Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Climbing Rope Benefits for Strength and Conditioning

As far as fitness equipment goes, climbing rope hardly needs an introduction. The benefits of scaling rope for strength and muscle conditioning are time tested. There was even a time when every school had a rope hanging from the ceiling in gym class.

Times have changed and most folks do not have the strength or skill to shimmy up a thick 15-30 foot rope. which is probably why this exercise tool is making a comeback. From MMA athlete training programs to specialized bodyweight training, to climbing gyms with ropes, this is fun and functional fitness at its best.

There are several techniques to getting up a rope, hand-over-hand, hand-over-hand with foot crimping, or utilizing the hands and feet simultaneously. Some people even get strong enough to climb one-handed! Rope is not cheap; a fifteen foot length with a 1 1/2" diameter thickness will run $100 dollars or more before shipping.

Choosing your rope gets even more difficult with the proliferation of so many new vendors on the market. So how do you choose? First of all, know where the rope is getting set up and how tall the ceilings are. Buy a little more than you need to allow for different climbing styles which utilize the extra slack.

Choose the right material. You want to ensure the rope will be smooth and comfortable to grip, which usually comes from properly woven grade A Manila fibers.

This is the same material used for battling ropes and in strongman competitions. Choose a diameter you can get a good grip on. 1 1/2" is normal, but thinner rope is available, down to 3/4".

Nylon and polyester fiber may be cheaper, but these materials can cause rope burns when a person slides down or hangs on for any length of time. An exception to this is the poly/dacron blends. Make sure the rope is designed for climbing and is fitted with an end cap allowing it to be hooked to a secure anchor.

One thing you can be sure of; this is a fun piece of equipment and you might want more than one of them!


  1. Nice article I would say I am impressed with the article. A few of the important things to keep in mind for training with climbing ropes are:

    1) To make sure you have the correct rope for your training
    2) To make sure your rope is attached safely and securely
    Kinesiology Tape

  2. Great points! Thanks for commenting.

  3. Thanks for the post. I've used one in my cross fit program and am thinking about getting one for my home gym.