Woman using manila rope for exercise

Manila rope – improve your upper body strength

Ever thought about adding rope to your training session?

When kitting out a home gym, rope is a really worthwhile addition – perfect for improving your endurance and building upper body strength. It’s great alongside the more expensive machinery such as a treadmill, cross trainer and weights.

Manila rope (aka. manila hemp) is a particularly great option for this purpose. Made from natural fibres, it’s inherently strong, flexible and durable. And the best bit? It’s affordable, too.

Here at RopesDirect, we currently stock manila ropes with black PVC end caps as part of our battle ropes range. These are available for £73.20 – £129.60, depending on the length chosen, and are tough enough to withstand even the most intense training programmes. We also have 32mm manila rope available to buy without PVC ends, priced at just £5.64 per metre.

So, why not treat yourself?

We’re by no means experts in upper body workouts, but to get you started, we’ve rounded up a few examples of rope exercises you could try. Just invest in one length of manila from our collection, give them a go and let us know how you get on by tagging us on social media. #ropeexercise #manilarope @ropesdirect


Woman doing rope exercises with manila hemp


3 types of rope exercise to try using manila hemp


1. Battle rope exercises

Manila battle ropes are most commonly found at commercial gyms. But as long as you choose the ropes wisely (i.e. buy them from RopesDirect) and anchor them safely, there’s no reason why they can’t be installed in your home – perhaps in the basement or garage.

Battle ropes are a great way to do a high-intensity full-body workout, without putting too much strain on the joints. And can significantly improve your strength, endurance and fitness levels.

Detailed information on how to use them correctly and example exercises can be found in our previous blog, with something to suit all ability levels. Take a look, try the ‘alternating wave’, ‘power slam’ and ‘sidewinder’ and start to feel the burn!


2. Rope climbing

This is a particularly effective rope exercise if you’d like to build your upper body strength.

Rope climbing may be something you associate with school PE lessons, but it’s no child’s play. It uses your entire body, building strength in your back, core and arms – whilst also improving agility.

For a beginner, our advice would be to start with the classic gym-class technique. This involves pinching the rope between your feet and gradually moving upwards, by putting one hand slightly above the other and bringing up the knees. Then, once you’re a little more confident, you could switch to the brake and squat method (employed by the Marines).

If you already have decent upper body strength, you could challenge yourself with an even more advanced approach – such as climbing the rope without using your legs or attempting an L-sit climb.


Rope exercises with manila ropes


3. Strength training reps

Aside from climbing up and down, there’s a diverse range of rope ‘strength training’ exercises that you can do using a 32mm manila rope – limited only by your imagination!

Bodyweight triceps extensions. One-arm bodyweight rows. Hanging L-sit leg extensions. Hanging leg raises. Rope plank walks. Rope plank holds. The list goes on. Just do a quick online search for ‘manila rope exercises’ and you can find hundreds of ideas and YouTube clips to show you how they’re done.

Pick a few of your ‘favourites’ and try 10 (or more!) reps of each. Compared to a traditional suspension trainer, using rope adds another element of difficulty, and will help you to strengthen multiple areas of the body whilst also improving your grip.


Ready to try your first manila rope workout?

Here at RopesDirect, we have everything you need to introduce manila rope exercises to your next session – including manila ropes, high-quality dee shackles and ground anchor skews (to anchor battle ropes in place). All of which are competitively priced and eligible for 1-2 day delivery.

Perhaps you could start with just one and see how much of a difference it makes?

Remember, we’d love to hear how it goes. If you do happen to try any of the ideas above using our manila hemp, be sure to get in touch and give us your opinion. Either tag us on Facebook or Twitter, or submit a testimonial via our website.


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