The single best piece of personal training equipment for your fitness
If you’ve been around Renew for any single or double under workout, you probably noticed that our jump ropes are… somethin’. They’re closer to a frayed spaghetti art installation than a group of available pieces of equipment. And I’m sure you’re thinking “Hey, gym owner, buy some better ropes for your athletes!”
But to that I lovingly say: No! Buy your own rope!
I firmly believe that a jump rope is the single best piece of personal training equipment you can buy for your fitness. And it may seem trivial, but borrowing a community rope at the gym isn’t the most ideal way to master the double under, and there are two reasons why.
Because every human is unique
News flash: people come in all shapes in sizes. As such, each person is going to need different things from their jump rope. Your size and skill level play a big part in choosing a rope that’s right for you. But the two biggest factors to consider when choosing a rope is length and weight.
- Length: This may seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of times people struggle to do single and/or double unders because their rope is entirely too short for them! A general recommendation for sizing your cable length is to consider your height and add 3 feet. So in my case, I am looking for a cable length of about 8’6” because I am 5’6” and I did the simple math of adding 3’ to my height. (5’6” + 3’ = 8’6”)
Another simple test to make sure your cable is long enough is to step on the center of the cable with one foot and pull the handles up towards your armpits. The point where the handles connect to the cable should come to your armpits or your nipples. Voila! A sized rope cable.
- Weight: When buying a jump rope you also need to consider the weight of the whole rope — both the handles and the cable.
For those of you who have mastered single unders and are working on double unders, I would recommend finding a rope cable that weighs about 3-4 ounces. This weight is heavy enough to give you solid feedback on your rotations while still being light enough to avoid forearm and shoulder fatigue. As your skill and coordination increase, a lighter (1-2 oz) cable is recommended for efficiency. Beyond cable weight, rope handles come in different grip sizes and weights, which also contribute to feedback and control throughout your rotations. RX Smart Gear put together a really helpful article on what they recommend for all skill levels.
And because consistency is key
You hear this all the time as it pertains to frequency and quality of training, but the second reason I want our athletes to buy their own speed rope is because using a consistent tool produces quicker results. Jumping rope is a very neurological task, meaning it requires a lot of coordination and muscle memory, in addition to physical skill. Most people who struggle jumping rope do so because they have not spent the time training the neurons in their brain to time the bound of their jump with the swing of their rope.
Just as you would train your aerobic capacity, jumping rope is a skill that you must train your brain to do, too. If you take out your consistent factor (length, weight of your rope) and find yourself constantly training double unders with different ropes — it’ll take your brain a lot longer to establish the coordination needed to master the skill. So it’s important to have your own rope so that you can be consistently using the same tool to nail the basics and develop the movement. Once the basics are there it becomes much easier to pick up any old rope and jump.
My rope recommendations
The number of speed rope options out in the wild wild web is definitely overwhelming. So instead of wasting your dollars buying and trying a bunch of dud ropes, let’s skip ahead to some personal recommendations:
WOD Nation | $20
Are you a baller on a budget? This is a simple jump rope that comes with a couple of cables that you can grow into. The cost is modest and will provide the consistency you need to start progressing in the skill.
Rogue Fitness | $45
Rogue is a highly trusted name in the CrossFit world and we buy a lot of our equipment through them. They have a whole selection of ropes you can choose from based on your wants and needs. Most of them are mid-range in price.
RPM Training | $75
RPM Training started by selling jump ropes exclusively. These are my personal favorite ropes and I think well worth the investment. They are light, fast, come in cool colors and you can even monogram your name on it if you want.
Now open up that browser and buy your own rope — the single best piece of personal training equipment!