How to be More Awesome: Rope Training for Big Strength Gains

When it comes to building Grip Strength, there are a couple of ways to do it. One way is to isolate the Grip. You can do this by working with Grippers, Pinching Plates, and doing Thick Bar Lifts in addition to your training routine. This is a very fun way to train the Grip because you can set up challenges for yourself and your training team/partner and focus on that one particular facet of Grip Strength. Another way to do it is to incorporate the Grip Challenge into the rest of your routine. This is called Grip Integration. You train your full body or large portions of it but the Grip remains a major focal point of the lift because you use implements that heighten the Grip Challenge. If you want to try Grip Integration in your routine, training with a Thick Rope is an awesome way to do it. Several years ago, John Brookfield introduced us to Battling Ropes, which involves looping a Thick Rope around a sturdy object and then violently thrashing and undulating the rope for extended bursts in order to increase conditioning as well as lower arm strength. Here are a few other ways to train Grip Integration using a Thick Rope and other pieces of training equipment you have in your gym.

Rope Swinging

This movement will be great for training your core as well as your shoulder mobility. First, slide a ten pound plate over the end of your rope about a foot from the end. From there, secure it with a pony clamp or two. Next, grasp the rope about 6 feet inward on the rope. Now, just swing the weighted end of the rope around your body. This will create some serious torque and will hit your core, shoulders and the grip.

Rope Chaos Pull-ups

Drape the rope up over a pull-up bar or a lifting bar hung high in a cage. Grab either end of the rope and suspend yourself in a hammer grip pull-up position. Now, pull with one hand and allow the rope to slide that direction. Keep changing directions with the rope while also modifying the degree of flexion in the elbow and you have yourself a very intense movement for the back, shoulders, and grip. In order to prevent damaging your rope, you can put a towel between the rope and the pull-up bar, or if you are using a lifting bar, you can put a PVC pipe over the bar. One of these methods should be used in order to keep your rope in good condition, otherwise you can wear a weak spot into your rope.

Recline Rope Rows

Recline Rows are an excellent way to maintain antagonistic balance in the torso, especially if you train a lot of pressing movements (bench, incline/decline bench/overhead work). To make Recline Rope Rows really interesting, I like to attach the rope to the pull-up bar of my squat cage and place my feel on the lifting bar placed at about benching height. Grasp the rope about a foot from the top and press your feet hard into the bench bar, while also squeezing the glutes and keeping the body tight. From there, perform recline rows. This feels quite different from regular recline rows and hits your grip a lot harder. For safety, make sure you counter weight your squat cage if it is not permanently fixed to the floor. There’s three ways to use Thick Ropes to build muscle and athleticism while also jacking up your Grip Strength. This will surely make you get more AWESOME.

No Thick Rope, No Problem

If you do not have a Thick Rope, there are a few other options so you can get the thick grip benefit of rope training without the cost.

  • Get a normal size rope and double or triple it over to make the gripping surface thicker and more challenging
  • Use a beach towel rolled into a tube shape and taped at the ends
  • Swap out the rope for a rolled up tarp, awning cover, or other thick, dense and strong object
  • Get a really long normal sized rope and cut it into 3 equal lengths. From there, have your wife or girlfriend braid it into a thick rope (because guys don’t know how to braid)
  • Take two 12-inch lengths of 1.5-inch PVC pipe and drill two holes into each about 2 inches from the end of the PVC pipe. Connect tough durable line to the holes in the pipe

Using one or more of these work-arounds should allow you to get the benefits from all of these intense exercises even if you don’t have a Thick Rope with which to do them. For more innovative Grip Strength training solutions, check out TheGripAuthority.com. For less than the price of coffee at Dunkin Donuts per week, you get monthly instruction on Grip training, Grip Feats, and all around Strength Training. Try it today for just $7 => TheGripAuthority.com

. -Jedd-