I am wound tight right now. My nerves can build to teacup-poodle intensity in the chillest circumstances, and I can make coffee nervous the morning before a race. Right now, of course, is uncharted territory for even the steeliest nerves, with the coronavirus virtually shutting down the world. I have historically used gravity sports and long runs on singletrack to settle my overactive adrenal glands, but since those are off the table at the moment, I’m using the Everlast Fight Sports Conditioning Ropes daily to relieve stress. They are a godsend.
I can’t overstate how satisfying it is to repeatedly hit something while sheltering in place. I am not a violent person, but I find myself really wanting to beat the shit out of this spiky little virus. Alas, no matter how much I try and personify COVID-19, using my nonexistent fighting skills to injure something as uncaring and invisible as a virus is silly. Of course, whacking long strands of polyester rope on the ground in my driveway is pretty silly as well. And maybe the absurdity of working out with these ropes is what makes it so satisfying in a world that feels existentially stressful.
Did I mention that these battle ropes are an incredible workout? The heft of the line delivers just enough resistance that I feel like it’s building muscle in my arms and core, yet it’s still maneuverable enough that the exercise is aerobic. I’m usually out of breath and actively sweating five minutes into a session without even noticing—because I’m so focused on getting my angries out. Plus, using the rope is low impact enough that I can just absolutely whale on it and not stress about injuring myself (like I do when I swing kettlebells with tired arms).
There are a number of workouts with fun names like the wave, the slam, flies, grappler throws, and more, but I find myself drawn to circuits that focus on slamming movements, for obvious reasons. These ropes deliver all of these fitness and stress-relief benefits in an extremely simple, durable package.
I struggled to write notes about the technical details of this piece of gear—it’s 40 feet of rope, 1.5 inches in diameter, and the rubber capped ends help me maintain grip when my palms get sweaty. But feature-wise, there isn’t a whole lot going on. It’s just a heavy inanimate object that I can rhythmically smack on the ground, knowing that I’m getting a good workout.
I recognize that the $100 price tag may be too expensive for some people right now, and this gear takes up too much real estate and is too loud to use in an apartment. If you do have the means and the space for these battle ropes, though, and if you’re looking for an easy way to let off some rage that doesn’t involve punching holes in your walls, this simple piece of gear works wonders for stress management.