Functional training is all the rage these days and for good reason. There was a time when fighters would only train by doing their specific fighting disciplines and then just going off to lift weights. Often lifting weights in a bodybuilding training paradigm too, rather than strength, endurance focuses, etc.
As you can imagine, it is not the optimal way to train when you’re primary goal is to be as strong and athletic as you can be at the lowest possible weight that you can be. Being buff and looking muscular and strong doesn’t actually translate to athletic performance.
Actual strength training, however, is great. But it’s not enough. MMA fights and BJJ matches need you to have a mixed, well-rounded level of fitness including strength, flexibility and endurance. It’s not a sprint but its also not a marathon either. So as you can see, lifting barbells and squatting ass-to-grass and then going for the occasional jog is not enough.
If you would like to increase your strength, your power, your cardiovascular stamina and your muscular endurance all in one workout, with one single piece of equipment, then you might be interested in climbing ropes.
Did you ever have to climb the ropes in gym class at school? If yes, do you remember just how hard it was?
For some, it was downright impossible. It required bodyweight strength, grip strength, and extreme core strength. But even if you had all of that, that rope was long and you needed some serious stamina and endurance to push on and reach the top. It was a complete workout that could completely wipe you out by climbing it once. Unfortunately, gym class at school was probably the last time most people did that incredible exercise/workout.
The Best Climbing Ropes Reviewed
If your gym doesn’t have one, as it probably won’t, you’re not out of luck. You can now buy your own climbing rope, install it in your own home and get revenge in spirit on your gym class teacher by showing him that you can climb that rope!
Valor Fitness Sisal 25-Foot Climbing Rope
This rope is 25 foot long and has a thickness of 1.5 inches. This is thick enough to get a good grip workout in during your climb as well as the rest of your body.
25 foot is a nice mid-length size as well, as it’s long enough for you to be able to climb it multiple times, in separate reps, for a complete workout. Also, it’s not so long that you’d run out of rope, have trouble finding where to put it, etc.
Valor Fitness specify that the rope should be stored dry when it’s not in use, and we definitely recommend that you follow that advice, but some users have stated that they use theirs outside via attaching it to trees, etc. without any problems. But again, we recommend that you keep it inside to maintain the integrity of the rope.
Aoneky Gym Climbing Rope
Aoneky provide a wealth of length and thickness options with their ropes as well as style options (a brown one, a multi-coloured option and even a full white rope). Thickness starts at 1.18”, perfect for smaller and younger trainees, and goes all the way up to 1.5” thickness. As you likely train BJJ, we recommend you pick the thicker rope so that you can increase your grip strength and endurance as much as you can with this apparatus.
The lengths options also start from 10 feet and go up to 30 feet in small increments. Whatever your size and space situation, there will most likely be a size option that will suit your needs perfectly.
Crown Sporting Goods White Poly Dac Climbing Rope
These climbing ropes can be used in more ways than just stringing them up so you can climb them. Another common exercise is to tie the ropes to objects like weighted sleds so that they can pulled in different ways and directions. If you do plan on using your rope with this variety of purposes in mind, then this one from Crown Sports Goods is the best option as it only starts at 3 feet in length. 3 feet is a great length to tie up to a sled and pull it up and down your yard for a gruelling workout.
Power Guidance Climbing Rope
As specified above, climbing ropes can be used for more than just climbing. However, if you want a rope that is designed with climbing solely in mind, then stick with this rope from Power Guidance.
The shortest rope that they make is 20 feet long and it goes up in 5 feet increments all the way up to a gigantic 50 foot rope. The 50 foot rope will provide an excellent, yet gruelling, workout just like it would’ve been back at gym class.
No mounting bracket is needed as the spliced loop can easily be knotted to any sturdy anchor point and both ends of the rope have been heat-shrunk to prevent fraying.
RopeFit Manila Gym Climbing Rope
RopeFit provide their ropes in a diverse variety of length options, from 15ft all the way up to a lengthy 50ft. You can also install the rope correctly and safely without mounting brackets or having to get your toolkit out. This means that you can install it for use outside and quickly take it down if it begins to rain, etc.
The ends have been heat-shrunk to prevent fraying and everything about this rope has been designed with safety and durability in mind. You should also think about investing in crash mats incase you fall with any size of rope, but the longer the rope is, understandably, the more important it is to ensure your personal safety.
Very few pieces of equipment can provide as many benefits simultaneously as the climbing rope can. Whatever athletic attribute you’re hoping to increase by using it, know that you’re working all other areas at the same time too.