Learn to Climb a Rope: Progressions for body weight exercises

Body weight training has become one of the biggest trends in fitness for the last several years.  There is no shortage of body weight workouts available online.  It is time to progress from the basics and learn exercises like climbing a rope.  Although modalities of training vary, using your body weight to create the challenge is as effective as using free weights.  Free weights can sometimes lead to swelling of an isolated muscle a little quicker than body weight exercises giving you that instant “hypertrophy;” but body weight exercises build a more functional application of total body strength.

Being able to move, traverse, lift, lower and push your own body around will immediately translate into so many of life’s physical challenges.  Whether you are lifting boxes, carrying a baby seat, holding an infant for hours, giving a piggie back ride to your child, hiking, moving your frig – body weight exercises pay off in the long run.

10 Benefits of incorporating  body weight exercises into every workout:

  1. It is easier on your joints.
  2. It is easy to monitor progress and improvement.
  3. Generally incorporates the core and therefore strengthens the abs and back.
  4. Can be modified and progressed like almost all other exercises.
  5. They translate into playing sports and being active with your kids.
  6. Is an ideal form of functional training.
  7. Generally enhances stability of the joints involved.
  8. Usually impresses everyone around you.
  9. It is a very efficient way to train.
  10. Most of them do not require equipment and offer the best portable workout.

Progressing from basic body weight exercises:

So where do you go once you have been doing push-ups, chin-ups, dips, lunges, squats, step ups, burpees now for a while (Click Here to see a great Reference of these exercises from Livestrong.com).    Many people I know already incorporate these baseline body weight movements in their routine.  And, although they might be able to work on increasing their reps or sets – I suggest changing your body weight training application.   For example, learn to climb a rope, hoist yourself over wall, climb a cargo net, move across the monkey bars, go rock climbing and perform an army crawl.  The key to these examples is the fact that you are travelling.  Obviously, these are not the easiest to perform at home and require you to train in a gym or playground environment.  It is worth it to drop in and progress your body weight training to the next level.

Here is a video for you to review of a great progression from the basics.   I suggest learning how to climb a rope  if you are able to collectively perform: (meaning with multiple sets in one workout session) over 100 pushups, 20+ chin-up, 50+ burpees, 50+body weight lunges, 50+ squats, 20+ full dips.  There are many other exercises I could offer as an example of impressive body weight strength; but this is a fairly basic workout routine for someone with exceptional body weight strength.

Take note of the safety tips on the rock climbing video.  Safety and technique are critical to being successful.  I also listed links for two other great exercises.  Pay attention to the technique:

Climbing a Cargo Net

Monkey Bars




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