As you know, building a strong and sculpted upper body takes hard work and intensity. That’s why if you want results, barbells and battle ropes are the perfect tools!

With the help of IFBB Bikini Pro Justine Munro, we’ve put together a high-intensity upper body program featuring a barbell and battle ropes that tones and sculpts the upper body— PLUS you’ll actually get lean from head to toe with the heart-pumping cardio. It is the perfect combination to help you get in your best shape! Interested? Let’s get to work!


Battling ropes are effective because you can work multiple muscles at the same time, said Justine. “You can instantly change from working both your legs and shoulders, to then working your biceps and abs. That’s four different muscle groups in one set.”

In addition, battle ropes are great for conditioning. “They are one of the best ways to push not only your muscles but also your metabolism to another level at the same time. You could also add in some squats, lunges or lateral shuffles with your upper body moves,” said Justine.

Some more tips for this workout:

• It is intense, so drink lots of fluids.
• Perform this workout twice or three times per week, but try to spread it out.



• If you are interested in doing battle ropes at home, you can start by getting a rope that’s about 50 inches long, and about 1.5 inches in diameter.
• The rope should be anchored at its center about 15 to 20 feet away from you. If you are doing this on your own instead of at the gym, you can use a sign, tree or light post as an anchor. There should be a little bit of slack in the ropes to allow for the whipping action of the exercise.
• Start by standing in front of the rope, taking an end in each hand with your arms extended at your side. Your legs should be just wider than hip-distance apart. Engage your core and bend your knees slightly. Make sure your upper body is relaxed before starting.
• Do not stand too stiffly as you begin the exercise.
• Do not grip the ropes too hard, as this can lead to quick exhaustion. If you grip the ropes lightly, and relax your arms, shoulders and torso, you will be able to move faster and maintain intensity for longer periods.
• Make an effort to keep your pace even as it gets more difficult.
• Folding the rope over your hands doubles the size you have to hold, and thus makes it more challenging.
• Remember to breathe!


Battle Ropes Double Wave

Grasp the ends of the ropes, with one in each hand. Bring your arms up and down at the same time.

Battle Ropes Alternating Wave

Arms should be slightly bent at the elbow. Raise one arm up while the other is at waist level. When the top arm is at eye level, slam the rope downward, at the same time raising your lower arm up. Repeating this motion, explosively alternate your arms up and down.

Battle Ropes Shoulder Circles

Make big circles with the arms. You can either have both arms circling away from the body or both arms circling toward the body.

Battle Ropes Snakes on the floor

Lower into a squat, pulling your arms wide and keeping them parallel to the floor. Without crossing hands, move your arms in toward one another and then back out—your goal is to make the ropes look like two snakes on the floor.

Battle Ropes Power Slam

Bring both arms up overhead, and then forcefully slam the ropes down into the ground, lowering into a partial squat as you do. Straighten up to return to standing and repeat.

Barbell Shoulder Press

Standing with your feel about shoulder-width apart, hold a barbell at your chest. Lift over head, lower and repeat.

Barbell Chest Press

Lie on a flat bench. Breathe in slowly as you bring the bar to your chest. Pause a moment before pushing bar back to starting position and repeating.

Barbell Row

Bend your knees and straighten your back. When you row, take a breath and release when you pull the bar to your body.

Barbell Biceps Curl

Grasp a straight bar with hands about shoulder-width apart and fully extended. Curl the bar up toward your chest and slowly lower the bar to the starting position.

Skull-crusher with Barbell

Lie on a flat bench and grasp a barbell at about shoulder-width. Extend a barbell straight up toward the ceiling. Keeping your elbows stationary and forearms parallel, slowly lower the weight down toward the top of your forehead. Extend the weight back up to the starting position.

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