More Manila Rope Exercises

Following my most recent compilation video, I received several questions about the manila rope exercises that were demonstrated within. I will use this entry to address those questions and inquiries. If you have not yet seen the video, take a look below.

Perhaps the most commonly inquired about exercise were the one-arm body rows demonstrated at the 2:54 mark. This exercise is a favorite of mine as it allows me to target multiple objectives. Not only do we have a quality pulling exercise, there are obvious hand strengthening benefits as well.

Targeting multiple objectives is particularly useful when your training goals cover a broad spectrum. I train to become stronger and better conditioned, while also addressing commonly neglected areas such as the hands and neck. As a result, I welcome the opportunity to perform exercises that allow me to target more than one objective. The one-arm body row is a prime example. Traditional two-arm body rows could also be performed for a less challenging variation. With each, expect the hands to be challenged throughout the movement.

If you wish to perform rope body rows, you will need to attach the rope overhead. The most inexpensive way is by knotting your rope to an overhead pull-up bar or rack. You can see below how I tie a simple knot to satisfy this requirement.

As for purchasing strips of manila rope, two of the best suppliers that I have used in the past are and one particular seller from eBay (I have no affiliation with either). With each, you can purchase rope by the foot for reasonable rates.

It is also possible to purchase longer strips of rope and cut them yourself to perform exercises such as rope pull-ups. You can see a video demonstration of rope pull-ups and rope cutting within the following tutorial.

Rope Climbing Alternatives

If you opt to tie a rope overhead for one-arm body rows, you may wish to add a second rope. Doing so allows for additional options. One example is the bodyweight triceps extension that was demonstrated at the 2:42 mark within the compilation video above. Using rope instead of the more traditional suspension trainer adds another element of difficulty. This variation is perhaps my favorite triceps exercise of all. It is much more challenging than it appears.

Another advantage of securing two ropes overhead is that you can also climb rope indoors. As seen in the picture below, you can climb two ropes from the L-sit position. This exercise is ideal during winter months when you may not be able to climb rope outdoors. You can either climb up and down the two ropes for continuous reps, or target two objectives by climbing to your pull-up bar whenever you use it. For example, each time I perform a set of bodyweight pull-ups, I climb to the bar, rather than simply grabbing it while standing. This simple addition introduces a new challenge without eating more than a few seconds from the clock for each set. Such an addition may not sound like much, but it certainly does add up over time.

When it is nice outside, you can certainly climb rope and also pull a weighted sled as demonstrated at the 2:46 mark within the video. If you wish to create your own homemade pulling sled, you can find simple instructions within the previous tutorial.

Homemade Dragging Sled

If you have any additional questions about the exercises seen within the video, feel free to comment below or shoot me an email.


    1. @Mady – It is possible to make PVC grips, but they are much different from what will be experienced with rope (particularly rope climbing).

  1. Hi Ross…at about the 2:00+ mark of the “Let it Burn” video, you are working with a heavy white bag…can you tell me approximately how much it weighs, and how you made it ? Specifically what you used to fill it, what kind of bag/shell, and how did you tie/seal the top/opening ? I’m looking to do something similar of around 100 lbs. that will endure being tossed onto my concrete garage floor. Thanks !

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