From Basic to Awesome: A Guide to Jump Rope Variations Plus Benefits!

Written By Brent Tiesma  |  Double Unders 

Jumping rope is more than just being able to PR double unders — it's a fantastic skill that can bring a whole new level of intensity and fun to your workouts. 

With a variety of jump rope types to choose from, it's easy to find the perfect one for your fitness goals and experience level. Whether you're a beginner looking to get in a solid workout or an experienced jumper aiming to expand your jump rope repertoire, there's a jump rope out there for you.

Let's dive into the four main types of jump ropes: basic, speed, weighted, and beaded. Each type offers unique benefits and is designed to cater to different fitness needs.

The Main Jump Rope Variations Everyone Needs To Know About

Basic: Jump Rope

If you're just starting out on your jump rope journey, the basic jump rope is a viable option. These ropes are great for beginners because they provide a decent jump rope experience while being very affordable.

They are usually made of a licorice-like cable that feeds directly into plastic handles. Unpacking one of these will no doubt remind you of your days out in the school yard during school recess. 

SpeedThese lightweight ropes are designed to let you jump at high speeds and maximize calorie burn. They feature a thin PVC covered cable with ball bearings in the handles, allowing the rope to cut through the air and spin rapidly. 

Speed ropes are best suited for advanced users who want to PR more technical moves like double unders.

Weighted: Jump Rope

If you're looking to give your arms, shoulders and core an extra challenge, weighted jump ropes are a great option. These ropes have additional weight integrated into the handles or cable, ranging from a ½ pound all the way up to 3 pounds or more. In our experience 1 lb is more than enough challenge for most athletes. 

Weighted ropes are great for any athlete because they not only increase the intensity of the workouts, build strength and burn fat BUT help slow the rope down, making more technical movements like double unders and crossovers easier to learn. 

Beaded: Jump Rope

Beaded ropes offer a unique experience. They often consist of a nylon cord threaded through a collection of plastic beads that are tangle-free and adjustable, ensuring a hassle-free workout.

While not overly heavy, the beads add resistance to the rope as it spins around you, making it perfect for warm-ups, double unders technique drills and great for more technical jump skills  like crossovers.Like weighted ropes, beaded ropes can provide a different feel and rhythm to your jump rope routine. 

Experience Level 

Consider your experience level when selecting a jump rope. If you're a competitive jumper or have significant experience, speed ropes with uncoated cables are recommended. These ropes are lightweight and allow for efficient spinning, but they do require skill and coordination. 

For beginners focusing on form and control, slower, thicker ropes (ie. basic, weighted or beaded) provide the best experience for learning and mastering the basics.

Rope Length

Rope length is key when it comes to using a jump rope, especially if you’re a beginner trying to master double unders. Beginners can take their height in feet and add approx. 3.5 feet to get their ideal rope length.

The rope (without handles) should come up somewhere between the sternum and the shoulders when you step in the middle of it with one foot. If you jump with your hands far from your body aim for a longer rope and shorten the cable length as you become more proficient. 

Versatility

Versatility is a valuable attribute in a jump rope. While some ropes are designed for specific training purposes, others can meet a range of goals.

For instance the WODprep jump rope set by Crossropes, features interchangeable cables that can be switched over in seconds and an easy sizing guide that makes it easy to find the proper length for you.

Jump Rope Benefits That’ll Improve Your CrossFit Performance

  1. Conditioning

    When you master different jump rope skills your ability to get more work done increases. It's like giving your heart a turbo boost! Improved skill means better cardio that will improve your endurance and keep your heart in tip-top shape.
  1. Timing is key!

    Timing is everything when it comes to performing different jump rope skills like crossovers and double unders. In the case of double unders, it's all about finding that sweet spot and timing your rope spins to your jump height.

    Trust me, it's not easy at first, but it will come with practice and oftentimes the right drill or progression. Better yet, the discipline and focus needed for different jump rope skills will spill over into other areas of your life and fitness. 

  1. Explosive power!
    Anytime you’re using the jump rope, you're performing consecutive bounds that work the legs that help build strength, power and tone. Whether you’re looking to improve your work capacity or look good naked, consistent jump roping will help with that. 

  2. Focus and concentration

    With jump roping, you have to stay alert, focusing on keeping a steady rhythm, managing the speed and height of your jumps and remembering to breathe throughout. Jump rope is a mental game that challenges your mind-body connection and is a great way to boost your cognitive function and train your brain to stay sharp.

To Summarize

Jumping rope is an efficient cardio workout that engages multiple muscle groups, making it an excellent addition to any fitness routine. Whether you're aiming to improve your engine, increase agility, or improve coordination, jumping rope can help you achieve your goals. 

So grab the jump rope that suits your needs, find some space, and let’s get after it! 

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