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4 DIY Battle Rope Ideas To Get You Shredded – Fitness Volt

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4 DIY Battle Rope Ideas To Get You Shredded – Fitness Volt


How many days a week do you leave the gym feeling you still have some gas left in the tank? This guilt proves that you didn’t go hard enough in the gym. Although training to mechanical failure in every (or any) workout is not necessary for strength, endurance, or muscle gains, it is one of the most satisfying feelings at the end of a workout. [1]

While there are several ways of hitting failure, only a few are as effective as going all-out on a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercise. Nothing beats the gratification of being drenched in sweat and knowing you gave the workout everything you had, and now it’s up to the strengths gods to bless you with your well-deserved gains — after you please them with a balanced meal and sleeping for at least seven hours.

Battle ropes, also known as battling ropes or heavy ropes, are full-body training equipment found in a gym’s functional training area.

Battle ropes were invented by John Brookfield in 2006, and he designed a training program around them to improve overall fitness and functionality. The program gained traction, and he was roped in (pun intended) by the Special Forces, the Cincinnati Bengals, and the USA Olympic wrestling team to incorporate the battle ropes into their training routines. So, if you thought battle ropes were a fad, think again. The Special Forces use them to create killing machines.

In this article, I take you over the four best ways to build your own DIY battle ropes, including the things you must consider before beginning your do-it-yourself project. You will also learn why the battle ropes should be a part of your training regimen, their benefits and disadvantages, who should use the batling ropes and who should not, and much more. So, sit tight and read on.

Why DIY Battle Ropes?

Homemade Battle Ropes

A battle rope exercise usually doesn’t last more than two minutes. Many endurance athletes think that since they can run and swim for hours, they can make battle rope exercises last much longer.

However, since these are weighted ropes, the battle ropes are a combination of muscular and cardiovascular strength and endurance. Most people start experiencing lactic acid build-up within the first 10 seconds of a battle rope exercise. The pump and the fatigue get so intense by the time the stopwatch hits 30 seconds that only a few can make it over the 60-second mark while maintaining a high training intensity.

Battle ropes are a safe training tool that most exercisers can use. They are unintimidating and have a shallow learning curve, making them suitable for beginners. Plus, they are one of the best exercises to build explosive upper-body strength.

If you’ve been following our DIY home gym guides (you are not a true gym rat if you haven’t), you probably know that most DIY gym projects require experience with power tools and craftsmanship. However, this isn’t true for the DIY battle ropes.

Battle ropes are among the easiest DIY gym projects. The main challenge with DIY battle ropes is to get the rope dimensions and weight right. Depending on the material availability, you can complete a DIY battle ropes project within 15 minutes.

Things To Consider While Making DIY Battle Ropes

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of DIY battle rope projects, here are the things you must consider before starting:

Weight of the Battle Ropes

Battle ropes come in different shapes and sizes, and each manufacturer might deliver slightly different specifications in hopes of gaining an edge. However, the ropes typically have two standard diameters, 25mm (0.98 inches) and 44mm (1.73 inches). Feel free to make a battle rope that goes up to 2 inches in diameter. The thicker the rope, the more challenging it will be to hold onto it.


Commercial battle ropes generally come in three lengths — 5m (16.5 feet), 10m (33 feet), and 25m (82 feet). Longer and heavier ropes are more demanding. An 82-foot rope might sound like a lot, but remember that you will wrap the rope around the anchor, effectively reducing the rope’s length in half.

If you don’t apply enough force on a 25m battle rope, you might not be able to send the waves down to the anchor, which can eliminate the momentum. Remember, we want to restrict momentum in strength training exercises, but it can be our friend in cardiovascular exercises. Since battle ropes combine the two, the torque can help you transition into your next rep.


In most commercial gyms, a battle rope is anchored to a loop bolted into the floor. However, this might not be possible for people who train in their homes. Folks who train at home can anchor the battle ropes around a tree or a sturdy elevated object.

Remember, unsmooth surfaces can wear out the rope quickly. If you don’t have access to a suitable study anchor point for the battle ropes in your home, you could loop it around a heavy dumbbell’s or kettlebell’s handle. Avoid using a light dumbbell unless you plan to use it as a wrecking ball.

Storage Space

This is usually an afterthought for most people building DIY battle ropes. A 100-foot-long battle rope looks like a coiled anaconda, and it takes up a significant amount of space, something most people training at home might not have.

You must consider the storage space before making DIY battle ropes. Also, you shouldn’t keep the battle rope in your backyard. Exposure to rain, dew, snow, and sunlight will speed up its deterioration.

4 Best DIY Battle Ropes Ideas

Here are the four best ways to build battle ropes at your home:

1. Nylon Rope

Nylon Rope
Nylon Rope

Battle ropes in commercial gyms are made of different materials. Some use nylon and polydacron, whereas others use polyester. There is no right or wrong material. You can choose whichever sturdy materials you can get your hands on. We will use nylon for this example, as it is easily accessible in most hardware stores.

Materials and Tools:

  1. 100 feet of 1.5-inch diameter nylon rope
  2. Lighter or candle
  3. Measuring tape
  4. Scissors
  5. Sharpie
  6. Duct tape
  7. Electrical tape
  8. Optional: heavy-duty adhesive or glue


Follow these step-by-step guidelines to build the heavy ropes:

Step One — Purchase the Ropes

Buy a 50-foot, 1.5-inch rope from a local hardware store. Alternatively, you could find it on Amazon. Avoid tying together two 25-foot ropes. Although this would work, it can hamper your training experience. Ensure the rope is sturdy and in good condition.

Don’t fret if you can’t find a 1.5-inch thick or a 50-foot nylon rope. However, I recommend getting at least a 30-foot rope. You can always double the ropes to make up the 1.5-inch diameter.

Step Two — Make Adjustments

If you have a rope that is not of the ideal length or diameter, it is time to make adjustments. First, if the rope is too long, lay it flat on the floor and use a measuring tape to measure it. Mark the ends at 50 feet.

Use a hacksaw to cut the rope’s end. I recommend making adjustments to only one end, as the other end would likely be sealed. Nonetheless, you can apply the subsequent steps on both ends if they are unfinished.

Step Three — Seal the Ends

You must seal the ends after cutting the rope to the desirable length. Letting the ends loose makes it more susceptible to breaking. To prevent fraying, use a lighter to melt the ends. Nylon burns quickly; a quick pass over the lighter should be enough to melt it. As soon as the rope begins melting, press the threads together to seal them. 

Step Four — Tie Multiple Ropes Together (Optional)

If you got multiple thin nylon ropes, you must now combine them to make a thicker rope. Remember, the thicker the rope, the heavier it will be.

Tie the same end of the ropes to an anchor, like a chair’s leg. Pull on the other end so the rope is taut. Braid or twist the ropes together. The end result should look like a battle rope found in commercial gyms. However, we must secure the rope now so it doesn’t come undone during your training session.

Wrap duct tape around the battle rope. Remember, if you twisted the ropes clockwise, you must wrap the duct tape anti-clockwise for better security.

Step Five — Make the Handles

Wrap duct tape around the rope approximately 12 inches from each end to create handles. Wrap the last inch of the rope on itself before wrapping the duct tape for a thick edge so your hands don’t slide off during an intense workout. Secure the handles with at least two layers of duct tape for added security.

That said, duct tape isn’t the most smooth or comfortable thing to hold onto. I recommend wrapping electrical tape over the duct tape for a better grip and making your DIY battle rope handles more durable.

Step Six — Add Adhesive (Optional)

If the battle ropes are a popular piece of equipment in your commercial gym, you’ve probably noticed that the handles come off after some time. Holding onto the nylon rope directly can lead to callouses and hand rips.

There is a quick work around this handle problem. After you have reinforced the handles with electrical tape, there will still be some space on the handle’s edges on the inner side. Pour a generous amount of heavy-duty adhesive through the openings on both handles and press the handles. Alternatively, you could apply the adhesive before wrapping the duct tape, but this can get messy.

Step Seven — Find an Anchor or Make One

You could wrap the rope around a pole in your backyard, a sturdy table, or a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell. Alternatively, you could get a commercial stable anchor, bolt it to the floor, and wrap your battle rope around it.

Step Eight — Test

Before you go all-out on the DIY battle ropes, test it using half your training intensity. After ensuring the ropes and anchor are stable, feel free to knock yourself out!

2. Garden Hose Battle Ropes

Most people have a garden hose at their home that they can use as a battle rope. However, you must make some adjustments to the hose to get the commercial gym battle rope vibes.

The great thing about DIY battle ropes is that the rope material might change, but the steps mostly remain the same. Master the process, and you can turn any wire, rope, or tube of an appropriate length into DIY battling ropes.

Garden Hose Ropes
Garden Hose Ropes

Materials and Tools:

  • Garden hose 
  • Measuring tape
  • Duct tape
  • Electrical tape
  • Scissors
  • Lighter
  • Optional: heavy-duty adhesive or glue


Follow these steps to make your own battle ropes using garden hoses:

Step One — Get the Garden Hose

People who don’t want to ruin their garden hose should get a new 50-foot garden hose from their local hardware store. Get the thickest hose you can find; even then, you might have to double or triple them to get an appropriate width. Ensure the hose is flexible and in good condition. You don’t want a hose that is too rigid, as it won’t make waves when you swing them.

Step Two — Cut the Hose

If you have a longer hose, you should cut it to the ideal length using a measuring tape, scissors, or a blade. Ensure a clean cut. A tilted or rough cut will make the sealing process more challenging.

Step Three — Tie Multiple Hoses Together (Optional)

If your garden hose is too thin, you must tie multiple hoses together so you have a total diameter between one and one and a half inches. Seal the same end of the hoses using a lighter. Press the melted plastic edges together to seal them. Tie the ends to an anchor. Grab the other end and extend the hoses so they are taut.

Step Four — Add Weight

Garden hoses are usually lightweight, which is perfect for watering plants but not so great for use as battler ropes. However, there is a way around this.

After sealing and tying one end of the hose to an anchor, fill dry sand into the hose through the other end. This might take some time, but stick with it because it will significantly improve your training experience.

Step Five — Make a Rope and Handles

After adding the sand, seal the other end using a lighter and press the ends together. Twist the hoses together to make a thick battle rope. Use a duct tape to wrap the hoses together. Secure the hoses with multiple layers of duct tape.

Create handles by wrapping duct tape around the hose approximately 12 inches from each end. Wrap the last inch of the hose on itself before wrapping the duct tape for protruding handle edges. Add two layers of electrical tape on the duct tape handles for added security and a better (and smoother) grip.

Step Six — Add Adhesive

As explained in the previous DIY idea, pour strong adhesive between the duct tape and the rope and press it firmly for a stronger handle that doesn’t come off during an intense workout.

Step Seven — Test

You must always test your DIY training equipment before deploying them into your workouts. Anchor the rope around a study object and test your DIY garden hose battle ropes with an RPE of 2. Slowly increase the intensity until you’re yanking at the ropes as hard as possible.

3. Fire Hose Battle Ropes

The fire hose DIY battle ropes are the bigger brother of the garden hose battling ropes. Getting the fire hoses might be challenging as you cannot find them in a hardware store, but it will all be worth it.

Fire Hose Ropes
Fire Hose Ropes

Materials and Tools:

  • Fire hose
  • Measuring tape
  • Duct tape
  • Electrical tape
  • Scissors
  • Lighter
  • Optional: heavy-duty adhesive or glue


Here is everything you need to know about building a fire hose battle rope:

Step One — Call the Fire Department

Getting a fire hose isn’t as simple as walking into a hardware store and buying it off the shelves. You must call your local fire station to check if they have an extra fire hose lying around. Fire departments decommission hoses after a particular period and often give them away for free if you tell them why you need them.

Alternatively, you can check with firefighting equipment suppliers or online marketplaces for a fire hose. New fire hoses are usually expensive and might cost more than a commercial battle rope. Look around for a used fire hose.

Step Two — Measure and Cut

Lay the fire hose on a flat surface and use a measuring tape to measure and mark the hose at an appropriate length (50 feet). Fire hoses usually have metal coupling on the ends; use scissors to cut them off. Using a lighter, burn off the excess thread to prevent fraying.

Step Three — Make a Battle Rope

Fire hoses are wide enough to make a battle rope. Tie one end of the fire hose around a sturdy anchor. Grab the other end and pull on it so it is taut. Twist the hose until you have a thick and tight battle rope.

Wrap the fire hose with a duct tape. Use multiple layers to secure the battle rope. Wrap the last inch of the hose on itself and wrap it with duct tape to make a handle. Use the steps mentioned in the previous DIY battle rope ideas to make handles using duct tape and electrical tape.

Step Four — Test

Wrap the fire hose battle rope around a sturdy anchor and begin testing. Use the ropes on a smooth surface to prevent quick wear and tear.

4. Battle Chains

This is only for the pros. To be honest, you don’t need to make battle ropes out of metal chains, and they don’t get you any additional benefits over the nylon ropes. A 60-second session with nylon battle ropes is enough to get you huffing and puffing. So, why are we doing this? Because we can!

Materials and Tools:

  • Metal chains
  • Measuring tape
  • Duct tape
  • Electrical tape
  • Foam wraps
  • Chain cutters or bolt cutters
  • Anchor loop
  • Electric drill
  • Nuts and bolts
  • Carabiners or heavy-duty connectors (optional)
  • Gloves


Safety is the most important thing while building DIY projects. Get professional help if you face trouble with any step.

Step One — Get the Metal Chains

Head to a local hardware store, home improvement center, or metal supply shop to get the metal chains. Choose strong and smooth chains, preferably stainless steel. Remember, the better the material, the more it will cost.

If you can’t get a 50-foot metal chain, buy smaller pieces and a few carabiners to tie them together. I recommend getting a chain of the exact length. Alternatively, you could get the store to modify its length.

Step Two — Measure and Cut

Folks who couldn’t get the metal chain cut at the store can do it on their own using a chain or bolt cutter. Lay the chain on the floor and mark the appropriate length before cutting it. If you’ve never used a bolt cutter before, seek professional help.

Step Three — Secure the Chain (Optional)

People with multiple chains of smaller lengths can use carabiners to attach them. Get sturdy metal carabiners that can handle at least 300 pounds. This will ensure they don’t detach or break during an intense training session.

Step Four — Anchor the Chain

I recommend bolting a loop anchor to the floor for the battle chains. Anchoring them to a vertical pole, kettlebell, or dumbbell can lead to injuries if used rashly.

Step Five — Create the Handles

Irrespective of what your primal instinct might demand, you shouldn’t hold onto the metal chains with your bare hands. I recommend wrapping foam around each end of the metal chain and securing them with duct tape. Use electric tape over the duct tape for a more comfortable grip. Alternatively, you could use thick gloves while performing the battle chain exercises.

Test the battle chains conservatively before using them in your workouts.

Who Should Build DIY Battle Ropes

Here are the people who should build DIY battle ropes:

  • People who are trying to lose weight.
  • Exercisers trying to improve their cardiovascular and physical conditioning and aesthetics.
  • Those who cannot access commercial battle ropes at competitive prices.
  • People with the raw materials for building battle ropes lying around their houses.
  • Those who don’t want to spend $100 on a high-quality battle rope. You could build a DIY battle rope for less than $20.
  • Folks who love DIY projects.
  • People who want a customized battle rope.

Who Should Not Build DIY Battle Ropes

These folks should avoid starting a DIY battle rope project:

  • People who are willing to shell out $100 for a battle rope.
  • Those who don’t have space to store the battle ropes.
  • Inexperienced DIYers should avoid the DIY battle chains and stick to the other three battle rope ideas.

Benefits of DIY Battle Ropes

Here are the advantages of building DIY battle ropes and adding them to your training regimen:


Commercial battle ropes come in standard sizes. However, people training at home usually have limited space and cannot accommodate a 50-foot battle rope. Building your own DIY battle ropes allows you to modify the dimensions of your heavy ropes.

Helps Burn Fat

The result of a study by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests “an acute 10-minute bout of rope training in a vigorous-intensity workout, result in high heart rates and energy expenditure, which meet previously established thresholds known to increase cardiorespiratory fitness.” [2]

A Full-Body Workout

Contrary to what most people think, battle ropes are not just an upper-body exercise. You must hold yourself in a half-squat while swinging your arms violently, making it a full-body HIIT exercise that will leave you toasted within 30 seconds.

Boost Athletic Performance

Battle ropes combine strength and cardiovascular training, which can lead to improved athletic performance. It is especially great for sports that require upper-body explosiveness and endurance, such as basketball, tennis, and hockey.

Easy To Use

Battle ropes have a shallow learning curve, making them an excellent exercise for beginners. This exercise can help build strength and muscle mass and involves minimal risk of injury.

Unilateral Exercise

Unilateral exercises involve training one side of your body at a time, which can help identify and fix muscle and strength imbalances. Performing unilateral battle ropes is even more challenging as you must repeat an all-out effort without stopping for rest.

Battle Ropes are Low-Impact

Since your feet are glued to the floor while performing battle rope exercises, they don’t strain your lower body joints. It allows you to get your heart rate up without straining your lower body. This exercise is especially great for people who want to shed arm fat.

Can Be Done Seated

People dealing with lower body injuries can perform battle rope exercises while seated. A Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research study found that battle ropes are an “accessible option to improve cardiovascular endurance for individuals who cannot stand or move their lower extremities in a rhythmic manner to conduct aerobic exercise.” [3]

Disadvantages of DIY Battle Ropes

Here are some of the biggest drawbacks of making DIY battle ropes:


Battle ropes, especially the 50-foot variants, require significant storage space. It can be a major inconvenience for people with limited space in their home gym or who train in their living rooms.

Maintenance and Longevity

You must regularly inspect your DIY battle ropes for signs of wear and tear, which can feel like a hassle. Repair the damage on the nylon rope by melting the frayed areas and pressing it together. Alternatively, you can use duct tape on the garden or fire hose.

Usage Frequency

Unlike barbells, dumbbells, or kettles, most people don’t use battle ropes daily. Considering its size, it might not be an ideal training equipment for people who are not into cardio or HIIT training. 

The benefits of DIY battle ropes far outweigh the cons. Battle ropes are excellent training tools that can elevate your cardiovascular and muscular strength and endurance and can be programmed into most training regimens.


How long should be my DIY battle ropes?

Battle ropes should ideally be 50 feet long. Shorter ropes weigh less and require less upper body strength than longer ropes. However, you must build your DIY battle ropes according to the available space. Avoid building battle ropes that are shorter than 15 feet.

Can I leave my DIY battle ropes outdoors?

Irrespective of whether you are using nylon, garden hose, fire hose, or metal chains, you shouldn’t leave your battle ropes outdoors, as it will lead to quicker wear and tear. Even if the plastic material of the garden hose doesn’t spoil, the duct tape won’t last too long outdoors.

How often should I train with battle ropes?

Battle ropes are an HIIT exercise. There is no harm in incorporating them into your workouts every day. That said, doing the same thing daily can lead to redundancy and make your body used to the exercises, increasing your risk of hitting a strength, muscle, or weight loss plateau. I recommend limiting battle ropes exercises to thrice a week.

Can battle ropes build muscles?

Absolutely! A 1.5-inch 50-foot battle rope will weigh around 27–29 pounds. Although you won’t be lifting 27 pounds during your battle rope exercises, the training duration and weight are enough to promote hypertrophy.

How do I incorporate battle ropes into my workouts?

It will depend on your existing programming and training objectives. If you’re training for weight loss and are following HIIT workouts, you could add battle rope exercises to your circuit training workouts. Conversely, people training for strength gains or hypertrophy can perform them at the end of a workout.

Wrapping Up

Battle ropes are an incredibly effective training tool. It is a low-impact HIIT exercise that can help build muscular and cardiovascular strength and endurance, shed excess fat, and boost athletic performance and overall functionality.

Unlike DIY dumbbells or weight benches, battle ropes aren’t complicated and can be built at home within 15 minutes. This article details the four best DIY battle rope ideas for your home gym to elevate your fitness game.

Drop any questions you might have about building DIY battle ropes in the comments below, and we’ll be glad to help.


  1. Vieira AF, Umpierre D, Teodoro JL, Lisboa SC, Baroni BM, Izquierdo M, Cadore EL. Effects of Resistance Training Performed to Failure or Not to Failure on Muscle Strength, Hypertrophy, and Power Output: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis. J Strength Cond Res. 2021 Apr 1;35(4):1165-1175. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003936. PMID: 33555822.
  2. Fountaine CJ, Schmidt BJ. Metabolic cost of rope training. J Strength Cond Res. 2015 Apr;29(4):889-93. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182a35da8. PMID: 23897017.
  3. Brewer W, Kovacs R, Hogan K, Felder D, Mitchell H. Metabolic Responses to a Battling Rope Protocol Performed in the Seated or Stance Positions. J Strength Cond Res. 2018 Dec;32(12):3319-3325. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002903. PMID: 30335722.

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