Best Jump Ropes for Fitness

Best Jump Ropes for Fitness

When I started out with jump ropes as a fitness coach 20 years ago it was mostly a fringe sport limited to boxers and playgrounds.

But in the last few years jump rope has gone mainstream. Celebrities have started incorporating jump rope into their fitness routines. CrossFit has spawned a whole new jump rope sport (double unders). And jump ropes hang in just about every gym in America.

With all this growth, fitness companies have taken notice … in a big way, developing jump ropes of every conceivable style, size and color.

So How Do You Choose?

As a fitness coach and a jump rope specialist I've coached a few speed jumping national champions and a world record holder, and have even won a few speed jumping competitions myself.

I've used and experimented with hundreds of different varieties. Here's what I recommended you look for in a good, every day jump rope for fitness workouts:

1. Handle Design: Look for the following features:
  • Grip: If you're jumping rope for fitness, you'll sweat, and the handle will be tough to hold onto as it gets wet. A flared design with a fatter end and a foam or other sticky grip will help you hold on when you sweat.
  • Durability: Cords and cables wear out, no matter how well made. But your handle should last a long time (or a lifetime). Look for a well reviewed rope (with no complaints of handle breakage) made of light-weight aluminum or unbreakable plastic polymers. This way you can simply replace the cords when they wear out, instead of replacing the whole rope.

2. Ease of resizing & rope replacement: Most jump ropes come at a default "one size fits all" length. But rope length is important for comfort and efficiency when jumping. The rope you buy should be easy to resize to fit your perfect length. (See my jump rope sizing guide.) It's also important that the handles easily detach from the rope. This allows you to replace the cord when it wears out, instead of the whole jump rope.

3. Cable Quality: lf you buy a cable rope (vs a PVC rope), look for cable covered in quality nylon. The highest quality jump rope cables are typically USA made and coated in nylon. Vinyl coated cable is very flexible but will wear out extremely fast.

Using these criteria, you should be able to find any number of very good jump ropes for fitness. Below, I've listed my personal favorites based on skill level.


BEGINNER

Good all around jump ropes that are very forgiving, easy to adjust and easy to handle and rotate at slower speeds.

Fit+ Rope

Summary: An excellent all around jump rope with long handles for a strong hold, an easy length adjustment system and a slower PVC cord that can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Specs:

  • Handles: 8" handles made of unbreakable plastic polymer and low profile handle grip tape (so the handles don't slip when you sweat). Comes in a variety of color combos.
  • Rope: Solid core PVC rope with string core that is durable on both indoor and outdoor surfaces.

Price: $21.99 - shop options

Boxer 3.0

Summary: Heavy duty 5mm string-core PVC rope that can be used on any surface. Because the rope is attached to the handles at a 90 degree angle it's fast (great for double unders). 5.5" polymer grippy dimpled handles offer a smooth action despite not having ball bearings.

Specs:

  • Handles: Unbreakable plastic polymer handles attach to PVC cord at 90 degrees for increased efficiency and speed. Snap lock system for easy resizing and rope replacement.
  • Rope: Heavier string-core 5mm PVC cord (10' length) that can take a beating on any surface

Price: $17.99 - shop options


INTERMEDIATE

These are excellent fitness ropes for experienced rope jumpers who haven't quite hit the level of a Floyd Mayweather, but can jump for long periods without missing.

Heavy Beaded Jump Rope

Summary: A long handle rope with heavy 2" thick walled beads for a more intense workout. An excellent all-around fitness rope that is popular because the weight of the beads slows the rope down, improving feedback and enabling a more consistent rhythm.

Specs:

  • Handles: Unbreakable plastic polymer 8" handles with foam grips. The long handles with foam grips make for a comfortable, slip-free hold when you sweat and make it easier to work in freestyle moves like crosses.
  • Rope: Comes at 9' 6" length. Resizing take a couple steps, but is not hard. The heavy beads make it ultra durable for use on concrete or any other rough surface.

Price: $22.99 - shop options

6mm PVC Rope

Summary: Ultra durable fitness rope features a thick 6mm PVC cord with an inner string cord that can be used both indoors on smooth surfaces and outside on rough ones. The 6mm cord is thicker than most similar ropes, adding resistance to workouts for a serious arm and cardio burn. 

Specs:

  • Handles: Unbreakable plastic polymer 8" handles with foam grips. The long handles with foam grips make for a comfortable, slip-free hold when you sweat and make it easier to work in freestyle moves like crosses.
  • 6mm PVC with string core: Won't kink when hung on racks or hangers. Durable for jumping on rough surfaces. Won't snap in cold temperatures.

Price: $19.99 - shop options


ADVANCED

These jump ropes are best for advanced jumpers who need a very fast ropes. These jump ropes are designed for speed skipping and double unders, and come with a variety of different cable types for different uses.

Surge 3.0®

Summary: Extremely fast and versatile fitness rope that has become popular for speed and double unders at competitions, with competitive jumpers using to get up to seven jumps a second. Handles feature a patented ball bearing system that make it very efficient and smooth spinning.

Specs:

  • Handles: Machine cut aluminum handles with a foam grip. Attach to the cable at a 90-degree angle. Dual ball bearings in each handle. Come in a variety of different colors.
  • Rope: USA made cable comes at 10 feet in length. Come in a variety of different colors and thicknesses / outdoor ratings.

Price: $44.99 - shop options

Heavy Muay Thai Rope - 2.0

Summary: A heavy solid core 1.3-pound PVC jump rope for adding heavy resistance to your jump rope workouts. Best for experienced jumpers who are ready to take it up a notch and do workouts that are more muscle burn than cardio.

Specs:

  • Weight: 1.5lb
  • Handles: Industrial grade 4.75" long handles (rope is secured in handle with a metal bolt).
  • Rope: 12mm diameter PVC rope comes in 8ft / 9ft / 10ft lengths

Price: $27.99 - shop options

About the Author

Matt Hopkins is a former competitive speed jumper and jump rope coach. Matt has won numerous national championships in speed jumping, and his athletes have won several national speed and freestyle titles and have broken world and national speed records. He also taught middle and elementary school PE in Leavenworth WA for 23 years.

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