Which battle rope is best?
While they may not look like much, battle ropes are highly effective exercise equipment, helpful in building muscle, explosive strength and endurance. They may have only been around for about a decade but have since become a staple in almost every gym and Crossfit facility.
There are several decisions you’ll have to make when choosing a battle rope, including how long and how thick it should be, what material you prefer and how you plan on anchoring it. Some models, like the Profect Sports Pro Battle Rope, include an anchor strap that allows for temporary installation, which is ideal for those who may not want to drill into any floors or walls.
What to know before you buy a battle rope
Synthetic vs. natural
Battle ropes are made from both synthetic and natural fibers, but a synthetic option will best serve most people for several reasons. When used outdoors, battle ropes made from natural fibers can deteriorate quickly from exposure to the elements. They are also more prone to mold and mildew if they frequently get wet. Natural fibers like manila and sisal are also more susceptible to breakage and abrasion, resulting in them shedding small hairs and making a mess all over the floor.
To be used effectively, battle ropes need to anchor to something at their midpoint that is strong and stable so they won’t potentially move or tip over during use. Common anchor points are trees, poles cemented into the ground and heavy pieces of gym equipment. Ideally, you can use an included anchor strap for this, but some people simply choose to loop it around the item in question.
Another option is to choose a model that comes with a metal anchor that gets bolted to the floor or a wall. This is the most secure method. However, it is a more complicated installation and will leave holes in the surface if you choose to remove the battle rope.
Features to look for in a quality battle rope
Battle ropes can vary in length but commonly measure between 30 and 50 feet long. Since you can double over battle ropes and anchor at the midpoint, you’ll have 15 to 25 feet of rope in each hand. Don’t forget that you will also need to provide yourself at least an extra 5 feet of room to move around at the end of the rope. Expect to dedicate between 20 and 30 feet of space to use your battle rope, depending upon which length you choose.
Battle ropes are available in 1.5, 2 and 2.5-inch options. The majority of people will be best served by a 1.5-inch battle rope, as these are small enough that most people can get a secure grasp on them, yet thick and heavy enough that they can still provide an effective workout. If you have very large hands and only plan on using your battle rope for short intense sets to build muscle and explosive power, rather than longer sets for endurance, you may prefer a 2-inch rope. Very few people have hands large enough to get a secure grip on 2.5-inch battle ropes, and even then, they are overly thick and heavy to be used effectively by nearly everyone, which means they are best avoided.
A secure grip is vital to using a battle rope safely and effectively. To that end, most manufacturers heat shrink a high-traction material like rubber or PVC to the end of their rope to function as a handle. This also caps off the end to prevent fraying from where the rope was cut down to length.
Protective sleeves help to prevent abrasion from causing premature wear and tear on the rope. If you’ll be using your rope outdoors on a rough surface like pavement, choosing a rope with a full-length protective sleeve is a smart idea. A protective sleeve on the anchor point should suffice if you are using your battle rope indoors on a smooth surface, such as a gym mat or wooden floor.
How much you can expect to spend on a battle rope
Most battle ropes cost $30-$200, depending on the material, length and thickness.
Battle rope FAQ
What muscles can you work out with a battle rope?
A. Many people may assume that you can only work out the muscles in your upper body with a battle rope, but this is untrue. By adding in squats and side-to-side steps, you can get a total body workout that includes the muscles in your legs, core and upper body.
Are longer battle ropes better?
A. Longer battle ropes are better because they allow for more fluid movement. Battle ropes that are too short can result in recoil coming back at you before the force of your movement on the rope reaches the anchor point and dissipates. Also, longer ropes are heavier, which means they will require more effort on your part and make for a more effective workout.
What is the best battle rope to buy?
Top battle rope
What you need to know: Combining a tough Poly Dacron construction with a protective sleeve for abrasion resistance, this battle rope can stand up to the high-volume demands of a commercial gym.
What you’ll love: It comes with heavy-duty anchor straps, as well as a steel carabiner, so you can easily detach it for out-of-the-way storage. Also, it comes in three diameters and lengths to ensure there is one to suit every need.
What you should consider: Some people have received ropes missing the anchor straps.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top battle rope for the money
What you need to know: This battle rope is both affordably priced and well-made, making it a top choice for home users and Crossfit facilities alike.
What you’ll love: It features a full-length protective sleeve, and it has 7-inch vinyl handles that provide a secure grip even in sweaty hands.
What you should consider: It doesn’t include any anchoring equipment.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This battle rope isn’t the most durable option, but it is one of the cheapest, which those on a tight budget will appreciate.
What you’ll love: It works well for indoor and outdoor applications and comes in three lengths between 30 and 50 feet.
What you should consider: Some people have reported issues with the grips slowly slipping off over time.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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