The rope climber is one of the most famous physical tests that must be overcome to be able to join the fire department of many municipalities and autonomous communities of Spain.

In the case of the Community of Madrid, to overcome this test it is necessary to carry out the smooth rope climbing of 6 meters of height in a time of maximum 14 “65. However, in order to pass this test to qualify for the fire station at the City Hall of Madrid, it is necessary to climb the 6.5-meter rope in a maximum time of 12 “00.

In this article, we are going to try the base to make a correct rope climb, as well as some exercises that will help to achieve it.

First, we will divide and briefly explain the phases of this test in order to better analyze the exercise and, later, establish exercises to improve each of them:

– Phase 1: Exit. First traction and only one that is done with both hands. The rope must be taught and placed vertically for greater stabilization of the same and facilitate the ascent. We must try to grab the rope high as possible and place the body in the position we will keep climbing rope, looked up to the rope.

– Phase 2: Stabilization of the rope. Corresponds to the next 2 strokes. The objective of these is to tighten the rope well to avoid unnecessary swings and thus fail to catch the rope. Giving these long strokes will help achieve this end.

– Phase 3: Climb or race. The rise of the rope itself, the achievement of strokes until you reach the bell. Very important to adapt the amplitude of stroke to the characteristics of the individual and a good technique (coordination arms and legs).

– Phases 4: Arrival. It consists of throwing the arm to touch the bell. Very important the blocking of the arm opposite to the hand that touches the bell.

– Phase 5: Descent. It consists of lowering the rope from the bell to the ground. Often forgotten and not practiced.


A correct physical preparation, as well as specific improvement of the strength of the muscles involved (biceps, deltoid, pectoral, dorsal, trapezius, core, forearm, etc) and coordination, will increase the performance in the development of this test. But … Which exercises are the best?

Next, I show you some of the exercises that I consider very good to improve the specific strength to climb the rope.

– Dominated or pull-ups grip prone.
– Pull to the chest unilateral rope grip (Rope pull-up).

– Dominated assisted to a hand incising in the eccentric phase.

– Knees raised in blocking position with mini-band.

– Suspension of the bar with “fat grip” (one or two hands).


Before starting to climb the rope it is very important to have a minimum of physical condition. Personally, I do not recommend climbing the rope until at least 10 dominated with your own body weight. However, you can perform exercises like the ones I show below to start climbing the rope and that will help improve the technique.

1. Descent and climb of the rope: Begin first by lowering slowly and controlled. Perform arm strokes more and more widely.
2. Blocking. Alternate grip (hands). Trace the rope correctly to the chest and block.

3. Blocking + leg-hip. Correct completion of leg elevation and hip rotation.

4. Blocking + stroke. Look for good stroke width and hand lockdown.

5. Core exercise and coordination.

A. Traction the left arm.

B. Raise the right hip.

C. Arm right arm.

D. Right arm drive.

E. Raise the left hip.

F. Perform arm stroke with left arm.

And so on.

6. Arm-leg coordination. Throw the leg before the arm.

As I mentioned before, the descent phase is often the most forgotten, so I recommend a technique to perform in this phase and decrease the load on the arms (not to lower to pulse).


– Going to a qualified professional to carry out correct programming in order to achieve the maximum possible performance while reducing the risk of injury.

– Do not work the climb with great muscular fatigue, as this will increase the risk of falls and injury.

– Use of security elements such as a mattress to prevent damage in case of fall.


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