If you’ve ever felt like you aren’t getting the most out of your jump rope, that’s not your fault. There are many lengths of jump rope available, but only one “best” length for you. Believe it or not, many factors go into finding the ideal jump rope length, and we can help! Read on to learn how to choose the right jump rope length and why it matters in the first place.
Why the Right Length Matters
What happens if your jump rope is too long or too short? It can’t be that big of a deal, right? Well, if your jump rope is too short, it may not hit the ground as it passes below you—if it’s much too short, you’ll probably have trouble getting it under your feet without tripping.
Conversely, if your jump rope is too long, it may slow you down and keep you from getting into a jumping rhythm. Just like ropes that are too short, this can lead to you getting tripped up by your jump rope.
At the end of the day, too short or too long ropes get in the way of your fitness goals by creating unnecessary problems. Exercise itself should be the challenge—not fighting against your equipment.
There are a few different methods for finding the perfect jump rope, and they’ll all do a good job. We like some better than others, so we’ll tell you our preferences as we go. The first and potentially most common method is picking a length based on your height.
- If you are between 4’ and 4’ 9” tall, choose a 7-foot jump rope.
- Between 4’ 10” and 5’ 3”, choose an 8-foot rope.
- Between 5’ 4” and 5’ 11”, choose a 9-foot rope.
- Between 6’ 0” and 6’ 4”, choose a 10-foot rope.
- Over 6’ 4”, choose an 11-foot rope.
Basing your jump rope size on this chart is a great way to go if you’re trying to find a jump rope at the gym. Unfortunately, it doesn’t account for the (sometimes significant) variances in the length of people’s arms, legs, and torsos. If you’re picking a jump rope to purchase, you’ll want to go a little deeper.
The armpit method is another fantastic general jump rope sizing option because it’s all about the pits! Stand on your jump rope and pull the handles so they come up to your armpits. If they end up below or above your armpits, you don’t have the correct size. However, if they wind up right inside, this rope will work very well at the gym.
Again, this option doesn’t account for all the unique elements of your physique, so don’t use it to find your permanent rope.
Finding the Perfect Size for You
The first key to finding the ideal jump rope is your form. You’ll have difficulty finding an accurate length if your form is off. Keep your arms relaxed and your hands close to your hips. When you notice your hands moving away from your hips, you’re probably trying to compensate for a jump rope that’s too long.
The second step is measuring the distance between your head and the rope as it arcs above you mid-jump. A friend can help, or you can set up your phone and record yourself. The ideal distance comes down to the type of jump you’re planning to do.
For general fitness, you should aim for a rope that gives you 10 to 18 inches of clearance. For freestyle jump roping, go for six to 14 inches of clearance. For speed jump roping or double unders, look for four to eight inches of clearance.
Most people want a jump rope for general fitness, which makes perfect sense—jump ropes are a fantastic way to burn tons of calories. In these cases, a bit of extra length can go a long way to helping you avoid minor errors and messing up your rhythm. That’s why you should choose a rope with between 10 and 18 inches of clearance.
When you’re performing tricks with your jump rope, you want control and a little leeway. Depending on your skill level and preferences, you may want a very short distance between the rope and your head or a bit of extra space. If you’re performing tricks, we’re willing to bet you have opinions already, but we suggest a clearance of between six and 14 inches.
Whether you’re looking for speed of the perfect double under, the key is efficiency. You've hit the ideal ratio when your jump rope travels a short distance with a tiny amount of effort. Keep the distance between your head and the rope small to increase your speed—between four and eight inches.
Other Factors To Consider
When you’re trying to find the best rope from a top-notch jump rope company, there are a few other factors that may play into your decision aside from the length of the rope. For instance, keep in mind the place you’ll be jumping rope. If you’re in a gym, traditional ropes will work fine. If you’re outdoors, you may want something a little stronger, like a steel cable wrapped with vinyl.
Additionally, you’ll want to think about rope thickness, especially if speed is your goal. Thinner ropes are better if you’re trying to go fast, while thicker jump ropes have increased durability.
Finally, the weight of your jump rope can drastically change your exercise regimen. Choose a heavier rope if calorie burn is what you’re after and a moderately weighted rope for beginners.
Now that you know how to choose the right jump rope length remember that you aren’t on this fitness journey alone! Even though it can sometimes feel like that, everyone here at Buddy Lee Jump Ropes supports what you’re trying to do—and we can help. Feel free to contact us if you want further clarification on jump rope lengths and styles—there’s a perfect jump rope for everyone.