We are all familiar with jump ropes. We’ve used it as kids to entertain ourselves and play with others and we still use it as adults for exercising; and this is a quasi-global phenomenon. In fact, some date the origin of this equipment back to ancient China. More recently, a new form of jump ropes has been gaining traction among the fitness community: Weighted Jump Rope.
These help you exercise more muscle groups, lead to more calorie burn and help you gain more out of your workout. However, there are many misconceptions about weighted jump ropes, including marketing tactics that sell you gimmicks. The key is to have the rope itself bearing the extra weight rather than the handles. But there are more to these weight jump ropes than meets the eye, so we’ll take a closer look at them in this article and help you choose the best one to keep you fit.
What is a “weighted jump rope”?
From the name itself, you can know what a “weighted jump rope” is: a jump rope with added weights to it. But more specifically, a jump rope that weighs more than a quarter pounds is considered as a weighted one. More details about the heavy jump rope, you can watch this video on Weighted jump rope definition
However, there are more aspects to a jump rope that we should consider in order to define it as a weighted jump rope. Below is a list of those aspects:
As mentioned, the rope's weight should be over a quarter pounds.
The weighted part should be the rope rather than the handles in order to have a noticeable effect on your workout.
A well designed weighted jump rope will allow you to change the ropes easily to adjust the weight to your workout needs.
This might not be a feature of all weighted ropes but good ones are designed with a ball bearing connection for smooth spinning and less physical strain.
Weighted jump rope benefits
Now that you know what a weighted jump rope is, it’s time to consider reasons as to why to choose it in favor of traditional jump ropes. The latter already bring along a host of known benefits which is why it is known as an easy and accessible way to get fit. But what are the advantages of adding weights to a jump rope?
Simply put, using a weighted jump rope brings in more benefits to your workout than using a regular jump rope since it brings added resistance. In addition to health benefits, these also bring in some practical advantages.
Them what exactly the weighted jump rope benefits your workout routine?
Exercise more muscle groups
With a weighted jump rope, you will activate more muscles of your upper body, especially of your back, shoulders and arms. This is due to the added resistance of the rope’s weights requiring more force from your muscles. In the long run, it will help you develop your shoulders and upper body power.
Burn more calories
Since you are exercising more muscle groups, you will eventually be burning more calories with weighted jump ropes in comparison to using regular jump ropes for the same amount of time. Once you try one (for example: CrossRope Jump Rope), you will see how much of a difference it is to swing a one pound rope around your body rather than a light rope.
Helps in maintaining proper form
A weighted jump rope might sound like an equipment for professionals and appear intimidating to beginners. But the truth is that they are better suited for beginners than traditional, light jump ropes.You might have noticed yourself that light ropes require many tries to get used to them as they move fast and make you trip easily. But a weighted jump rope has a slower rotation which provides better feedback; and hence helps you better coordinate your jumps and adopt a better form while exercising with it.
Good weighted jump ropes allow you to swap the rope attached to the handles. This allows you to add heavier or lighter ropes to adjust to your capacities. This way, you can progressively increase the weight as you would with a dumbbell and increase the resistance to challenge yourself and reach or even exceed your fitness goals.
Moreover, this aspect makes the weighted jump rope highly versatile as a workout equipment that increases the range of possible exercises, rather than having a light jump rope that cannot be modified.
Added health benefits
Using a jump rope to exercise has been shown to bring numerous health benefits such as increasing elasticity and resiliency of lower-leg muscles (and reducing risk of lower-leg injuries), improved coordination and improved cognitive functions as you are learning new patterns. Since using a weighted jump rope involves more muscles on the body, those health benefits are amplified.
Moreover, skipping weighted jump ropes is comparable to a full-body workout. This can be handy if you are on a tight schedule and using it for 20 minutes will help you keep on track to staying fit.
As such, compared to regular light jump ropes, weighted jump ropes offer a net improvement with its numerous additional benefits. In the next section, we will explore what you should consider when looking for a jump rope to buy.
How to Buy a weighted jump rope?
So you know what a weighted jump rope is and what it’s benefits are and you now want to buy one for yourself. The next question that comes is: how to pick one up? There are a wide range of weighted jump ropes but not all have the features that will help you get the most out of using the equipment in your workout. We have an article bringing you tips on How To Buy Weighted Jump Rope.
Below are those features that you should consider when looking for a weighted jump rope.
We’ve discussed this before but it’s important to note it here as well: choose a weighted jump rope whose rope carries the weight rather than the handles. You’ll also want to have options with how heavy your jump rope is, so best is to find one whose rope can be swapped for heavier or lighter ones.
However, weighted jump ropes rage from a quarter pound to several pounds. If you are a beginner, a good place to start is half a pound (Crossrope Get Lean is your best jump rope to start with) as it gives proper feedback so that you can time your jumps well.
This one has to do with your personal height; as you won’t be able to jump over a rope that’s too short for you while a jump rope that’s too long will make you trip easily. A rule of thumb when choosing a rope length is to stand with one foot in the middle of the rope and pull the handles as far up as they can go. A rope of good length for you will reach your upper chest or armpit area at the handles.
If you still end up with a rope that’s longer for your, you can still manually adjust the length. You can either tie a knot 4-6 inches from the handle on one side or you can even cut it short if the material allows it. But remember that once cut off, it can’t be put back so cut one inch at a time and gauge if the length is right for you.
Material and durability of the jump rope
You’ll find ropes of different materials on the market, with the most common ones being steel, silicon and PVC. The latter two will be cheaper and could be lighter for more portability but have a shorter lifespan as they break relatively easier.
Instead, you should favor steel ropes instead. These can be bare steel or a coated steel cable and will last much longer than silicon or PVC ropes. They can hurt a bit if you miss a jump and whip yourself but as you’ll get better, this won’t be a problem.
Quality of rope handle
Another important aspect is the rope handle. You should choose a jump rope with handles featuring a good grip, durable material and ergonomic design so that they are comfortable to use, won’t slip if your hands get moist while working out and won’t break easily if they fall.
Additionally, you should choose a rope with a smooth ball bearing system where the handle and cables meet so that the rope rotates smoothly.
Getting started with using a weighted jump rope
Once you’ve invested in a weighted jump rope, you’d want to make the best out of it and also keep it in good condition. Here are four ways you can use it to get started in enhancing your workout:
Begin with lower rope weights
As with every workout, you should start small and build up from there. With weighted jump ropes, the same applies: start with lighter weights, maybe the half pound cable, and increase incrementally as your body adjusts to the workout.
Use free guides
Jump Rope Dudes and Crossrope offer free YouTube workouts that you can follow along as you get started with using your weighted jump rope. Once you get the hang of it, you can pair it up with other workout routines.
Use a mat
If you are into yoga or at-home workouts, you might already have a mat handy and know of its benefits. If you don’t have one, then you should consider getting one as jumping with a mat under you not only prevents your joints from excessive wear and tear (as the mat acts as a shock absorber). To get the best experience, I will recommend you the professional Jump Rope Mat.
Try out different shoes
When starting out with rope skipping, you might not be used to jumping on your feet for dozens of minutes. To make the workout more comfortable, you should try different shoes that make you feel more comfortable. Everyone will have a different preference but you could start with shoes with added cushioning.
Best weighted jump ropes on the market
Well, now that you are well-versed regarding how weighted jump ropes work and how to use them, let’s take a look at 5 of the best weighted jump ropes out there on the market.
Crossrope weighted jump ropes
Crossrope weighted jump rope tops our list simply because they tick all of the necessary requirements we raised here.
Their comfortable grips have a fast-clip mechanism, allowing you to swap between quality cables of different weights. It also comes with a companion smartphone app that you can use to augment your workout experience. The whole set is also of great and durable quality, ensuring that you’ll keep using them for long.
However, these don’t come cheap. The Crossrope Get Strong set costs $139 while the Crossrope Get Lean set is priced at $99; but they are well worth the investment if you want to take weighted rope skipping seriously.
Epitome Fitness Sonic Boom M2 Speed Jump Rope
This one is a quality weighted jump rope that is also affordable. At $32, the Sonic Boom M2 Speed Rope from Epitome Fitness allows you to easily change its weighted cables, comes with 360° ball bearings to reduce friction and also has its own app to accompany your workout.
However, the ropes are made of silicone, so they aren’t as durable as Crossrope ones.
WOD Nation Atlas Weighted Jump Rope
Coming from WOD Nation is the Atlas Weighted Jump Rope. It has an ergonomic handle, pro ball bearing for easy spinning, adjustable weights in its handle as well as in the cable.
This set is priced at $24 but is only advised to use on smooth surfaces (and not cement or asphalt).
TOCO FREIDO Adjustable Jump Rope
Priced at $16, the TOCO FREIDO Adjustable Jump Rope is one of the most budget-friendly weighted jump ropes out there. It comes with a self-locking mechanism to change between the three cables of different weights included. These rotate smoothly thanks to the bearing system in the handles, which are also comfortable to hold.
Pulse Weighted Jump Rope
The Pulse Weighted Jump Rope is among the most comfortable weighted jump rope out there thanks to its memory foam handles and is reasonably priced too at $25. It’s also among the most popular ones on Amazon with over 600 five-star reviews.
The downside is that the weights are on the handles (and are removable) rather than on the rope itself.
How to Extend the lifespan of your weighted jump rope?
After investing in a weighted jump rope with your hard-earned money, you’ll want to use it for as long as possible. And for this there are some measures you can take.
Firstly, you can use the jump rope while on a thick yoga mat. This not only helps in absorbing shock when you land but also decreases the extra wear and tear compared to if you were to use it on an asphalt or cement surface.
Then, of course, general care measures apply such as not dropping the equipment and using it in an open space without any other objects in its vicinity with which it can loop around and get damaged..
Comparisons with other jump ropes
We’ve talked about weighted jump ropes at length in this article but you should also pay attention to the naming of jump ropes as there are others on the market as well.
There’s the “light” or “normal” jump rope, which is the one we are most likely to be familiar with. There’s nothing special to it and no adjustable weights or cables.
Another type of jump rope is the speed jump rope. These are used in fast-paced and intense workouts and for this, they are made lightweight and rather thin. As such, they differ quite a lot from weighted jump ropes visually. If you want to know more details between weighted jump rope and speed rope, we recommend you to read this article: Weighted Jump Rope vs Speed Rope
PS: If you want to know more about heavy jump rope, just read our full guide Weighted Jump Ropes Buying Tips.