Ready to get in shape with a full-body workout? Jump ropes can be a great addition to your cardio routine. They’re small enough to fit into your gym bag but pack a big punch. Jump ropes can help tone your arms, legs and shoulders.
There are various types of jump ropes to choose from, each with specific benefits. Buying a jump rope can seem intimidating with the differences between styles. When choosing a jump rope, think about your experience level or the workout you plan on doing. Are you looking for the best jump rope for beginners? Want to know the difference between a speed rope and a weighted rope?
This Pro Tips guide has the essential information to know before making the leap and buying a jump rope.
TYPES OF JUMP ROPES
Basic jump ropes are geared toward those learning the fundamentals of jumping rope. They’re cost effective but can still provide an efficient workout. Basic jump ropes are thicker than speed ropes but lighter than weighted jump ropes. Most of these jump ropes are made with PVC plastic, and the handles are usually made of rubber or foam to help jumpers with grip.
The purpose of a speed jump rope is right in the name. Speed jump ropes are lightweight and made to be fast. They’re made of a thin vinyl cord and are best used indoors to prevent wear and tear on rough surfaces, like pavement. These workouts can be intense due to the fast-paced speed. Because of that, they’re great for those looking to improve their footwork and build conditioning skills.
Weighted jump ropes give your arms a workout but can help strengthen your shoulders, too. The extra weight requires more exertion and energy. Also, the added resistance generates more force for your shoulders to control while rotating the rope. Typically, weights can range from one to six pounds. Weighted jump ropes are normally preferred by experienced jumpers, but beginners can use them, too. These ropes are a bit slower than speed ropes, so new jumpers can focus on timing and learning proper form.
Beaded ropes, also known as segmented jump ropes, can be used by beginners. However, they’re highly associated with rhythmic jumping competition because of the noise the beads make when they hit the ground. These have a nylon inner cord that is hidden by heads, hence the name. While the rope is not heavy, the beads do add some weight to the workout and help prevent tangling. This is a jump rope that you can use both indoors and outdoors.
Leather ropes are not as common as speed, weighted or beaded. However, leather jump ropes are popular for their wooden handles and quietness. This jump rope doesn’t make as much noise as a beaded jump rope or have the heaviness of a weighted rope. The cord is also thicker, which results in little tangling. Leather can be more costly than other options because of its durability. You can use leather ropes indoors, outdoors and on any type of surface. These jump ropes can be a good choice for beginners, but jumpers of any skill level can use them.
If a simple workout is what you want, but you also want to save a few bucks, cloth jump ropes are a good option. They’re lightweight, so they don’t add too much pressure on the shoulders or arms. Cloth jump ropes are mainly used indoors, as they don’t fare well on rough surfaces.
JUMP ROPE LENGTH
Now that you’ve chosen a jump rope, you need to make sure it’s the right length.
To check if your jump rope is the correct length, step on the middle of the rope. Then, pull the rope up toward your shoulders. The cables, not the handles, should hit right around your armpits.
If you happen to buy a rope that’s too long, don’t fret. Most jump ropes have adjustable handles to shorten or increase the length.
With a new jump rope in hand, you’re ready to jump-start your cardio routine. Discover our favorite jump rope exercises with this cardio workout.