2 legless rope climbs, 15-ft. rope
20 controlled, slow AbMat sit-ups
STIMULUS: When I see something that has a set number of rounds on it – especially something unfamiliar like this workout – I usually assume it works best if the volume is preserved. So as backwards as this could sound, the easy bet for scaling would be to turn this thing from a task priority inside a task priority, to a time priority inside a task priority (Inception, anyone?) For example, 5 rounds of 45 sec. rope climbs and 1 minute of AbMat sit-ups. Or for easier counting, 1-minute and 1-minute. If you’re working out by yourself, you could do what I am now calling Ricky-style Reps (named after one of our 8th graders) where you just do one movement until you would have to rest due to fatigue then move to the next one. Again, the retest value is tough when doing that, but this doesn’t seem like an easy one to retest anyway. The Ricky-style would also help with the “continuous movement” part.
GROUP: Equipment might be the limiting factor here. When this is an issue, it’s best to look at each exercise not as the specific thing prescribed, but as something to be grouped into a large, inclusive general movement pattern. So really, what’s the difference between rope climbs and pull-ups and ring rows and farmer’s walks and grabbing your dogs’ leashes while they pull you as you’re trying to walk? Lots of things obviously, but they one thing they have in common is they’re all expressions of pulling. So as long as you’re doing something most of the group can do that makes them feel like they’ve been pulling with their arms, you’re on the right track for the rope climb sub. Then the closer you can get to the specifics the better. So strict pull-ups with an alternating grip (flipping hands each round), jumping and hanging from a bar (flexed or extended), halfway up rope climbs using your legs, full climbs with the legs… think general not specific and then the specifics will come to you. When I get around to doing this, I’ll go legless as high as I can then use my feet to finish. Or maybe just call it good where I end up haha. Depends how I feel. As for sit-ups, I find it hard to keep a good position while using an AbMat, and some people have complained about back pain after doing lots of regular sit-ups. So we do hollow body variations; only going as far back as you can maintain a hollow body (low back staying in contact with the ground, among other things). Try those if you don’t have AbMats. On a very important note, I really hate sit-ups. Probably my worst exercise for some dumb reason.
INJURY: Looks like spine/hip stuff and shoulder/arms are going to be the only issues I can think of. Static plank/hollow hold would be a good sub for sit-ups if need be. As for the rope, anything one-arm would be good. If it’s a broken finger that can’t wrap around a bar or rope, you can try doing slow descents from a push-up or handstand. It’s technically pulling as far as I understand.