If you’re looking to get fit for free and burn some calories at home, jumping rope – or skipping – is an excellent exercise to try. You can do it almost anywhere, at any time – and burn up to 200 calories in just 15 minutes.
Even a short jump rope session can help to make your heart, lungs and bones stronger. It’s also an exercise that improves your balance and flexibility, so it has a range of benefits.
The only piece of equipment you need is a jump rope. But not all jump ropes are the same, and the best jump rope for you will depend on your fitness goals and where you like to exercise.
There’s a range of good jump ropes for exercise and they’re made from various materials, including plastic, rubber and wire, with different grip styles. So read on to discover the best jump rope for you.
Different types of jump rope
Different types of jump rope have different functions and benefits to help you achieve the fitness results you’re after. The most common types include:
- individual freestyle
Cordless jump ropes
If you’re new to skipping, you might want to try jumping without a rope at first – this is a vigorous exercise, so it’s best to start slowly.
There are cordless jump ropes available, which allow you to take things more slowly than corded ropes while still helping you keep track of your fitness. A digital cordless jump rope can typically tell you how many jumps you do and how many calories you burn.
Because there’s no possibility of tripping over the rope, they can be a good option for children or taller people, or for exercising in a small space.
There are also designs that can be used in either cordless or corded modes, such as:. This rope has a calorie counter, among other digital features.
Individual freestyle ropes
Keep in mind that jumping rope, like most vigorous exercise, makes you breathe hard and fast. If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to start slowly and try to perfect your technique before gradually building up the amount of time you spend jumping.
Simple freestyle ropes made of slim plastic are among the easiest to use, but there are also beaded individual ropes. It’s a good idea to look for a lightweight rope with foam grips, so they won’t get slippery when your palms get sweaty.
Stay away from cheap ropes made of fabric, as these are very light and can be hard to use properly.
Here’s an example of a skipping rope for beginners:. This is a simple plastic rope aimed at all experience levels.
You can jump rope just about anywhere, but if you want to do it outdoors it’s worth considering a rope designed for outdoor use.
Opt for a plastic rope for durability – a wire rope can break down after repeatedly hitting rough surfaces. You could also try a rubber-based beaded rope, which won’t crack or break.
Examples of jump rope options for exercising outside include:. The beads on this rope are thick to give them strength, so they’re suitable for outdoor use.
A weighted rope is usually thicker, and the handles or the rope are weighted – making it a good option for someone who wants to get stronger as well as lose weight.
If you’re a beginner, though, bear in mind that a weighted rope might be too heavy for you. As your fitness improves, you can go up in weight.
If you’re into boxing, a weighted rope can be a good option, as it can help strengthen your upper body.
The following is an example of a weighted jump rope:. This set lets you switch between different durable weighted ropes and there’s an app for access to hundreds of workouts.
As your skills improve, you can start jumping for longer as your stamina increases. You may also want to improve your jumping speed and footwork – and that’s what speed ropes are for.
A rope made with very thin wire is best for speed, and should be used at home or the gym so that it doesn’t get damaged from hitting outdoor surfaces.
This is an example of a speed rope:. Designed for speed, this rope has silicone anti-slip handles and adjustable, polymer-coated speed cables.
- jumping rope, or skipping, is a great exercise that can be done almost anywhere
- it can help make your heart, lungs and bones stronger, and improve your balance and flexibility
- if you’re a beginner, go for a cordless or freestyle jump rope that’s lightweight and easy to use
- durable plastic jump ropes are best for outdoor use
- choose a weighted rope if you want to build strength
- a speed rope helps to improve your speed and agility
Need more tips on how to get active? Try out our 28-dayget fitter plan for all the latest hacks on how to work more exercise into your daily routine. Currently available on iOS only.
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