If you want to get your heart rate sky-high in a hurry while working every major muscle group in your body, pick up a heavy rope and start swinging. Ropes have become a staple at gyms across the country for good reason: They’re simple training tools with proven benefits, burning more than 10 calories a minute. “Ropes offer a high-intensity workout that burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time,” notes Danielle Hopkins, a master trainer with Equinox Fitness in New York and the creator of the gym’s Ropes and Rowers class. “It’s a great multi task exercise because it combines both strength and cardio together.”One study found that after four weeks of HIIT training with ropes three times a week, women not only had marked improvements in cardiovascular fitness, they were also able to do more reps of strength activities like pushups and sit-ups. All rope drills initiate from the core, which means your core is constantly engaged with every wave and slam. Plus, you get immediate visual feedback of your efforts. “You can instantly tell if one side of your body is stronger than the other because the shapes the ropes make,” says Hopkins. When using ropes, don’t muscle through with just your upper body, instead try initiating the movement from your core. “Keep the waves small, fast, and uniform the entire length of the rope,” advises Hopkins. Follow her form tips (right) and then try her favorite routines (below) for a fast and furious total-body workout in minutes.


WORKOUT 1: Speed HIIT Routine

TIME: 15 Minutes

Do 30 seconds of one of the rope moves listed in “Get Roped In” Followed by 60 seconds of rest. Complete 10 rounds.

WORKOUT 2: Total-body strength and cardio circuit

TIME: 30 Minutes

  1. Try this full-body circuit using heavy enough weights to make 10 reps feel difficult. Repeat 3 times with minimal rest between circuits.
  1. Pushup to side plank (10 reps)
  2. Goblet squat (10 reps)
  3. Alternating renegade or bentover row (10 total reps, 5 each side)
  4. Alternating side lunge with a biceps curl (10 total)
  5. 30 seconds of rope training (Round 1: Alternating waves. Round 2: Claps. Round 3: Circles)
  6. Sprinter situp

Finish with 4–6 rounds of rope, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds’ recovery.

How To Start

  • Begin in an athletic stance, knees slightly bent, core braced, and leaning forward slightly from hips.
  • Stand far enough back so the rope has a little slack from its anchor point.
  • Keep hands shoulder width. Start with a single wave using both hands; as you get stronger, you can hold a rope in each hand.

Learn The Moves

  • Wave: Alternately raise and lower the rope as explosively as possible, either with two hands on one rope or holding separate ropes.
  • Slam: Bring ends of the rope above your head and then slam rope to the ground with both hands.
  • Clap: Swing ropes in and out, clapping them together to collide in the middle.
  • Circle: Go clockwise and/or counter- clockwise with ropes.
  • Jumping Jack: Holding rope in each hand, do jumping jacks, lifting and lowering the rope with the movement.
  • Russian Twist: Sit on the ground facing the rope; lean back slightly, holding ropes in front of chest with both hands. Rotate upper body from right to left, slamming the rope on the ground with each rotation.
  • Lunge: Do side or reverse lunges, slamming rope to ground with each rep.