The Best Jump Ropes: A Guide for Fitness Aficionados
Jump rope training is a cardio exercise that, when done correctly, can be good for both the body and mind. This exercise is a full body workout that develops the upper and lower body muscles which often turns into routine for bodybuilding and athletic training programs alike.
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By using the best jump ropes for jumping, you can improve your foot coordination, build muscles, and boost cardiovascular health.
Although it may seem pretty intuitive, jump rope training provides plenty of techniques and options available. Not only will this article provide an insight to this exercise, but you will also find out how to minimize the chances of an injury when rope jumping. Lastly, the guide will help you in selecting the right jump ropes for different types of exercise, so let’s check it out!
Jump rope training: what are the benefits?
This guide has been written especially for fitness buffs and athletes who want to know how rope training can help them attain fitness goals.
The fact is, most people think twice before investing in a treadmill or exercise bike. However, the price tag shouldn’t be a reason of concern when choosing the best jump ropes; the simplicity of this product helps you find high-quality options for a very affordable price! Also, there is no need to buy high-end shoes for a jump rope workout.
Just buy a jump rope and skip anywhere — in the park, on the beach, and even in the dark!
Jump rope can be carried out alone or combined with other gym workouts. In either case, you stand to benefit a lot from rope training.
Not many exercises are as effective as rope jumping in burning calories. You can easily burn 10 calories in a minute jumping rope, according to fitness experts (1). The time spent jumping is equally effective as jogging when it comes to shedding weight.
Improve coordination and balance
Another benefit of rope jumping is that it will help improve coordination and balance (2). The exercise stretches the ankle ligaments thereby improving balance (3). Performing the exercise over and over again will make you feel more coordinated and balanced.
Reduce the chances of Injury
Rope jumping results in the workout of the ankle, knees, wrists, and shoulders. The exercise will strengthen these areas thereby reducing the chances of an injury. This makes it a vital exercise for sports training.
Moreover, if you are an elderly individual, rope jumping will reduce the risk of fractures as studies have also shown that rope jumping enhance the bone density, especially of the lumbar spine (4). This reduces the risk of bone injuries.
Improve mental performance
An amazing benefit of rope jumping is that it helps improve brain functioning (5). How?
Jumping ropes stimulates the brain activity. It involves learning new patterns that improve the communication between the lower leg muscles, wrists, and the brain. The neural muscular adjustments improve reflexes and mental capacity. In other words, you will feel more mentally alert with regular rope jumping.
Benefits of a cardio workout
Being a cardio exercise, jump rope exercise is great for your lungs and heart as well. Rope jumping results in improved breathing and circulation. This will lead to a reduced risk of heart and lung diseases. You will feel better oxygenated and less fatigued with regular jump rope training.
Some other benefits of jump rope cardio exercise include the following (6).
- Reduced stress
- Reduced risk of certain cancer types
- Improved sleep
- Increased energy
Full body workout
Rope jumping can exercise both the upper and the lower body. The exercise engages the lumbar and the abdominal muscles. Exercise routines such as double under or cross jumping involves the entire upper region muscles — shoulder, arms, and chest muscles. The exercise will help in the development of deltoids, forearms, and abdominal muscles.
Moreover, rope jumping develops the lower region muscles including the hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, gastrocnemius, deltoids, forearms, and abdominals (7). That’s why professional sports trainers and coaches recommend rope skipping for athletes.
Jump rope: a valuable add-on for sports training
Rope training is a valuable add-on for sports training. Jumping ropes is recommended to anyone who competes in sports. Let’s discuss some of the advantages of rope jumping in developing skills for different sports.
Soccer is one of the most physically demanding sports. Studies have shown that jump rope training is great for athletic conditioning of soccer players (8). The exercise helps in improving essential soccer-specific skills such as coordination and strength levels.
By rope jumping regularly, you will be able to develop increased agility. This will allow you to quickly accelerate and decelerate and maintain balance while changing direction of your body when dribbling like Ronaldo or Messi. Moreover, you can improve vertical jump with rope jumping that will allow you to improve heading skills (9).
Vertical jump is also important in basketball where you have to place the ball through a 10-foot-high hoop. Using the best jump ropes will also help in improving agility that is valuable when playing basketball. You will be able to quickly switch between lateral, vertical, forward, and backward positions while dribbling.
Basketball players also need to have great speed to move swiftly around the court. Sometimes, they have to run up to 100 yards dribbling the ball towards the hoop. This requires increased stamina, coordination, and footwork that can be developed through rope jumping.
Football is yet another sport for which jump rope training is a valuable exercise. Jumping rope helps in developing a range of athletic abilities that include muscular balance, endurance, strength, and body awareness, all of which are essential when playing football.
Experts have found that rope jumping is particularly useful in plyometric drills to improve body stability, balance, and foot speed (10). Running on the field requires a proper balance between the left and right legs as well between the hamstrings and quadriceps, which can be developed through rope training.
Tennis is a game of coordination. You need to quickly change positions forward and backward and from side to side while maintaining perfect balance. Moreover, during serve and volley, footwork and coordination are important. Rope jumping will help you develop all these skills. It will help you increase agility, balance, and foot movement. That’s no wonder that the exercise is recommended by no other than one of the best tennis players in history, Roger Federer (11).
Regular rope jumping will improve timings of shots, body rhythm, pelvis and hip rotation. Moreover, it will improve foot and hand speed during serve and volley. Also, jumping ropes will strengthen foot and ankle muscles and reduce the risk of injuries.
Kickboxing is a contact sport that is a mixture of boxing and martial arts. The sport requires increased agility, speed, quickness, and strength. Rope training helps in developing all these skills. That’s the reason most kickboxing classes start with rope training.
Jumping ropes helps improve footwork and balance. Moreover, it can strengthen the leg muscles that are important in kickboxing.
How to prevent injuries during jump rope training
As with any type of physical exercise, you should take precautions when jump rope training to avoid physical injuries. Here are some tips on how to reduce the risk of an injury when rope skipping.
Warm up before rope jump training
If you skip the warm-up when rope skipping, you could end up with shin splints. This is a painful condition that is caused due to the inflammation of the tendons, muscles, and bone around the shinbone. To avoid shin splints, you should always warm up by performing push-ups, squats, or lunges for at least a minute before skipping rope.
Performing a warm-up will allow your body to adjust for a strenuous exercise. It will loosen the joints and the muscles thereby reducing the risks of an injury.
Most beginners make the mistake of pushing too hard in the hope of seeing quick results. But the outcome is an increased risk of injuries.
You should start slowly and gradually ease into the exercise. Once your fitness level increases, you can progressively increase the duration, intensity, and frequency of rope jumping.
Grip the handles properly
You should not grip the handles too loosely or too lightly. A loose grip could result in the handle getting out of your hand when skipping and injuring another person. On the other hand, gripping the handle too tightly will result in a cramp. A proper grip is important when rope jumping.
Learn to jump properly
Learn to jump correctly when skipping ropes. Some people jump ropes as if clearing fences. They jump too high, which only increases the risk of an injury. You should jump enough to clear the ropes.
Also, you should jump on your toes when landing, and not on the foot. Landing on the toes will result in proper support to the core and torso when jumping. This will help avoid musculoskeletal injuries.
Don’t jump on rough rurfaces
You should avoid skipping ropes on rough, uneven, or slippery surfaces. This is important to avoid the risk of falling that could result in a musculoskeletal injury. Consider using a rubber mat when jump rope training. This will reduce the risk of an injury during the workout.
Avoid rope skipping in a crowded place
Lastly, you should avoid jump rope training in a crowded place. This is important as you could injure others.
Keep at least an arm’s length distance from others. Extend your arm to your front, side, and back, to know the range of motion when rope skipping.
How to buy the best jump rope for you
Knowing how to buy the right jump rope is important. It will not only result in an effective workout, but also help you avoid wasting money by buying the wrong product.
Here are some tips that will help you select the best jump ropes for different exercises.
Select the right type of jump rope
A jump rope can be made of different materials. Also, the handle can have different designs and build quality. Selecting the right jump rope involves knowing the type of rope material and handle design that is suitable for a workout.
- Beaded Jump Rope — Beaded jump ropes have plastic beads on a piece of nylon cords. Using beaded jump ropes can be awkward as they don’t turn fast. These ropes may look attractive, but they are not suited for intense jump rope training.
- Cloth Jump Rope — Cloth jump ropes are inexpensive and ideal for beginners. They are generally made of nylon or cotton cords. Some of them have handles on the end while others have knots instead. If you are starting rope jump training, this is the best jump rope to buy.
- Licorice PVC Jump Rope — A licorice PVC jump rope is the right choice for developing quickness and agility. The jump ropes are relatively inexpensive with simple plastic handles and a PVC rope. This type of jump rope also allows great cardio workout due to fast turning capability. If you are a beginner, this is another great choice for jump rope training.
- Leather Jump Rope — Leather jump ropes are sturdier making them ideal for intense workouts. The rope generally comes with wooden or plastic handles and a leather rope. The jump rope turns fast making it great for cardio and speed exercise.
- Weighted Jump Rope — Weighted jump ropes are generally made of nylon or leather. The ropes have weighted handles that result in extra work out of the upper body. However, this is not a good jump rope if you want to develop speed and agility.
- Speed Jump Rope — Speed jump ropes have a PVC rope and durable handles. Similar to leather jump ropes, speed ropes rotate quickly. These ropes have a swivel bearing at the end of the handle that allows speed training. The bearing results in minimum drag and friction during a workout and fast turning and jumping making it ideal for CrossFit training.
Choose the right size
The next important thing you should consider is the jump rope size. A jump rope that is too short or long will result in missteps when jumping that could lead to injuries.
To find out the correct size for you, you should step on the rope and then raise the handle. Make sure that the rope handle reaches your shoulders. Also, you can consider buying a jump rope that allows you to adjust the size ‘out of the box’ to suit your requirements.
Buy the right brand
Lastly, you should select the right brand of jump rope. Read online reviews to know which jump rope brand offers the best value for money. You should buy a jump rope brand that is durable and priced right.
To sum up, material and size are the most important consideration when buying a jump rope. If you are a beginner, you should select a cloth or Licorice PVC jump rope as they are cheaper. On the other hand, professionals including athletes should select leather, speed, or weighted jump ropes. Speed jump ropes are great for developing agility while weighed jump ropes help in developing form.
The best jumping ropes available now
You can find a lot of different jumping ropes online, but many times diversity only makes things more confusing!
To help you come up with the right decision, we have narrowed down the search to the following five products.
Pulse weighted jump rope is a weighted jump rope with easy grip and fast turning. Featuring a memory foam technology developed by NASA, the padding of the handles offers extra comfort and protection during workouts.
The jump rope is easily adjustable and is ideal for anyone whose height is below 6 ft 6 inch. It also has a ball bearing swivel making it ideal for an intense workout.
- Adjustable size
- Removable weights in handles
- Swivel ball bearing allows speed training
- The handle is not durable quality
- Vinyl rope easily gets tangled
WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope is a speed rope that can be easily adjustable. This jump rope has four bearings – two on the tips to secure the cable and two in handle for faster swings.
The cable size can be easily adjustable while the handle has a tapered end allowing a firm grip. Both competitive athletes and beginners will feel comfortable using the jumping rope.
- Affordably priced quality jump rope
- Height is adjustable
- Thin wire rope allows fast swings
- Bearing on one end feels stiffer
- Not durable build quality
The striking feature of this jump rope is the extra-long handles. Customers have praised how the jump rope moves through the air. They have also raved about the good build quality of the rope.
The light aluminum handles allow a firm grip during workouts. This rope is suitable for both beginners and professional athletes.
- Firm grip due to aluminum handles
- Double bearing allows fast swings
- Adjustable size
- Handle starts to loosen after few weeks
This jump rope is suitable for speed training due to its lightweight cable. The jump rope has a high quality construction with aluminum handle, speed bearings, and coated wire rope.
Most customers had praised the build quality and handling of the product. Customers also commented that smooth bearings result in a flawless workout. However, some have complained about the handles coming off after a few months of intense workout.
- Great rope build quality
- Faster swings due to swivel bearings
- Easy to set up
- Rope feels heavier than standard CrossFit speed ropes
- Handle is not durable quality
Crossrope jump rope is targeted for both professionals and beginners. The patented clip allows you to easily add and remove the 1/2 lb. handles. As a result, you can use the rope for both speed and strength training. The 8-foot jump rope also features steel ball bearings that allow fast turning during a workout.
- High build quality
- Removable weights
- Swivel ball bearing
- Size is not adjustable
Of all the jump ropes mentioned above, the product that offers the best value for both beginners and professionals in our opinion is the Crossrope Jump Rope. This jump rope has an aluminum handle that allows a firm grip, thus increasing your confidence during training.
The modern design of the product allows you to increase agility and coordination through speed jumping. Also, this jump rope has an adjustable size making it suitable for people of different heights and exercise types.
As this article has taught us, the techniques and products you use are equally important to achieve your maximum potential. In the end, it all comes down to everyone’s personal needs and preferences; add some motivation to that and you’re all set for a successful training session!