Rope: a strong, thick line or cord, commonly one composed of twisted or braided strands of hemp, flax, or the like, or of wire or other material.
I found the history on the ropes from an article by Vicky Hallett in the Washington post. To view the full article, click here.
If you want someone to blame, look to John Brookfield, a North Carolina-based strongman who’s known for dragging trucks, ripping up decks of cards and bending nails. About five years ago, he was searching for a new feat and came up with the idea of creating continuous waves with ropes, which turned out to be a challenge even for him. “If you lift a weight, as it comes down, you can use momentum,” he says. “With ropes, it’s all pure output. There’s no lull in the action.”
There’s no rest for a single muscle, either, as the whipping motion requires you to fight against your own power. Not only do you need to generate the energy to create ripples, you also need to stabilize your body or you’ll topple over.