Battle Ropes vs. Inertia Wave a scientific perspective MIT
Fitness Blog

Battle Ropes vs. Inertia Wave a scientific perspective MIT

by Dave Parise on Jan 21, 2022



Dave Parise's "Inertia Wave" is another exercise device to hack the mechanical impedance of our bodies. If you are an impedance geek, it may be the best exercise device ever invented. Our hands are the junction point for a classical impedance network. Oscillations pump energy into these special tubes, and you work against that energy to get your workout. That allows for an extremely lightweight/portable exercise device that has the capacity for a gargantuan workout. The tubes provide constant feedback on the rhythm and forces you're able to apply.

Composed by Phil Earnhardt. Phil studied Electrical Engineering at MIT. For the last 20 years, he has studied Bio-tensegrity from an engineering perspective and worked with manual and movement professionals.

Top 10 reasons the Inertia Wave®️ is a Cool Tool

10. Hand strength is important. While we cannot change the size of our hands, we can improve our hand strength.  When moving with the Inertia Wave, we tensionally engage our hands with oscillating movement in all directions. The Inertia Wave increases our hand strength and relieves the chronically held hand tensions of desktop warriors.

9. Inertia Wave provides a highly intense workout in a 2.6-pound package. The resistance of the workout is generated by the user: the exerciser is working against the inertia of the waves that they are creating. In a classical mechanical impedance model, this energy is called “reactance”. The wave-nature of Inertia Wave exercises makes for a very material-efficient and cost-efficient workout.

8. While IW workouts have similar motions to Battle Rope workouts, the Inertia Wave feels much more alive. You are pulsing energy into the special lines, and the lines are pulsing energy back at you. In terms of that stored-energy impedance model, the IW has a “Q Factor” (or Quality Factor) of around 5. The Quality Factor of Battle Ropes is far less than 1. This doesn’t mean that Battle Ropes are a “bad” workout, they just don’t compare. Inertia Wave workouts are far more beneficial and interesting.

7. You must control the movement — absorb the energy — of Inertia Wave oscillations with eccentric contractions. Besides adding to the aerobic load, these motion-controlling movements help relax the body.

6. The Inertia Wave is safe and easy to deploy almost anywhere. The nylon double-reinforced anchors work well for all situations. It’s easy to travel with the Inertia Wave. If you’re going on a week-long trip, consider bagging the lines and packing in your luggage.

5. Inertia Wave exercises are both a muscular and neurological workout. I particularly like the advanced Methods. The “oxygen thief” exercises, because our CNS must figure out how to pulse the lines when our feet are off the ground.

4. Inertia Wave exercises are better on your joints, however extremely intense while being low impact.

3. Since you can pump much energy into the Inertia Wave, HIIT exercises can have arbitrary intensity. The last work segment of your Inertia Wave workout may be the longest 20 seconds of your life.

2. The Inertia Wave is great for developing symmetrical strength and coordination. Your “Inertia Wave” (exercise #1) will almost certainly have a higher amplitude on one side, and your “super typhoon” (method)

will have a strong and a weak side. The line doesn’t judge, but it will give you immediate feedback on how you are moving.

1. When you play with the Inertia Wave, you’ll feel awkward. When pulsing sideways, you’ll have the lines slap against each other — killing their inertia — and you’ll have to start over again. Keep waving. You’ll surprise yourself with your progress. If you’re not careful, you may find yourself having fun.

Composed by Phil Earnhardt. Phil studied Electrical Engineering at MIT. For the last 20 years, he has studied Bio-tensegrity from an engineering perspective and worked with manual and movement professionals.


I have recently tested the Inertia Wave ®️and three brands of battle ropes, and strongly believe the Inertia Wave ®️ is the superior product. To begin with, the structure of the elastomers is completely different than anything rubber. We found it to be more dynamically flexible and secure. The anchoring allows the two-elastomer system to be used in an unlimited variety of locations. While this is a convenient feature, what sets the Inertia Wave®️ apart from Battle Ropes, and many others is its feedback response. With relatively small body movements, one can quickly establish an oscillation with the Inertia Wave®️ once in motion, the elasticity and resistance profile of the Inertia Wave ®️ fights against you. These same properties also make the Inertia Wave a versatile product that can be used in both the horizontal, sagittal, and many angled vertical planes. Battle Ropes seem sluggish in comparison and require more effort to maintain a steady oscillation. The resultant that we found most appealing is the IW is 100% posterior, versus the battle ropes which is anterior. I believe the design of the Inertia Wave ®️enhances the user experience. Users don’t have to struggle, and to maintain an oscillation and can instead focus on other important workout aspects, such as maintaining good posture and body movements, increasing the velocity of the band without allowing it to move in many planes, and developing endurance. In my professional opinion, it’s far more core engaging and more intense than a battle rope, without the torque lift and slam. The wavelength and feedback response is overwhelming.

Leonard A Kolstad lll
Studies in physics, engineering, mathematics, science principles, analysis, and manufacturing.
Mechanical engineering – mechanical systems
University of Pennsylvania
BS YALE University


Many people have always been big fans of battle ropes. However, the Inertia Wave ®️ represents the superior modern-day variation of battle ropes that provides exponentially greater benefits (MIT), with far greater versatility and effectiveness. There are literally hundreds of exercises you can do with these many of which can’t be done with battle ropes. Additionally, Inertia Wave’s involve Eccentric + Concentric contractions. Battle ropes represent a concentric only form of conditioning suggesting limited carryover to human function since most tactile skills involve eccentric work. The fact is the battle rope takes all the energy into the ground -as it elevates your shoulder girdle, strains the wrist structures, and rounds out the spine. The inertia Wave®️ represents a similar training modality with rapid movements only you’re now getting both eccentric and concentric movements. Additionally, compared to the Inertia Wave, battle ropes literally are dead and feel dead. Immediately once you start a wave pattern with the Inertia Wave ® you’ll notice how alive they feel… as you’ll not only be producing force but also absorbing it. The core engagement & feedback response of the Inertia Wave is superior to that of a battle rope.



Metabolic Testing Labs / Human Performance Labs MIT

PRODUCT: Inertia Wave ®️Metabolic Conditioning Device

Dave Parise RE: Inertia Wave®

Submitted below are the results from your metabolic testing with the INERTIA WAVE ®️ tool in the SCSU Human Performance Laboratory 2019

Exercise time was 2.0 minutes. Passive (standing) recovery was 5.0 minutes.

Expired gases were collected for each duration using indirect calorimetry.


A MET (metabolic equivalent) is a unit of exercise intensity, and also a multiple of resting metabolism. 1 MET equal’s metabolism at rest.

In only 2.0 min, you were working at 10 METs, which means you were working at a rate 10 times greater than that of resting.

Oxygen consumption (VO2)

In only 2.0 min, your oxygen consumption was 46 mL/kg/min. This was close to your maximum oxygen consumption (again, achieved in only 2.0 min).

Respiratory exchange ratio (RER)

RER is a measure of fuel contribution (carbohydrate vs. fat) during activity. Values approaching

1.0 indicate more carbohydrate utilization, and the value is also an indicator of exercise intensity.

At 90 seconds, your RER value was 1.52 indicating the intensity of the exercise.

Calorie expenditure

In only 3.0 min, you expended 56.27 calories. This equates to an expenditure of over 1000 Cal/hr.

Heart Rate

In only 2.0 min, a heart rate of 178 beats per min was achieved, which is likely the maximum

heart rate.

Recovery & EPOC

During 5 minutes of passive (standing) recovery, oxygen consumption remained elevated above resting, and energy expenditure was still double that of resting (2.l METs) at the end of 5 minutes.

Dr. William Lund Director, Human Performance Laboratory,

Southern Connecticut State University,  


 Why the Inertia Wave ®
Unlike traditional battle ropes or rubber ropes, the Inertia Wave® is designed to integrate movements and unify your entire body to work as one complete system. It does this by teaching you how to oscillate & create complete, fluid movements patterns which focus on all muscles of your body through the use of your shoulders, hips, pelvis, core, and legs to develop muscular integration while building coordination, agility, hand and eye coordination and balance.
The Inertia Wave ®️ comes complete with beginners and advanced video link tutorials and exercises so you can start waving!

What are wavelength oscillations?
Wavelength oscillations are the optimal way to get carryover from the gym to real-world situations specific to human life, or athletic endeavors. Integration of wave patterns or what we call “methods” is the most fundamental form of energy management we have as human beings regarding biomechanics. Inertia Waves®️ are designed for outstanding benefits of strength, cardiovascular endurance, cognitive adaptations, optimal core engagement, and a kick-ass burn. You will find the Inertia Wave®️to be in the most effective and efficient fitness tool in your arsenal.

The Inertia Wave ®️ is becoming increasingly popular in the Military, firefighters, SWAT, and Police space. 

Why?? Because they work. In fact, it’s one of the most effective conditioning tools on the market. 

There are 12 reasons why the Inertia Wave®️ is so effective & superior to battle ropes.

1. Eccentric + Concentric contractions! Battle ropes represent a concentric only form of conditioning but with the Inertia Wave ®️ you get both eccentric & concentric.

2. Once you start using the Inertia Wave ®you’ll notice how alive they feel as you’ll not only be producing force but also absorbing it.

3. The Inertia Wave ®️represents a metabolic conditioning protocol that simultaneously involves oscillating kinetic energy. This is a very similar mechanism to the hanging band technique as the athlete has to deal with oscillations & perturbations by creating enormous levels of intramuscular tension & muscle activation.

4. The intensity & effort level are incredibly adaptable as these can easily be used by any fitness level as they match whatever level of muscular exertion the individual uses.

5. The Inertia Wave ®️is surprisingly user-friendly as the learning curve is almost non-existent.

6. The level of mechanical tension & metabolic stress produced from these are incredible even after 10 sec of max exertion.

7. Many of my clients & athletes have commented on how shocked they were by the muscle pump.

8. The level of versatility & unique drills is near limitless & exponentially greater than battle ropes.

9. Because of oscillating kinetic energy, force absorption, deceleration, motor control, coordination, eccentric tension, & rapid rate of muscular contractions, the Inertia Wave®️ both exposes & addresses imbalances as even the slightest deviation in the form will cause the ropes to lose their synchrony.

10. They teach the athlete to stay tight & eliminate energy leaks.

11. These are an absolute blast & you love to HATE them.

12: Portable, affordable, burns more calories, and engages the core far superior to anything we know today. in a 40- the second window!