Single unders? Double unders? Criss-cross? Boxer steps? With so many jump roping exercises to choose from, it can feel overwhelming when you hear that there are different ropes best suited to different workouts. Don’t worry—that’s where we come in. We are the jump roping experts, and we are here to help you pick the best rope for you!
Read on and learn which jump rope to choose based on your fitness goals.
Why Jump Rope?
Before we look into what makes each jump rope different and helpful for varying goals, let’s first analyze what brings them all together.
Burn, baby, burn! While it’s not the sole reason to work out, many people exercise with the goal of burning a ton of calories. When you want to lose weight, this strategy (coupled with a healthy diet) is the best way to get rid of pounds quickly. If that sounds like you, jumping rope is a fantastic choice!
That is because jumping rope burns more calories than many other types of exercise. If you run on the treadmill for 20 minutes and jump rope for 20 minutes, you will burn more calories jumping rope. Why? Because running on the treadmill only targets two parts of your body: your lower body and core. Jumping rope involves your upper body, too.
You are getting sweaty either way, so you may as well pick the option that burns more calories!
Inexpensive and Portable
While certain exercise machines for a home gym may give you a great workout, they are expensive and require setup before you can start working out. With a jump rope, you can get started for a lot less money and no setup at all. Want to jump rope in your hometown for Christmas vacation? No problem. What about in a new city on a business trip? Easy as pie.
You just try taking a squat press on a plane and let us know how that goes!
Fantastic as a Standalone Workout or Part of a Routine
Even though jump roping is a solid standalone workout, you can easily incorporate it into a larger routine. Consider making a jump rope one of many stations in your high-intensity interval training regimen. Start with squats, then move onto jump rope, and then get in some push-ups—the next thing you know, you’ve got the benefits of a home gym with a single piece of equipment.
Many exercises improve your strength, but only a few can upgrade your coordination. If you are practicing for a sport that involves quick footwork, you can use a jump rope to speed up your feet. Jumping rope also builds the muscles in your ankle joints, which will lead to fewer ankle injuries moving forward.
Choosing a Length
If you have ever put on pants that were too big or too small for you, you will understand why picking the right length for your jump rope is important. A jump rope that is too long may lead to overextension, while one that is too short will have you contorting and scrunching to work out. The best way to find the right jump rope length is to try out a few different sizes.
To determine the proper rope length, follow these steps:
- Stand on the center of the rope with one foot.
- Pull handles up along the side of your body so that the tips of the handles extend no higher than your shoulder. If the handles extend beyond your shoulders, the rope is too long. This results in excessive drag through the air and reduces the rotational speed of the rope while increasing the frequency of catches and tangles. It also reduces periods of continuation, even for lightweight speed ropes.
- Adjust the length by temporarily tying knots in the rope. Tying more than one knot on each side may be necessary to establish proper rope jumping length but may reduce rope jumping efficiency.
- Once you become comfortable with the proper rope length, take out the knots and make a permanent adjustment to make the rope length appropriate to your height to maximize the benefits you’ll receive from your jump rope training. You can always shorten your rope again, so avoid cutting the rope length too short.
Choosing a Weight
Length can make or break the experience, but the weight of your jump rope changes the game! The three types of jump rope weights are speed, weighted, and basic. Where the length varies based on your body type, you should choose a weight based on your fitness goals.
As a general rule, speed jump ropes are best suited for people who want to do cardio workouts. Speed ropes are made from a thinner material, which allows them to travel more quickly through the air. This is perfect for extra repetitions and high-calorie-burning workouts.
Weighted ropes, on the other hand, are ideal if you want to build muscles and get stronger. As the name suggests, these ropes are heavier than basic or speed ropes, which help strengthen your shoulders and core.
Basic ropes are your best bet if you are not quite sure of your fitness goals. They will do a good job in a variety of circumstances and are perfect for beginners. If you are undecided on fitness goals right now, start with a basic rope and see what exercises feel more like your style.
Training With CrossFit
When you bring CrossFit into the equation, you are adding a special move called the “double under” to your repertoire. Essentially, this means you bring the jump rope under your feet twice in a single jump! The ideal CrossFit jump rope is fast, durable, and lightweight to facilitate quick speeds as you practice your double unders.
Working with speed jump ropes is ideal for building up lower leg muscles. Quick hops in repetition are a fantastic way to quickly build up muscle mass in your calves. Additionally, when you use a speed jump rope, you will vastly improve your heart and lung health.
As you know, cardiovascular activities strengthen your heart and lungs, and CrossFit training is one of the best cardio workouts out there. On top of reducing feelings of breathlessness, cardio workouts also reduce your risk of heart disease and other conditions, making this an excellent option for staying healthy at any age.
Now that you know which jump rope to choose based on your fitness goals, pick the best jump rope for you, or select a few if you have wide-reaching workout plans! There’s no need to choose just one jump rope—the ideal exercise routine should be your top priority. If you need help deciding what’s best for you, contact us—we are happy to help you on your fitness journey!