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The 8 Best Jump Ropes For Optimum Workouts

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Photo: Shutterstock

Many people are quick to assume that skipping rope is an activity best suited to the schoolyard, but what they fail to realize is that it’s actually an incredibly efficient form of training. In fact, it’s one of the fitness industry’s best-kept secrets.

Nevertheless, it’s important to get a handle on your goals before you go out and buy a jump rope because there are tons of different types and each one has its intended purpose. Here in this guide, we’ll break down the different types of jump ropes as well as the benefits of this still-underrated exercise, all before presenting you with the best jump ropes available right now.

Best Jump Ropes Breakdown

The Benefits of Jumping Rope

Used by everyone from CrossFit competitors to professional boxers, jumping rope offers numerous health benefits in the form of improved cardio capacity, better coordination, balance, and footwork, and even added muscle gains. And with going to the gym still very much a questionable proposition, it makes for an ideal way to bring your workouts with you — wherever you are. For those who are looking to strengthen their feet or ankles, jumping rope can also force them to adapt by putting them under a healthy amount of stress.

Types of Jump Ropes

Basic Rope: For those new to jumping rope, perhaps start off with a standard basic rope, which will also be much cheaper than your higher-end models. These won’t have the bells & whistles of more expensive ropes but will get the job done if looking to get in some quality cardio.

Speed Rope: If you’re looking to burn fat and lose weight, a speed rope will allow you to crank up the pace and really get your heart pumping. Popular among CrossFit practitioners, these ropes will be made of lightweight materials better for going long and faster. They may also feature ball bearings to connect the handles with the rope itself.

Weighted Rope: If you want to build strength and add muscle definition, you’ll be better off with a heavy or weighted rope — they’ll work everything from your traps to your toes. Forcing you to push yourself more to send the rope and handles around, weighted ropes can also be better for those who want to perform the activity a bit slower without losing efficiency.

Beaded Rope: Good for travel, beaded, or segmented, jump ropes won’t tangle as easily in a gym bag. The rope itself features segmented beads or tubes that encase the robe inside, giving it a harder sound as it hits the floor.

Do Hard Things Heavy Beaded Rope

Do Hard Things Heavy Beaded Rope
  • Cheap
  • Slightly heavier than normal
  • Won’t tangle
  • Beads are replaceable
  • Not as heavy as other weighted ropes and not for speed jumping

Best Beaded Rope: While plastic ropes make for a great first-time skipping experience, sometimes a heftier option may be in order. This heavy beaded rope adds an extra element of resistance, giving you improved control over a conventional licorice jump rope with the added benefit of a more rigorous workout. In practice, this is because the weight of the beads slows the rope down throughout its swing, improving your proprioception and enabling a more consistent turnover. But that’s not all — beaded ropes are a great choice if you hope to keep your jump rope routine consistent throughout the winter. Because they’re made from rope rather than plastic, they won’t harden once the temperature dips. And when a bead wears out at the contact patch, simply swap it out for a fresh one and you’ll be jumping again in no time.

Type: Beaded
Weight: 6.5oz
Handle Material: Plastic polymer

Pulse Weighted Handle Rope

Pulse Weighted Handle Rope
  • Weight on handles are removeable
  • Handles sport ergonomic memory foam
  • Affordable
  • Overall durability is in question

Best with Weighted Grip: If you’re interested in adding some strength work to your training, a jump rope with some weighted grips will serve you well. That is, by holding the load in your hands, it enables plenty of passive resistance without letting the rope’s momentum make things easier on you. And unlike heavy ropes that are fixed in their intensity, you can remove the weight from the handles if you’re looking to switch things up for the odd speed session. This pick from Pulse features a set of high-speed ball bearings, an upgrade that ensures a smooth, drag-free swing throughout its rotation. And when you consider that it comes with some ergonomic memory foam for improved grip and comfort, this is one rope that’s ready to take your skipping to the next level.

Type: Weighted
Weight: 16oz
Handle Material: Memory foam

Buddy Lee Master Jump Rope

Buddy Lee Jump Rope
  • Adjustment system lets you resize the rope with ease
  • Smooth bearing system on handes
  • Long handles aren’t for everyone

Best Adjustable Jump Rope: If you’ve never seen Buddy Lee demonstrate his superhuman jump rope skills, do yourself a favor and have a watch — we guarantee that it’ll have you outside practicing sequences for yourself before you know it. That being said, if you’re trying to train like the best, it helps to have the same equipment he uses. The preferred choice of Lee himself, this Master Jump Rope comes with a set of 9″ high-density plastic handles wrapped in some comfortable foam grips — a combination that allows for confident control in freestyle and HIIT sessions alike. What’s more, it also features a Swivel Bearing System specifically engineered to ensure smooth turning action in all directions for friction- and tangle-free spinning. Top it off with an innovative adjustment method that resizes the rope with just a quick turn of the wrench and it’s clear that this offering is a cut above the rest.

Type: Speed
Weight: N/A
Handle Material: High-density plastic

Everlast Leather Jump Rope

Everlast Leather Jump Rope
  • Fantastic swing sensation
  • Extra weight gives you a little edge
  • Incredibly durable
  • Rope length isn’t adjustable

Best Leather Jump Rope: Before plastic jump ropes became the norm, leather long reigned supreme. Even still, the material remains the preferred choice amongst boxers for its time-honored tradition and superior swing sensation. This pick from Everlast comes with a genuine leather rope, giving you a rotational speed comparable to plastic but with a bit of extra weight behind it so that you can really dial in your technique. But that’s not all — because it’s made from leather, it’s also far more durable for outdoor use than plastic ropes that are likely to kink or snap. And just because this option comes with some old-school cool, don’t think that it isn’t a purpose-designed piece of equipment. With a set of precision ball bearings built into its premium polished wood handles, it may appear to keep things classic, but it’s very much a modern training tool.

Type: Speed
Weight: 9.12oz
Handle Material: Wood

Rope Fit Heavy Rope

Rope Fit Heavy Rope
  • Weight options go up to 8lbs
  • Very durable
  • Has a tendency to smell after a while

Best for Serious Strength-Building: For those who are looking to turn their high-speed skipping sessions into bonafide muscle-building workouts, this Heavy Rope from Rope Fit will be a much-appreciated addition. Where most jump ropes typically max out around 2-3lbs, this portly pick weighs in at 5lbs for the 1.5″ version and 8lbs for the 2″ version. To put it another way — it’s less a jump rope than it is a total-body torture device. And because it’s constructed from the same durable poly dacron material used in the brand’s burly battle ropes, you better believe that it can hold up to whatever abuse you have to throw at it. If you’re after an efficient way to blast fat and develop strength, look no further than this rugged rope.

Type: Weighted
Weight: 5lbs or 8lbs
Handle Material: ABS-wrapped dacron rope

Rogue Fitness SR-2S Speed Rope 3.0

Rogue SR 2S 3 Jump Rope
  • Knurled handles offer incredible grip
  • Handles are made from aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Super lightweight
  • Smooth swing
  • Adjustment screws can be hard to manage

Best Overall: Rogue Fitness makes some of the best workout gear in the game, and their SR-2S Speed Rope is no exception. For starters, it features a pair of knurled handles made from aircraft-grade aluminum (12.5% lighter than the ones on the 2.0 model), giving you a secure hold on your jump rope no matter how sweaty things get. And thanks to its set of built-in bearing swivels and omnidirectional mounting points, the SR-2S makes for an incredibly smooth spin with effortless turning action. Whether you’re a newcomer to CrossFit or a master MMA fighter, this is one rope that’ll have you stringing together hundreds of double-unders in no time at all.

Type: Speed
Weight: 4.64oz
Handle Material: Aircraft-grade knurled aluminum

Tangram SmartRope LED

Tangram Factory Smart Rope
  • Counts skips for you and uploads metrics to mobile app
  • LED light projects skip count in front of you
  • Logs your metrics
  • Smooth spin
  • Not the most durable

Best Smart Jump Rope: Although jump ropes have the advantage of being a simple, lo-fi piece of fitness equipment, they become all the more capable when you imbue them with a bit of tech. Take Tangram’s Smart Rope, for instance. It comes with a set of sensors that track full 360-degree revolutions, allowing you to stay focused on the task at hand rather than counting skips in your head. And because it comes with built-in Bluetooth connectivity, it can instantly upload all of your recorded fitness metrics to the accompanying Smart Gym mobile app. So, in addition to making it simple to log each workout, it also allows you to exercise smarter by keeping tabs on your training. Last but not least, Tangram’s Smart Rope includes LED lights that will actually project your count in front of you, allowing you to jump during the day or hone your skipping skills after hours.

Type: Speed
Weight: 10.6oz to 11.1oz
Handle Material: Polycarbonate

Crossrope Get Lean Jump Rope Set

Crossrope Get Lean Set
  • Tangle-fre
  • You can adjust weight
  • Accompanying app is really great for achieving fitness goals
  • Expensive

Best High-End Jump Rope: Taking the top spot on our list is Crossrope’s Get Lean Jump Rope Set. Sure, it’s a far sight more expensive than some of the other options, but it also skews more towards a complete fitness system than it does a helpful training accessory. With two included ropes — a 1/4lb model and a 1/2lb model — you get the benefits of both high-speed HIIT sessions and longer endurance workouts wrapped into one convenient package. And because the redesigned Slim Handles come with Crossrope’s patented fast clip connection, it’s quick and easy to change your rope weights — just pull the fastener, unhook the rope, and pop in a new one. But the best part is that because of Crossrope’s well-rounded rope offerings, you can pick up heftier options when you’re ready to add some more intensity.

Type: Hybrid
Weight: 4oz or 8oz
Handle Material: N/A

The Best Rowing Machines for Your Home Gym

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Photo: The Ergatta Rower

Craving a full-body workout? Here’s a guide to the best indoor rowing machines for your home gym.