CrossFit, much like most other types of workout regimens, is designed to not only work your cardiovascular system but your entire body.
CrossFit rope climbing exercises, in particular, are an excellent avenue to build up body strength and conditioning quickly. Done correctly, these exercises will work your entire upper body, including grip strength and stabilization.
Benefits of CrossFit Rope Climbing Exercises
Here are some reasons why you should consider mastering CrossFit rope climbing exercises and incorporate them into your routines:
Increases Grip Strength
When you start working out, especially lifting weights, you might not realize just how important grip is to the whole process.
This is mostly because the weights you will be dealing with won’t challenge your grip. As you get further along in your fitness journey, this becomes a limiting factor.
Say, for example, your back is strong enough to deadlift 350lbs, but your grip won’t allow you to comfortably lift that much off the ground. At this point, your back can take the weight increment, but your hands can’t – that limits your back’s development.
Rope climbing is an excellent way to improve and increase your grip strength. The more you use rope climbing to improve your grip, the more you train your hands to both carry your own weight and resist the gravity working against you.
Develops Arm Strength
Every time you pull yourself up on a rope, you are forcing your arms to not only lift your weight and resist gravity but also stabilize your body as you go higher. This introduces a new dynamic, one that you can’t get with chin-ups or pull-ups.
Improves Your Back Strength
Rope climbing exercises strengthen your back better than pull-ups and chin-ups do. The main reason behind this is that rope climbing requires a lot of stabilization which works the lats and musculature more.
Furthermore, rope climbing exercises are fun, challenging, and a good indicator of upper body strength. This makes them a comprehensive set of skills to have in your workout repertoire.
The Best CrossFit Rope Climbing Exercises to Try Today
Here are some of the most effective rope climbing exercises to start performing today:
This exercise should be done from a sitting position with your feet planted firmly on the ground and bent at the knee. Hold the rope and pull it towards your chest. Start extending your body as you climb upwards using nothing but your arms.
Keep pulling yourself to a standing position, then slowly lower yourself with nothing but your arms back to the starting position. That counts as one rep.
Depending on your fitness level, you can do five reps per set and three sets for the workout with either 30 or 60-second breaks in between.
This is similar to a regular pull-up, except you will be using both arms at different positions. Start by standing next to the rope, extend one of your arms fully above your head and have the other one at a 90-degree angle (bent at the elbow).
Pull yourself up so that the extended arm is the one that’s bent and the one that was bent is the one that’s extended below you.
Slowly lower your body to the starting position, then go again. That will be one rep for the extended arm. You can do five reps before switching arms and three sets per arm.
Hanging Leg-Raises/Hanging L-Sit Leg-Extension
Both these exercises, although different, are listed together because they are quite similar but with one contrasting feature – the position and movement of the legs.
When doing the “Hanging L-Sit Leg-Extension,” hold the rope with both your hands extended above your head (one grip should be right under the other).
Lift your legs off the ground, so they form an L shape. While holding yourself up, bend your legs at the knee and extend them to return to the starting position.
Do this five times before switching arm position (the one on top should now be the one at the bottom), then do another five extensions to make 1 set. You can do three sets with 60-second breaks in between.
Hanging Leg-Raises are quite similar but without the L-shape. Here, raise your legs to a 90-degree position from the ground, then extend them back to the ground without resting on them. Do five sets before swapping hands as before; you can do three sets with 60-second breaks.
This, like every other exercise, should be done in slow increments. Start by doing a typical rope pull-up with one of your arms extended and the other one bent at a 90-degree angle around the elbow area.
Pull yourself up all the way but instead of coming back down as you would with a pull-up, hold that position for some time. You can start with 10 seconds and slowly build up to a longer period of time. Do four reps per arm.
Hold the rope and lean your body forward to about a 45-degree angle. Slowly, using your hands (one over the other), climb down to a specific plank position.
When you reach that point, your body should be about parallel to the ground now. Hold that position for a few seconds. The duration depends on your fitness levels – start with 5 seconds, then slowly move up.
You can then slowly climb back up to the starting position. This should count as one rep. Do 10 reps per set for three sets with 60-second breaks.
One Arm Pull-Up
Holding the rope with one arm in the incline position, slowly but steadily pull yourself up as if doing a pull-up. Once you get to the top, slowly lower your body back to the starting position.
Ensure that your core and trunk muscles are engaged throughout this movement. That should count as one rep. You can do five reps to make a set with three sets before switching arms for the same number of reps and sets to complete the exercise. Take 60-second breaks in between.
To avoid rope burn during your Crossfit workout, make sure to cover the skin that will come into contact with the rope. This could be in the form of a wrap, gloves, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts, or you can use a wrapped rope.
These CrossFit rope climb exercises will get easier but more complicated the further along you get in your fitness journey. For now, however, the ones mentioned above should get you well on your way to building excellent upper body and grip strength.