Rope Power

You've heard TOJs need to develop power, not just muscle mass. This can be hard to accomplish in the conventional weight room because power is developed by rapid movements that are not easy to perform safely in a gym environment. Here's a good, cheap, power workout you can do in your backyard.

What's good is that these exercises involve every muscle from your toes to your fingertips. You'll tap your Type II fast twitch fibers, the ones that cause the release of human growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor, both of vital importance to TOJs.

Go to your local Home Depot and get 30 feet of 1.5 inch rope. Pick one that feels okay to your hands. You can also wear gloves if you prefer.

Grab a couple of weight plates. In the picture below I tied on a 35 and 45 pounder. You want it to be enough weight that you have to pull hard, but that you can still pull fast. If you don't have plates, a sand bag, backpack stuffed with rocks, short log, or other heavy object that will slide on grass will do fine.

Prior do doing any of these exercises, try them first slowly and with a lighter weight to make sure you don't have any pain or other limitations, e.g., old injuries, surgeries, severe arthritis, etc.

Take the rope and walk away as far as it will go, where it's taut. In the first exercise, you face the weights in a basic athletic stance with feet shoulder width and knees slightly bent. Brace your core. Alternating hands, pull the weights towards you as fast as you can, pumping your knees and rotating slightly at the hips as needed. Do this 3-5 times.

Next, again holding the end of the rope, stand sideways to the weights. Brace your core. Pull the weights with both hands a few inches apart, keeping them close to your torso, and passing the hands and rope across your lower ribcage. Think about your two hands on a rail travelling from left to right. Finish the pull with a full rotation so your body is facing away from the weight at the end of the movement. Then turn and reach far down the rope for your next pull. Do this 3 times on both sides of your body.

Finally, lay down on the ground with your feet towards the weight. Brace your core, then using both hands, alternating one in front of the other, reach down the rope and pull the weight in.  Your hands will stop close to your chin. Arms should be bent, not stiff and straight. Keep your torso on the ground. Do these 3-5 times. 

Remember these exercises are to build power. Really put some force into the pull. Because you are in different postures and multiple-planes, afterwards you'll feel how this type of exercise is different than standard weight routines.

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