Jumping rope is a full-body exercise. It’s one of the best upper body workouts, taxing the shoulders, pecs, biceps, and forearms. Down lower, you’re bouncing off soon-to-be shredded calves, striated quads, and a tight butt. Holding it all together is a rock-solid core, while the aerobic system toils away, getting stronger with every fiery breath. But don’t take our word for it; just look at any great boxing movies from Rocky to The Fighter, Southpaw, and Creed. You’ll see their protagonists with a jump rope in hand and a not-so-subtle grimace on their faces.
Jumping rope is tough work, but the best jump ropes make it easier, more enjoyable, and a hell of a lot more effective. Go forth and skip to your heart’s content, but when you’re looking for an extra challenge, try some of our favorite jump rope workouts to up the ante — and your fitness.
Our personal favorite, RXSG’s Original RX is a great place to start and finish (but keep reading just in case). Ergonomic grips are comfortable; its ball bearings super fast. But the real selling point is its myriad of customizable options, from length to rope thickness to a Crayola box’s worth of colors and patterns. We can reasonably say that no one will mistake your rope for theirs.
An entire ecosystem, Crossrope is your choice when you’re serious about using a jump rope to improve your
This CrossFit-favored company is all about performance. Its aircraft-grade aluminum handles and smooth bearings allow you to whip its adjustable cable through endless double-unders. The perfect blend of craftsmanship and speed, it’s the obvious choice for the competitive athlete.
Combining old and new tech, Tangram’s rope displays
Sure, it’s got a bearing-loaded grip for ease and speed and a coated cable for durability. The removable weights in the handles (approx. .4 pounds each) offer a way to scale the difficulty by the day. But really, we love this option because it’s an Everlast, a company that’s nearly synonymous with boxing and has more than a century in the ring. That’s nothing to scoff at.
Back in the day, all jump ropes were made of leather. The sweet whistle as it went overhead and the sharp sting as it snapped you in the shins is something plenty of old-timers will tell you about. These throwbacks improve on the original with bearing handles, but the rope itself has its own magic.
This model from RDX has the same heft as the Title option, but it twists the classic design, moving its rotation 90 degrees off the handles. The result is a more comfortable and speedier swing, allowing you to take your revolutions up a few notches. The wood handles are a nice touch.
You look at someone whipping battle rope and think, that doesn’t look too bad. Then you try it yourself. SPRI’s big boy is made from a similar material, upping the strain on your shoulders with each revolution. The rubber-coated ends ensure you don’t slip due to sweat (which you’ll certainly work up).
There are some ropes for workouts, and don’t get us wrong, you can certainly use Buddy Lee’s to work up a good sweat. But this rope is for the expert, the type of guy who was on a jump rope team (trust us, they exist) as a child. A frictionless bearing design pivots within aluminum handles for ultimate speed. While it’s standard with a cable, it also includes a PVC cord for preference (trust us, if you don’t know the difference, this rope isn’t for you).
As its name suggests, the Sonic Boom is meant for speed. Super light handles, greased bearings, and a featherweight cable cord are all standard. It’s so light, in fact, that beginners may have a tough time because they just won’t feel the cord as it spins. But if you’re looking to take your jumping to the next level, this is your rope.
Jump ropes are one of the best pieces of at-home workout gear, as it’s one of the most portable pieces of fitness equipment and requires little besides a flat surface, modest overhead clearance, and lower-level neighbors who don’t mind the steady thrumming of your feet.
For beginners coming to the sport from vague middle school memories, you’ll actually want a heavier rope, which allows you to feel the revolutions better and therefore time each jump more accurately, building consistency. Those more advanced looking to improve conditioning, double-under repetition, or burning through one of the simplest HIIT workouts you’ll ever find, feel free to drop the weight and the cable diameter, which will increase speed with every turn.
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