For a heart-pumping at-home workout that requires minimal equipment and space, you can’t beat jumping rope. As personal trainer Mark Sayer explains, it’s the ideal small-space workout (whether you’re in your living room or a hotel once travel is a thing again) and easy to get creative with by mixing in single-leg hops, side-to-side “slaloms,” and other moves. According to Hari Singh, owner and general manager of CrossFit NYC, jumping rope is more than just good cardio: “Anyone can jump up and down, and anyone can swing a rope around,” he says. “The challenge is doing those two together, which involves coordination and accuracy. It’s not simply a physical challenge, it’s a neurological challenge.” Because of that, Sayer says, jumping rope can become more of a game than a workout. “You have to use so much coordination, you don’t think about how hard you’re working,” he says. Jumping rope is still relatively easy to master, though, especially if you’re using the right rope for you.
While you might be inspired by experienced jumpers who are whipping the rope around at lightning speed and doing double-unders (a move popular in CrossFit where the rope passes underneath your feet twice in one jump), if you’re just starting out you’ll want to avoid so-called “speed ropes” and stick to slower moving ones that’ll make it easier for you to nail down the movement. Below, five fitness professionals share their picks for the best ropes for beginners, as well as for those who are more advanced and looking for a bigger challenge.
Best Speed Jump Ropes
If you really want to splurge, Orme calls the Evo G2 “the Cadillac of speed ropes.” She says it features “the smoothest bearings in the business” for those working on high-level tricks and extra-fast jumping. Like the Rogue rope above, it’s made with aerospace-grade aluminum that’s long-lasting and lightweight. It’s not adjustable but it comes in 22 different lengths (in two-inch intervals from 6’6” to 10-feet, covering everyone from kids to 7-footers) so you’ll likely find the perfect size. You can choose from several different weight options, too, including an ultra-light uncoated cable that the brand recommends for those attempting triple-unders or a weighted rope that’ll challenge your muscles as well as your cardiovascular endurance.
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