Battle rope HIIT workouts—the ones clients love to hate—offer a great reason to get back into the gym. In a 6-week study of 18 men and 15 women (ages 21–25), researchers found that high-intensity interval sessions with battle ropes improved muscle and aerobic performance in 3 weeks, and there was even more improvement after 6 weeks. Participants experienced gains in upper-body VO2max, shoulder flexion and extension strength, shoulder power output, and pushup and situp endurance.

The battle rope HIIT workouts consisted of 10 half-minute bouts of all-out effort, interchanging between double and alternating whip exercises. Sixty seconds of rest followed each work bout. Participants trained three times per week for 6 weeks, and midway through, study leaders increased the rope weight by 10 pounds.

The study is published in The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (2021; doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000003470).

See also: Battle Rope Mastery