Battle ropes are an enjoyable training tool that enables you to strengthen your body, burn lots of calories, and increase your power output. It’s an excellent cardiovascular workout that engages your muscles, including your forearms, lats, quads, and shoulders. Although this workout equipment can really help you in your fitness goals, not everyone has access to it, and when you do, sometimes it’s fun to diversify your routine. 

So, what now if there are no battle ropes in your local gym? Good news! Fortunately, there are various battle rope alternatives that you can do but will still give you the same effect. If you’re ready to start sweating, here are ten battle rope alternatives that you can try!

Battle Rope Alternative Exercises (Our Recommendations)

1. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell swings are a great full-body workout alternative if you don’t have any battle ropes at your disposal. It targets your glutes, hamstrings, core, hips, shoulders, and back. To ensure that you are doing this exercise correctly, pay attention to your hip hinge. Avoid squatting and using your upper body strength to lift the kettlebell. 

How to do it

  • Begin with a Kettlebell on the floor that’s positioned around six feet in front of you.
  • Separate your feet at about hip distance or slightly wider.
  • Hinge at your hips, pushing them back behind you as you bend to hold the kettlebell handle.
  • When you’re already grasping the handle, inhale and hike the kettlebell back behind, in between your legs.
  • Keep your forearms pinned against your hips when performing the motion. Also, ensure that your back is flat.
  • Exhale, squeeze your glutes and push your hips forward. 
  • The momentum from this movement will propel the kettlebell forward, causing your arms and the bell to lift.
  • Inhale and bring the kettlebell back between your legs to prepare for another rep.
  • Do as many as necessary.

2. Single Arm Kettlebell Swing

Single arm kettlebell swings is an excellent substitute for battle ropes as it’s an awesome cardio exercise that will make you drop! This exercise targets your entire body, specifically building your quads, spinal erectors and shoulders and enhancing your grip strength. Also, this exercise can improve your hip joint movement and flexibility.

How to do it

  • Stand with your feet positioned shoulder-width apart and grab a Kettlebell handle in your right hand, resting at your side.
  • Hinge from your hips and slightly dip down as you swing your arms back and then up to shoulder level.
  • Lower back to the starting position.
  • Repeat three sets with fifteen reps on each arm.

3. Medicine Ball Slam 

Medicine ball slams or dead ball slams are a great alternative to battle ropes because they target your core and the major muscles in your upper and lower body. Aside from that, you can use a medicine ball to increase your ability to initiate power. Dead ball slams are an intense workout that can help you burn calories and increase your heart rate. 

How to do it

  • Begin by grabbing a Medicine Ball and standing with your feet apart at about shoulder distance, and your knees slightly bent.
  • Breath in and lift the medicine ball overhead.
  • Breath out and slam the ball down on the floor in front of you. Contract your abs and use as much force as you can.
  • Finish the movement in a half squat position with your arms by your side downwards.
  • Repeat as many as you can.

4. Rowing Machine

A Rowing Machine is another excellent substitute for battle ropes as it produces a significant calorie burn when it activates your muscles. Rowing specifically engages your shoulders, lats, forearms, and leg muscles which are the primary muscles targeted by battle ropes. In addition, this exercise will enhance your core strength, and you can utilize it for HIIT cardio or intervals.

How to do it

  • Sit on the Rowing Machine, keeping your legs straight and arms fully extended. Then, hold the handles with both hands.
  • Pull your glutes in to travel with the rail until your elbows reach the level of your knees.
  • Pull the handles back while simultaneously pushing your glutes back to the starting position.
  • Begin with a 15 minute non-stop rowing and add 60 seconds every week.

5. Box Jumps

Box Jumps are a famous polymetric exercise because they’re easy to scale depending on your skill level. You can choose a lower or high box to suit your current standing. With box jumps, you’ll be able to strengthen major muscle groups just like battle rope exercises. If you don’t have ropes but have access to a bench or box, this is the perfect alternative!

The objective of box jumps is to build your power output. It should not be a cardio exercise where you perform many reps. Have plenty of rest between sets so you can take advantage of your power to produce as much force as possible.

How to do it

  • Stand a foot away in front of a box with your feet around hip-distance apart and your toes pointing forward.
  • Breath in as you swing your arms behind, lean forward with your torso, and lower yourself into a half squat.
  • Breath out and leap onto the box, landing with both your feet at the same time. 
  • Step down from the box without jumping, or you may accidentally hurt your knees. Then, prepare for another rep.

6. Airdyne Bike

This next battle rope alternative is ideal if you’re looking for a new way to incorporate HIIT cardio and interval training into your fitness regimen. Similar to battle ropes, an Airdyne bike or Assault Bike allows you to push yourself as hard as you can. Thanks to the tension from the air passing through the bike’s wheel, you get infinite resistance levels!

How to do it

  • Engage your legs, and don’t let your arm carry all the stress. 
  • Keep your knees pointing forward, and don’t let them flare into the sides.
  • Calibrate the seat farther over the top of the pedal for more quad focus. To activate the posterior chain more, set it farther back.

7. Burpees

Another battle rope substitute that you should add to your exercise routine is Burpees! This amazing workout will give your whole body a good calorie burn without needing any rowing machine or air bike. Because of this, it’s a perfect at-home exercise. 

How to do it

  • Begin by standing straight with your feet hip-distance and your arms at your sides.
  • Breath in and bend down, putting your hands on the floor, so they are parallel with your shoulders.
  • Jump your feet going back to a plank position, lowering your body to the ground.
  • Push yourself back up to a plank. After, jump your feet back up towards your hands.
  • Jump up in the air as you reach towards the ceiling and breath out.
  • Repeat as many as necessary. To make it easier, remove the push-up in the middle and step your feet back to the plank position instead of jumping. 

8. Barbell Thrusters

This battle rope alternative may not be for everyone, especially those suffering from joint pain or knee issues. However, this is an incredible workout for strength building and cardio, as long as you do it safely. It’s an intense compound exercise, activating your quadriceps, glutes, spinal erectors, lats, front deltoids, and burning calories. 

Barbell thrusters do an excellent job of enhancing your muscle endurance and increasing explosive strength. Although it’s a challenging workout, you’re sure to get results. If you’re a beginner at this exercise, start with a light pre-loaded barbell or an empty barbell. You can add more weight as you get stronger.

How to do it

  • Begin by holding a barbell in a front racked position to let it rest on your chest.
  • Keep your hands separated a little wider than shoulder distance.
  • Then, inhale, tighten your core, and lower into a front squat. Keep your chest lifted as you squat down.
  • As you reach the bottom of the squat, push into the ground to lift up and breathe out.
  • After you stood up all the way, instantly press the barbell up into an overhead press.
  • Go back to the front racked position to set up for the next rep.

9. Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are a bodyweight-only workout that you can do anywhere as long as you have enough space. This exercise will give your entire body a good calorie burn while engaging your whole core area, which includes your abs, spinal erectors, and intercostals.

How to do it

  • Start by positioning yourself facing down on an exercise mat with your arms stretched, palms on the ground, and your body extended so you’re resting on your toes.
  • Proceed with the workout by lifting your left knee up and across to the right side of your torso. Instantly kick your leg back and repeat with on the other leg. 
  • Continue going in a fast, repetitive motion to complete a rep. Ensure that your glutes are down through the movement. 
  • Do three sets of 15 reps.

10. Overhead Banded Squats

This battle rope alternative exercise will allow you to have an excellent cardio workout at home using only a Resistance Band and no other exercise equipment. Overhear banded squats will help you activate your quadriceps and deltoids.

How to do it

  • Stand with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width, and your toes slightly pointed outward. Loop a Resistance Band under your feet and grab the other end with your hands.
  • Lift your arms up to a full extension above your head. Keep your elbows locked in this position throughout the motion. Then, hinge from your hips to go down into a parallel squat.
  • Execute two pulses before stretching out of the squat.
  • Complete three sets of fifteen reps.


Using battle ropes for your workout can be a game-changer. However, if that’s not the case, that does not mean that you’ll just quit and stop your fitness journey! Many alternative exercises can produce similar results and activate the same muscles. If it’s hard for you to try the ten in the list, just do our top two favorites, medicine ball slams, and burpees!

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re looking for a DIY solution instead of an alternative exercise, yes, you can DIY a battle rope course. You need two things: a rope and an anchor point. Some of the most popular rope alternatives are Garden Hose Battle Ropes, Fire Hose Battle Ropes, and Old Climbing Ropes. 

When it comes to the battle rope anchor point, you need to make sure that it’s durable. It will be responsible for holding the ropes in place as you work your arms with the ropes you’re holding to engage your upper body. Once you have the two, the next step is pretty straightforward.

To complete your setup, look for something heavy to loop the rope or attach a hook on a wall and secure the rope to the hook using a carabiner.

Although it’s not recommended to use battle ropes without an anchor, there’s an easy solution. Just insert the ropes through a heave object to keep it in place. A heavy dumbbell may do the trick!

The space relies heavily on the length of the rope you are using. If you’re working with a 50-foot rope, at least 25 feet of clear space is necessary. With a 40-foot rope, around 20 feet, and for a 30-foot rope, about 15 feet. 

Usually, battle ropes come from synthetic fibers made from nylon, dacron, or polypropylene. None of these materials shed that is why they are suitable for indoor use.

It can! Battle ropes are not only great for shedding calories, but they are also excellent for building upper body muscle mass. Aside from that, this exercise also targets your core and lower body. 

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