The Best Jump Ropes to Crank Up Your Cardio Routine
At the end of the rope with your current cardio routine? Try the low-impact alternative that's taking over TikTok: Jumping rope. The workout burns more calories per minute than running while strengthening your arms, legs, shoulders, and glutes. It also requires just one piece of equipment and can be done in compact spaces, such as a living room. Plus, even the most luxurious jump ropes cost a fraction of traditional cardio machines.
Ahead, the best jump ropes for beginners to advanced skippers, according to a fitness expert and passionate purchasers:
- Best for Beginners: SPRI Speed Jump Rope
- Most Ratings: Degol Skipping Rope
- Best Speed: Wod Nation Speed Jump Rope
- Best Heavy: Autuwt Weighted Jump Rope
- Best Double-Under: Gaoykai Weighted Jump Rope
- Best Weighted: Crossrope Get Lean Weighted Jump Rope
- Best Adjustable: Letsfit Jump Rope
- Best Smart: Tangram Smart Jump Rope Rookie
- Best Cordless: Aplugtek Jump Rope
- Best Tall: BeMaxx High-Speed Jump Rope
Fitness expert Anthony Crouchelli, N.C.F.S., C.P.T., the founder of 1.method (a fitness app launching later in 2021) and master trainer at Liteboxer, is a huge advocate of jumping rope. That's because a regular jump rope routine can improve cardiovascular endurance and hand-eye coordination without overloading your joints, he explains. Plus, Crouchelli says the "beauty of jump rope" is that it's accessible anywhere at any time. (Sound up your alley? Then check out this no-equipment leg workout you can do at home, too.)
When buying a jump rope, the most important things to keep in mind are the weight, material, and length of the rope, according to Crouchelli. He suggests buying a jump rope with an adjustable length, a steel cable wire rope, wrapped handles, and the proper weight in the handles according to your fitness levels.
Beginners should stick with a balanced, lightweight option without added weight in the handles or rope, as this allows them "to maximize the mechanics of getting the rhythm and form down before loading weight," explains Crouchelli. Advanced jump ropes (vs. traditional designs) will have added weight to better activate muscles and to challenge the body. This can be at little as a few ounces added to the handles or up to 6 pounds evenly distributed throughout the rope. Although extra weight allows for more effective strength training, it also decreases the speed of your skipping.
But weight isn't the only feature to consider when browsing for the best jump rope. Smart options, such as the Tangram Smart Jump Rope Rookie, will track your jump count, calories burned, and total workout time so you don't have to — and, thus, is a good pick for people who like to zone in on their body (rather than stats) while breaking a sweat. And then there are factors such as rope material. Although Crouchelli suggests steel cable, a plastic or fabric option could be a better fit for jump roping outdoors since they're less susceptible to breakage from asphalt or cement.
Finally, it's worth considering the rope-to-handle attachment as well. Speed ropes connect the handles to cable wirings at a 90-degree angle to prevent the torque from breaking the rope. Because of this, you'll also get more speed than with a plastic pick and better control over the rope to master tricks, such as a double under or cross-over. (They're also a great pick for this fast-paced 30-minute jump rope workout.)
Of course, knowing what to look for doesn't necessarily mean the best jump rope for you is easy to find. Skip the stress of sorting through thousands of products by checking out this guide to the best jump ropes, below. They meet Crouchelli's guidelines and left other shoppers super satisfied.