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I am a teacher, fitness/yoga instructor, runner, celebrity stalker, chocolate lover, embarrassing dancer, wine guzzler, can't-live-without-my-girlfriends kind of girl. I also have a collection of high heels that strongly outweighs my collection of runners. My goal is to find balance in my life through health and exercise- and when I say balance, I mean kicking ass in the gym and enjoying food, wine, family, friends, and basking in celebrity news. Let's eat clean and do some craaahaaayzy workouts together... followed by a glass of wine.

Monday, 27 February 2012

A Workout Must-Try: BATTLING ROPES!

Pin It First off, in lieu of the Oscars, I'm immediately buying myself a cape (a la Gwyneth) and watching Legends of the Fall (when most women first fell in love with Brad). Then, I'm getting a dragon tattoo, and becoming Carl, the celebrity seat filler at the Oscars. Dream. Job.

Thank you for continuing to read after that monstrosity above. Last week, I tried BATTLING ROPES for the first time! We had a Professional Development Day and as Phys Ed teachers, we were able to sign up for a few courses throughout the day to keep us up to date. I was lucky enough to present a 30 for 30 Workout (coming soon!) with my husband Carter, and then presented Yoga for Athletes... all the while, so excited to go to my last workshop of the day and try out these mad ropes.

This is when they politely asked me to leave.
This workout made me weep with joy and with pain. Joy, because I love new workouts, especially when #1. I can actually do them and #2. They are rewarding, fun, and HARD. Pain, because I felt my deltoids (that's the fancy way to say shoulders... though it should also mean traps, biceps, ass, core, and legs because that's what I felt, too) for about three days afterwards. So naturally, I wore tank tops in the middle of winter to show off my extreme guns, and took three days off of exercise.

Here's Carter sprinkling the lawn... now how do I get him to cook me dinner?
The ropes were set up so that the two ends were like handles, and they were strung through a weight.

We did 40 SECOND INTERVALS... 40 SECONDS!!! I'M YELLING AT YOU BECAUSE THIS WAS SO LONG... HOLY GOD, IT NEVER ENDED... I would choose 20, MAYBE 30 second intervals. It was SO long and so hard.

That's what she said.

We did a variety of different exercises that work everything from your shoulders to your ankles, and the rope exercise can definitely be done faster for greater cardio and endurance, or slower with higher loops to modify. This is after about 3 hours of straight exercise, so don't expect much of me.

That was the hardest 15 seconds of my life.

We were in groups of 3, but this can be done with many more- just with everyone doing different things (squats, laps, planks, or rest phase) until your turn on the ropes. We even had one person on one end of the rope, and one person on the other end doing push ups or planks on the rope. It was very challenging as the ropes would move and your centre of gravity would change, forcing a stronger push up and plank!

Some bootcamps will offer the use of the battling ropes, as will some personal trainers and even some gyms (they are usually set up attached to a Smith machine (large machine with a bar to do squats on) or the Universal machine (large machine with 4+ different exercise pieces attached like the cables, chin ups, leg extension and leg curl, for example). It looks intimidating but it is a TON of fun and an excellent cardio + endurance exercise. I'd suggest trying 20 second intervals with a 1 minute break in between!

Have you tried the battling ropes before? Would you give them a try? 

Is there any piece of exercise equipment that you'd love to try?