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You may have heard that jump ropes can be a great workout tool. But what are some of the different types of jump ropes you can use?
Jump ropes are simply ropes with a handle made to jump over.
Among other benefits, jumping rope can improve cardiovascular health, help you lose weight, engage a few muscles at home or in the gym, improve coordination, etc.
Any jump rope can help with these things to some extent. There are however different types, each with its own specific advantages and disadvantages.
Which one of these is the best type of jump rope for you ultimately depends on things like your personal situation, budget, personal preference, training goals, etc.
1. Basic jump rope
Basic jump ropes are a collection of ropes, usually made from nylon, plastic, or PVC. These are typically considered the standard version of a fitness jump rope.
These are more medium-sized when it comes to both rope diameter and weight. Besides the different materials, different models also vary in things like the color and size of the handle.
If you are a beginner when it comes to jumping rope, a basic jump rope is a good place to start. It will offer enough weight to get used to the motion yet be light enough to achieve decent speed.
Even if you are more advanced, a basic jump rope is more than enough to get in a good workout and do a variety of tricks.
2. Speed rope
As the name implies, this next type of jump rope is made to jump at high speeds. It is generally thinner than the basic jump ropes and often made of steel.
Due to the higher speeds you can achieve, speed ropes can be a great option for goals like losing weight and improving coordination.
Keep in mind that this rope will be more punishing when making mistakes. The thin rope hitting your body at extra speeds can be painful.
3. Weighted jump rope
Weighted jump ropes are a type of jump rope accessory that is simply a jump rope made to be heavier than usual.
An interesting fact about jumping rope is that if you use a heavier rope, a workout with the same duration and number of rotations becomes harder for your upper body muscles and cardiovascular system.
By using a jump rope that is heavier than usual you make the same workout harder on your arm muscles and cardiovascular system.
In turn, this can lead to more exercise benefits like engaging muscles and losing weight in a shorter amount of time compared to other jump rope types.
One potential downside is that weighted jump ropes are slightly more expensive than their basic counterparts. However, in the big picture, this difference is not that big, especially for the benefits it can offer.
4. Beaded rope
Again the name describes the next type of jump rope well. This option is a rope with multiple beads around it.
Beaded ropes are generally a bit heavier than the basic jump ropes with all the advantages and disadvantages that come with that.
One downside is that beaded ropes are sensitive to wear and tear. Especially on rougher surfaces like concrete or stone.
For an optimal workout, some of the other types will likely be more suited. That being said, for reasons like personal preference and aesthetics you can definitely go for a beaded rope.
5. Smart ropes
In essence, jump ropes are relatively simple pieces of cardio exercise equipment. There are however also jump ropes that make use of newer technologies.
These are called smart ropes and they keep track of a few details.
What exact measurements it takes varies from model to model but there are smart ropes that track the number of jumps, time worked out, how you compare to other users, personal records, history, etc.
While not essential, these details can be motivating to push yourself each workout and they can just be fun to know.
One downside is that these jump rope types require a battery that needs changing every once in a while. Some smart rope models can also be a bit pricier.
6. No rope jump rope
Jumping rope with a regular is already a relatively compact workout. Even so, there is a type of “jump rope” that takes this even further.
No rope jump ropes are basically handles with a weight attached to a short rope. These are meant to simulate rope jumping without a rope swinging around you.
This option can be more compact and slightly safer with pets, children, and other house members around.
The downside of cordless jump ropes is that they are just not the same thing. To improve coordination you need to be able to make mistakes, hit the rope, to make the right adjustments in your brain.
Additionally, a small jump in the air just does not feel as satisfying as successfully jumping over an actual rope again and again.
7. Cloth jump rope
Cloth jump ropes are likely the type of jump rope you used as a child. The ropes of this option are thicker and softer yet not that heavy, often lighter than a basic jump rope.
These ropes can be suited for children who want a pain-free way to start learning the coordination required for jumping rope.
However, as a workout tool cloth jump ropes are not that great. It is relatively hard to get and keep them up to speed. Cloth jump ropes are also not great for jumping outside in rainy weather conditions.
8. Leather jump ropes
Next, there are even jump ropes made of leather. Even though the standard material is different, leather jump ropes resemble the basic jump ropes a lot in what type of training they offer.
One thing to keep in mind is that leather jump ropes and water generally do not mix well. If you work out indoors this does not really make a difference.
When jumping rope outdoors you may want to wait for dry weather conditions and use a dry jumping surface.
Additionally, leather jump ropes tend to come with slightly bigger, wooden handles. These can feel a bit clunkier than their thin, plastic counterparts. The leather can also hurt a good amount if it hits your body.
Things to keep in mind when choosing a jump rope
The end goal of all of these rope types is the same, allow you to do jump rope workouts. Even so, there are a few different ways to get there. Some options are better for certain situations.
Keep some of the following things in mind when choosing a jump rope, even within type categories.
Jump rope handles can come in many types of materials and sizes. You want to choose a material that feels comfortable to you. For one jump rope session this may not seem that important but you will use the handle session after session.
In terms of material and size, you want something that feels comfortable to you. A big part of this is personal preference. Additionally, you want a material and size that does not slip out of your hand, even with sweaty hands.
In general, shorter handles are slightly harder for both regular jumping and tricks. These shorter handles can also make it easier for the rope to hit your hands.
There are general size recommendations for jump ropes but even then, the option to adjust the length of a rope for your personal needs can be helpful. Especially if other people plan to use the same rope.
If you are absolutely sure about the ideal length you can also get a non-adjustable jump rope.