Battle ropes are a great tool for athletes; and, I find them to be a great complimentary tool to kettlebells & sandbag workouts. They are a great tool to build up upper body conditioning and to build a long lasting grip. I like to use a two-inch battle rope to focus on grip endurance and there are not many other tools that can match the benefits of this type of training. Building not just a strong grip, but a long lasting grip, is very important for most sports, especially martial arts. If your grip wears out during a grappling bout you are out of luck. I find this similar to being stuck in a gunfight without any ammo. I have seen MMA and grappling athlete’s grips and arms burn out after an unsuccessful guillotine attempt. This is a tough spot to be in. If you have well conditioned grips and arms you can recover from these type of situations and keep going.
Another tool I use to amplify the benefits of this type of training is: using chains and ball handles. I commonly use a 4-inch softball with an i-hook attached, which is connected to a chain. I basically insert a 3-inch i-hook into a 4-inch diameter ball as shown in the picture below. Then, I use a chain quick link to hook up the chain to the ball handle that is shown picture below.
This is a set up that really works my grip and forearms and is a great complimentary tool to add to your current battle rope training. I use ball handles that are 2-inches to 5 inches in diameter. It is great to use different handles to continuously challenge the grip. I use larger diameter ball handles to focus on two handed rotational exercises or chopping exercises. The ball handle is an amazing tool to challenge your upper body and grip strength and conditioning. I use a two chain set up or a single chain set up, as shown in video, for unilateral exercises and rotational power building exercises.
In the video below I am demonstrating only a few of the exercises that can be performed. With this chain and ball handle modification, you can perform any exercise that uses a battle rope. The chains have a different feel and your grips and forearms will be in for a fight. I recommend interlocking your fingers during the two handed exercises. The figure eights’, rainbows, rainbows w/ lunges, and Russian twists are great to perform with the two handed exercises.
The battle ropes I use, are costlier than the chain set up. If you have chains laying around, you can use this set up to get a great workout without spending too much. I recommend using the ropes and this battle chain set up as a part of the routine for the best results. This ball handle chain set up will supercharge any of your unconventional workouts.