Battle Rope Slams

Battle Rope Slams (How To, Muscles Worked, Benefits)

Battle Rope Slams are one of the most popular battle rope movements. Battle ropes are great total body movements that help build upper body metabolic conditioning and can add some excellent variety to any workout program.

In this guide, I’ll teach you how to do Battle Rope Slams, what muscles they work, technique tips and some alternative exercises if you don’t have a battle rope.

How To Do Battle Rope Slams

Equipment Needed

  • Battle Rope

Muscles Worked

Battle Rope Slams is a true total body movement. Almost every muscle group in the body will be at work to some degree.

  • Shoulders, Back and Chest
  • Abdominal Core Muscles ((Rectus abdominis, Serratus anteior, Obliques)
  • Forearms

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Wrap your battle rope around a solid, stable object. (A squat rack is often a good option)
  • Extend the rope, removing the majority (but not all) of the slack out of the rope.
  • Grab the two ends of the rope, one in each hand.
  • Assume a good athletic position – knees bent, hips bent, flat back, core braced.
  • Raise the ends of the rope above the head and then aggressively ‘slam’ them back towards the ground.
  • This should create a ripple effect in the rope.
  • Continue raising and slamming the rope in rhythm until all reps are completed.

Coaching Points

One of the keys to Battle Rope Slams is experimenting to find the optimal amount of slack to leave in the rope. You want enough slack that it doesn’t hinder the full range of motion, but not too much slack that it’s hard to develop a rhythm with the rope.

Make sure whatever you’re using as an anchor for the battle rope is secure. Battle rope movements generate a lot of power and momentum and can come loose easily if not secured in place.


Some of the potential benefits of this exercise include:

  1. It can improve overall strength and power. Battle rope slams require the use of large, explosive movements, which can help to increase strength and power in the upper and lower body.
  2. It can improve cardiovascular fitness. Because battle rope slams are a high-intensity exercise, they can raise the heart rate and improve cardiovascular endurance.
  3. Battle rope slams require the coordination of multiple muscle groups, which can help to improve overall coordination and balance.
  4. It can be a fun and engaging workout. Battle rope slams are a versatile exercise that can be easily adapted to fit a variety of fitness levels and goals, making them an enjoyable and effective workout option.

How Many Reps?

I usually do Battle Rope Slams for time as opposed to reps. Generally 2 to 3 sets for 20 to 30 seconds each.

Battle Rope Slam Alternatives

Don’t have a battle rope? Don’t worry. Here are a few alternatives you may be able to use as a substitution. Want even more options? Here are my 10 favorite alternatives for battle ropes.

Medicine Ball Slams

Med Ball Slams

Medicine Ball Slams are a very similar movement but involve slamming a medicine ball instead of a battle rope. The muscles at work though are very similar.

Med Ball Slams can be a great alternative if you don’t have a battle rope, but you do have access to a medicine ball.

Sledgehammer Slams

Sledgehammer Slams

If you have access to a Sledgehammer and a Tractor Tire, then you could use Sledgehammer Slams as an alternative. They have always been an extremely popular exercise with athletes that I’ve coached because… well… they’re a lot of fun to do.

Although the exercise looks very different, the actual movement and the muscles at play are actually very similar. If you want to inject some variety into your training program, Sledgehammer Slams can be a great alternative.

Knees to Elbows

The first two alternatives I gave you require equipment that you may not have in your garage gym – a medicine ball and a sledgehammer.

Knees to Elbows are a great core exercise that also works the core dynamically to improve both strength and power. They also require a pull-up bar – either on a squat rack or a wall-mounted version which is something most of us probably have access to.

More Links and Info

Looking for more core exercises (including more creative core movements like Battle Rope Slams)? Head over to the Core Section of our Exercise Library where you’ll find dozens of exercises, all with complete detailed instructions.

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