Chameleon Rope Climb Workout for Elite-level Grip, Biceps and Back Strength

December 19, 2015 by VAHVA Fitness

Chameleon rope climb is a special variation of the regular rope climb which can produce elite-level strength in grip, biceps and back. 

The closest alternative to chameleon rope climbs is the narrow-grip cable row, but even that exercise doesn't come to close the effectiveness of the chameleon rope climb. 

The chameleon rope climb is a dynamic rowing movement which really hits the back harder than almost any other exercise out there.

In neuromuscular activity, rope climb ranks to the very top - and chameleon rope climb isn't an exception. 

The grip is uneven which is why one side is always getting more work done than the other. This makes the exercise harder and thus more effective. 

Chameleon rope climb is great for developing: 

  • Grip strength. The thicker the rope, the harder it will be and the better it will produce strength and size gains in the forearms. 
  • Biceps get plenty of work done. 
  • Because the pulling motion is a horizontal pull (row movement), the chameleon rope climb will add both width and thickness to the entire back. 

The biggest difference to the regular rope climb is that the chameleon rope climb is a horizontal pull (works better the middle back muscles), whereas the regular rope climb is a vertical pull similar to the basic pull up. 

In case you want a great horizontal pulling exercise, the chameleon rope climb will be a perfect choice. I don't think any other horizontal pulling exercise comes even close.

However, the chameleon rope climb isn't easy and you should first master the prerequisites. 

Chameleon rope climb prerequisites: 

How to Chameleon Rope Climb 

rope climb chameleon
chameleon rope climb

Notice that the rope goes under your left or right armpit. You are hanging upside down on the rope and just taking support and balance with your feet. 

While you pull yourself up, you are walking with your feet. The same side arm and foot move simultaneously. Otherwise the chameleon rope climb is a very similar exercise to the regular rope climb.

Start by just holding yourself on the rope and see if you have the strength to pull yourself up. If you don't, return back to the basics.

Below is our intense rope climbing workout for developing elite-level pulling strength.

Rope Climb Workout Routine

Chameleon Rope Climb: 3 sets until tired. 

Rope Climb Without Legs: 3 sets until tired.

Take between 2 to 5 minutes of rest between sets (rope climbing is tough for your forearms). 

The length of the set depends on your personal level of fitness - start slow and stay safe. 


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