As many of you know, we like to constantly add new products to our lineup in order to bring as many unique exercises to our customers' attention as we possibly can. Often, at this time of year, I post blogs about a new piece of equipment we recently started carrying and explain some exercises that can be performed with it. The product I am going to talk about today is not really new, but we recently realized the true benefits that can be obtained from using it. This product, the Short Length Large Diameter Rope, has many different uses and can functionally train several different muscle groups. In order to best show what types of exercises you can perform with it, I am going to let video clips of the product being used do most of the talking in this blog.

The Short Length Large Diameter Rope is available in three lengths, 6, 9, or 12 foot, and in two different diameters, 1 ½ or 2 inches. The longer the length the more weight the athlete has to move and is generally how we determine what size is right for an athlete. An older and stronger athlete will need the 12 foot length while a youth athlete will need the shorter 6 foot length.The first exercise that the short rope is great for are dynamic, one-arm lasso swings, such as above the head, out to the side, or in front of the body.

It can also be used with both arms together by swinging the rope on each end forward or backward.

These rope swings target the shoulder, scapula, and back as those areas have to work to control the rope while continuing to move it through different motions. The weight of the rope, especially the leverage weight that is created when more rope is being swung, puts a unique load on the shoulder capsule that helps to strengthen it. Also, because the rope is being held in the athlete’s hand while it is being swung/twirled it works the forearm as well as grip strength. Having been the person in the video performing these rope swings I can tell you that these exercises will wear out your arms and shoulders quickly! In fact, it is unlike any exercise I have ever tried in terms of the feel you get throughout your shoulder and back.

The Short Length Rope can also be used in a more traditional manner, as a jump rope, and it is great for that purpose because the size and weight of the rope require a great deal of forearm strength in order to continue to spin the rope while you jump. It is amazing how quickly the forearms will begin to tire from doing an exercise as simple as jumping rope.

Additionally, the Short Length Rope can be used for body weight exercises. An athlete can perform pull ups, rows, simulated rope climbing activities, and core exercises with the short rope. The benefit of using the rope as opposed to a product with a typical handle is that throughout the entire exercise the rope requires you to support your body with your grip strength. The rope, whether using the 1 ½ or 2 inch, requires a wide grip (because the diameter of the rope fills up your hand) and doesn’t naturally provide an easy grasp, forcing the athlete to make his own handle by tightly holding on to the rope. After doing these exercises I can tell you that my forearms were sorer than any of my bigger muscle groups, even though I have done pull ups and rows many times before. This additional grip component increases the difficulty of these otherwise simple exercises and helps the athlete strengthen the last link of the kinetic chain – forearm, grip, and hand strength.

Although the Short Length Large Diameter Rope is a very simple tool it can provide a tremendous workout and target areas, such as the forearm, that other more traditional workout devices can’t. I encourage you to try some of these exercises and see for yourself just how functional the short rope can be.

Next week I will continue discussing new products/exercises and again the Short Length Large Diameter Rope is involved but this time I will talk about using it in tandem with the Giant Flat Band Resistance Loop.

Until next time,

Brian Oates