The 9 Best Jump Ropes
This wiki has been updated 30 times since it was first published in August of 2015. If you're looking to improve your stamina, core strength or coordination, nothing beats a good old-fashioned jump rope. With that in mind, we've selected several models that are durable, versatile, and applicable to different purposes. So you'll likely find a skipping rope on our list that meets your needs and is suitable for some intense cardio training, regardless of your fitness level. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
July 30, 2021:
You might think that a jump rope is a jump rope and that's all there is to it, but that's actually not the case. Our returning #1 choice, the Crossrope Get Lean, is durable enough to last a lifetime and has interchangeable ropes in two different weights. Then there's the Tangram Smart Rookie, which is tailored to work alongside a smartphone and make it easy to log workouts. Meanwhile, the Songqing Professional Counting can keep track all on its own.
For what it's worth, the only change made during this round of updates was the removal of the schoolyard-style model complete with pinch- and scratch-prone plastic rings.
April 13, 2020:
During this busy round of updates, while half of our rankings needed to be removed due to availability issues, we also decided to eliminate the Master of Muscle Wod Whipper and Wod Nation Endurance, in order to make room for new high-end options with app connectivity or built-in CPUs. Some of our new additions include the Crossrope Get Lean – a pricey model with a growing online community of more than 80,000 athletes, the Tangram Smart Rookie – which can connect with any Android smartphone, iPhone or Apple Watch, and the Songqing Professional Counting – a model with an integrated LED display that tracks an estimation of how many calories you’ve burned, based on your body weight.
Make sure not to skip these considerations when shopping this category:
Length: Most skippers test the length of a rope by stepping on it with both feet: if the rope makes it up to your armpits on both sides (not including its handles), that’s probably a good length – but you might want to choke up on it a bit. While a longer rope might be advisable if you plan on doing a lot of fancy tricks and crosses, a shorter rope makes life easier if you’re hoping to brush up on your double unders and speed.
While models like the Crossrope Get Lean are offered in a selection of sizes, allowing users to select an option based on their height, other options like the EliteSRS Pro Freestyle and XYLsports Adjustable arrive quite long, and have provisions in their design that make it easy for users to trim them down with scissors.
It should be noted that, while double-dutch ropes like the K-Roo Sports are significantly longer than most, it’s by design – to facilitate double-dutch-style skipping. These ropes aren’t suitable for solo cardio training.
Weight: As a general rule, heavier ropes are reserved for advanced users looking to intensify their workouts by working their muscles harder. However, some proponents of speed ropes will dispute this, and in some circumstances a heavier rope can be helpful for beginners who are struggling with basic coordination.
The Songqing Professional Counting comes with removable handle weights, allowing users the option of an extra challenge. The Morneve Workout weighs 2/3-pound, which is heavier than most, and the Crossrope Get Lean comes with both a 1/4-pound and a 1/2-pound rope, so users can upgrade as they advance.
Electronics: As we’ve already touched on, several of our top selections for this category feature on-board technology and/or app connectivity. While the expensive Crossrope Get Lean has no on-board technology, its proprietary app gives users access to a wide selection of workouts, and allows them to connect with its online community of more than 80,000 skippers. The Tangram Smart Rookie, by contrast, might not be as well engineered as the Crossrope, but it can monitor skip count and track your long-term activity with its app. The Songqing Professional Counting has a built-in calorie counter with an LED display, and the Glovion Flashing Color gets an honorable mention for its colored LEDs that can be charged via micro-USB cable.
Crossrope Blog Whether or not they decide to try out one of the pricey options from Crossrope, skippers of all skill levels will find plenty of useful tips and workout ideas on the company's robust blog. A lot of the content has integrated diagrams and video clips that make it easy to learn from. crossrope.com
A Brief History Of The Jump Rope
Today, the jump rope is primarily used as an exercise tool rather than for recreation, and there are some extremely sophisticated, high-tech options out there.
While the precise origins of the jump rope aren't known, some historians believe that it dates back to the 1600s, when ancient Egyptians would jump over vines. Some think that the practice started in the Netherlands. Still others insist that it began in ancient China as part of the Chinese New Year festival. But regardless of where it came from, the sport eventually spread throughout the entire world and became a favorite pastime for children.
Fast forward a few centuries, and Double Dutch, a jump rope game involving two long ropes rather than one short one, was brought to the United States by the children of Dutch settlers. By the 1940s, it became extremely popular among American kids, particularly in large cities. So popular, in fact, that the New York City Police Department used it as part of a youth outreach program in the 1980s, aptly named "Rope, Not Dope," which aimed to reduce drug use in inner city youth.
A few years later, a former Washington, D.C. police officer named David Walker created the American Double Dutch League after seeing the game's positive impact on young women in his community. Not long after, McDonald's started to sponsor tournaments on the local and national level, helping to introduce Double Dutch to a much larger audience. Unfortunately, the fast food chain stopped supporting the league in the late 1990s, which had a drastic negative impact on its membership
Today, the jump rope is primarily used as an exercise tool rather than for recreation, and there are some extremely sophisticated, high-tech options out there. You can choose from a variety of materials, some weighted to add resistance, and others that are super lightweight and built for speed. Some keep count of your number of jumps, and others even flash different colors to put on a light show to keep you entertained while you exercise. If you want to go one step further, there are also some great smartphone apps that can help you to learn tricks and track your workouts.
Health Benefits Of Jumping Rope
Much like running, swimming, and riding a bicycle, jumping rope is an excellent cardiovascular exercise. Cardiovascular, or aerobic, exercise was first researched in the 1960s by Kenneth Cooper, a doctor who was studying exercise as preventive medicine. Since then, his work has been widely expanded upon, and we now know that exercise has many benefits for almost all aspects of health, both physical and mental.
In fact, many well known professional boxers, including Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, and Floyd Mayweather, jumped rope to develop their footwork and perfect their timing.
When performed on a regular basis, cardio helps to strengthen your heart, making it more efficient at pumping blood, and improves your circulation, which can reduce blood pressure. It also strengthens the muscles you use to breathe, making it easier for air to get into and out of your lungs. It can even stimulate bone growth, which reduces your risk for osteoporosis later in life.
Jumping rope strengthens leg muscles, especially the calves. It can also improve your coordination, making you more light on your feet. It's a great conditioning exercise for sports that require a high degree of agility, such as basketball and tennis. In fact, many well known professional boxers, including Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, and Floyd Mayweather, jumped rope to develop their footwork and perfect their timing.
In addition to making your body healthier, exercise also affects the brain. In the short term, for about two hours after a sweat session, cardio improves your cognition, helps you to focus better, and reduces stress levels. It can even give you a natural sense of euphoria, commonly called a "runner's high." Long term effects, typically seen after a few months of regular exercise, include an increase in grey matter volume, a better memory, and the ability to process information faster.
And if all of these benefits aren't enough to convince you to give it a shot, skipping rope can burn anywhere from 700 to over 1,200 calories per hour, depending on how fast you go, so it's a great way to lose a few pounds.
In It To Win It
When I was in the fourth grade, I joined my school’s jump rope team (we were called the Hot Sox). We practiced a few times a week and sometimes put on shows for the other students at assemblies and pep rallies, but we never went up against other teams — it was just for fun. Little did I know at the time that there are some groups who take jump rope competitions very seriously.
Sometimes, they even combine freestyle with Double Dutch, or perform in pairs where each jumper has to mirror the other exactly.
In 1995, two major jump rope organizations — the International Rope Skipping Organization and World Rope Skipping Federation — merged to become the United States Amateur Jump Rope Federation, which offers seminars and training in addition to sponsoring tournaments at state, regional, and national levels. World Jump Rope Championships take place in various cities across the globe, and there's also a special international competition for school teams called the World Inter-School Rope Skipping Championships.
There is a wide array of competition styles to choose from, including Double Dutch, speed jumping, and double under jumping. There's also a freestyle category, which is kind of like a combination of jump rope, gymnastics, and dance, and allows competitors to showcase their creativity. Sometimes, they even combine freestyle with Double Dutch, or perform in pairs where each jumper has to mirror the other exactly. If that sounds difficult to you, trust me, it's much harder than what you're imagining.
If you're not into team sports, there are a variety of Guinness World Record holders you can set out to unseat. Categories include the highest number of jumps in a 30-second, three-minute, or one-hour period, and the most consecutive double- or triple-unders. And, perhaps the most impressive of them all, in 2009, a fitness trainer from Greensboro, North Carolina named Joey Motsay skipped rope for 33 hours and 20 minutes straight without taking a break.