I was introduced to a "new toy" this week: the ropes. My only experience with ropes thus far would be swinging from one in my backyard, which always resulted in some nice rope burn (sometimes I would wear gloves- I was a bit of a wimp). But these ropes are something very different.
It's essentially one big rope, wrapped around a pole so that you're holding the two ends (luckily they have rubber grips, so no need for gloves!) You can do all sorts of fun things with the ropes, which never fail to leave you out of breath and plenty sore.
The most basic move is just to make big waves, up and down. You squat and stand as your arms go up and down in a steady rhythm. It looks really easy, and you can get going pretty good, but it's when you stop that you really feel it. I don't know why, but while I was doing it I didn't feel like I had to breath that hard, but as soon as I stopped I was gasping for air. This gives you a really good cardio blast.
We mixed up the workout, doing some "muscle confusion" by changing my arm movements. For one, you can alternate your arms, so as one goes up the other goes down. You can do this move, and the first move, in big or little motions for different effects.
Doing the little waves kind of felt like riding a horse- up and down really fast, kind of bouncing. We also added difficult and more cardio power by doing squat jumps as I swung the ropes up and down. You can also take them in and out from the sides, making sideways waves.
Using the ropes engages your arms, shoulders, abs, legs and glutes. It was a really good workout, and I'm definitely a fan.
Sidenote: I did my first actual sand run this week on my own. I ran four miles in the sand, and in the heat I can tell you it was ridiculously hard. I need to hit the sand a lot more before September 7th, I can't believe how quickly time is flying! I feel like I just started training two weeks ago and it's been 15 weeks! Time to really amp it up.
See the slideshow to see the other moves I tackled this week.