Ryan Lochte Uses Battling Ropes?
I came across this clip of Olympic swimming legend Ryan Lochte using battling ropes in his training. I thought it was quite interesting to see some of his training, which many people might suggest is not “the norm” for swimmers training.
In the last few years battling ropes have become a popular tool in S&C programmes. For me they do have their uses and I like them for a number of reasons.
Here’s a few of these reasons:
1. They are an excellent way of interval training with less stress through the lower body. This is important for sports where a large proportion of training goes through the lower body such as field sports.
2. Contact conditioning: They are excellent at mimicking the demands of wrestling and grappling from both an endurance perspective but more importantly the local muscular endurance demands are very specific to these activities. Conditioning has to be as specific as possible to get the best transfer to the sport.
3. Injury Rehabilitation: I use the ropes a lot in athletes recovering from lower body injuries who can’t run to transition them back into full training. They are also a very good conditioning tool for larger athletes who we know won’t benefit from running based conditioning sessions.
4. Power Endurance: This is an important quality to develop for many sports. Your goal with battling ropes is to be as explosive as possible and progressively increasing work durations can lead to gains in power endurance.
5. Rotator cuff/Shoulder conditioning: Many of the variations require a significant contribution for the rotator cuff musculature. Rather than it being theraband low load stuff, the ropes train the cuff for speed and power as well as local endurance. These qualities are very important for many sports and we tend to spend too much time working on lower load cuff exercises.
6. Great for building work capacity: This is where the ropes come in handy for all sports. Believe me rope workouts can be tough and seriously challenging!
7. They are bloody good fun! This should probably be at the top of the list to be honest, the ropes are great fun and people really enjoy using them. You can’t put a price on enjoyment in training and people looking forward to your sessions.
Make sure if your using the ropes you get good quality movement in all the variations. Do this by starting with lower work periods and more rest. Use the rope within a weights circuit rather than a full rope session. Build your competency before you work for longer durations with the rope.
So I hope I have presented a case for having this training tool in your repertoire as a coach. By no means are they the answer to everything, just one tool that can be used for a number of purposes. I’m a fan of them and i’ll be posting my favourite rope variations video in the next few days.
What do you think of battling ropes? Do you use them in your training? Leave me a comment below.