CrossTown Fitness, a high intensity interval fitness studio in the West Loop, recently added battle ropes to its arsenal, and a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to experience them for myself. I briefly used battle ropes last year during my personal training sessions at Equinox, and those 30-second intervals were plenty challenging. I had no idea what to expect out of a 50-minute class designed to incorporate battle ropes.
Betina Gozo, ACE certified personal trainer, NTC Nike trainer, certified functional training specialist and fitness director of CrossTown Fitness led our class. Up to that point, I had seen battle ropes used one way: as something to wave up and down to increase your heart rate and build strength. Our class, however, incorporated battle ropes throughout.
Following CrossTown Fitness’s interval design, the class divided into two groups. While one group used the battle ropes for an interval, the other group performed body weight exercises. After one minute, the groups switched places, giving everyone a chance to use the equipment. While we started with waves on the battle ropes, we quickly progressed to new-to-me exercises. We supported our body weight with one arm in a plank position while using the other arm to wave the rope. We did sit ups holding the ropes and slammed the ropes to the ground as we came up. We did burpees, and instead of simply jumping up, we slammed the ropes as we jumped. We held the ropes as we twisted from side to side doing Russian twists. We did a sort of modified jumping jack, bringing the ropes out as we jumped our feet together and jumping our feet out as we brought the rope in.
Turns out, you can do a lot with battle ropes.
CrossTown Fitness offers a variety of Total Body and Strength classes throughout the week. To try out battle ropes for yourself, visit the studio’s online scheduler.