue can affect favourable conditioning responses.


30 seconds maximal efforts with long recovery (2-3 minutes) targets peripheral adaptations – Improving the function of how the muscle utilises oxygen, neuromuscular function and mitochondrial enzyme activity.

Just 4-6 reps will do the job at the end of an S&C session.


High intensity training for red zone dominance, 20 seconds on : 10 seconds off x 8 reps – 2-3 sets.

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