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Best Jump Ropes for CrossFit: What to Look For

by Kate

best jump rope for crossfit - what to look for

Rogue makes great jump ropes. Click here to check them out.

Jumping rope, or skipping is an awesome workout and a standard favorite within the CrossFit world but, how do you find the best jump ropes for CrossFit? While jumping rope is a relative simple exercise, not all jump ropes are created equal and in this article, we’re going to show you why and help you know what to look for when buying your next rope.

A quality jump rope is one of the most important pieces of equipment for CrossFit training. Jumping rope is a super effective functional exercise which is while you’ll see it used in the training regimens of so many athletes in such a variety of sports, not just CrossFit WODs. Jump rope training targets speed, balance, agility, dexterity, coordination, endurance and concentration. It’s an excellent cardio workout and also builds shoulder strength and is great for your legs.

The double under – whipping the rope under your feet twice while in mid jump – is the classic CrossFit exercise when it comes to jumping rope as it marks both muscular strength and cardio endurance. For CrossFitters training to improve their double unders and even those just starting out with single jumps, the right rope for your body and workout styles will make all the difference.

There are four basic key points to think about when you’re first looking through the jump rope store.

1. Length

Essentially, taller people need longer ropes. The two things to consider when looking at the length of a jump rope for CrossFit is the static rope length and the dynamic rope length. The static length is how long the rope is when it’s not being used and dynamic is the range of length the rope covers when you’re jumping. Dynamic rope length will depend on your body size and the exercise you’re doing, so when choosing your new jump rope for CrossFit training, you’ll be focusing on static length.

To work out the ideal static length for your next rope, stand with your hands held at your midline axis, elbows relaxed and shoulders disengaged where you’ll be holding the rope handles before you start to jump. From this position, the ideal rope length will have a minimum of 12” even clearance passing over your head and in front of your toes. A lot of ropes, especially the standard issue plastic speed ropes will come with adjustable lengths. Rogue makes jump ropes with adjustable lengths. Click here to check them out.

2. Weight

The second basic thing to look for when buying a jump rope for CrossFit is the weight of the rope. Beginners will have better luck learning the moves with a thicker cable and heavier rope. A heavy jump rope cable moves more slowly so you have more control over the movement of the cable which allows you to build your coordination and skill. Because the rope moves slower, you’ll also be doing fewer jumps to a slower rhythm, so if you’re hitting around ten or less double unders or trying double unders for the first time, a thick and heavy rope is your best choice.

For intermediate CrossFitters reaching around 50 double unders, a mid-weight rope of around 3mm diameter is ideal. For advanced jumpers who are whipping out 100 plus double unders, a thin, light speed rope of less than 2mm diameter is generally your only option. A light rope will give you less shoulder and wrist fatigue, but as they are so much faster you just have to make sure your legs can keep up!

3. Material

One you’ve figured out how long your ideal rope is and the weight of rope you’ll need for your personalized CrossFit training, the third key point you’ll be also thinking about the rope material. There are plastic, vinyl cord, rubber tube and nylon ropes; those made of traditional rope or leather; beaded jump ropes with plastic sheaths for weight;  and there are also steel cable types of jump rope. The type of rope you choose will depend on what you need it for within your training, as well as your overall size and body condition.

The most common ropes are made of vinyl plastic or rubber and are great for beginners right through to advanced skill levels. Plastic ropes last for a reasonable time depending on how often you use them, and they’ll typically come in different colors. For the traditionalist, jump rope made of actual rope or cloth, or sometimes leather can be an option but these tend to be lighter so are better for more advanced skill levels. These cloth or leather ropes do tend to wear out faster.

Jump ropes for CrossFit are also available with thin metal cables. These thin wire cables move incredibly fast so before considering buying one, you’ll need to be approaching at least 100 consecutive double unders. Another thing to consider when using wire jump ropes is these things seriously sting if they hit your feet, so wearing shoes while jumping is highly recommended to avoid getting hurt.

Rogue SR-1 bearing speed rope

The Rogue SR-1 bearing speed rope is made from thin wire cable and moves very fast. Click on the picture to find out more.

4. Handle

In addition to these basic elements, the type of jump rope handle you choose will also be something to consider. Most jump ropes have plastic handles, though there are some made of wood. Whether you choose plastic or wood, you’ll be looking for two things – the first is the way the rope connects to the handle and the second is ball bearings. The best jump ropes for all fitness levels will have a swivel mechanism attachment that allows the rope to rotate freely from the handle. Some beginner style ropes will have the cable fitted within the handle which is fine when you’re starting out, but the more repetitions you do, and the faster you start to workout, the quicker the handle will wear away at the rope. Having a rope rotating freely reduces this common point of wear and tear and will help you get more out of your new jump rope.

jump rope handle swivel

basic jump rope handle attachment

Jump ropes with ball bearing weighted handles are the best choice for CrossFitters moving from beginning to intermediate levels – though beginners can use them too – and are an absolute must for advanced jumpers.  The ball bearings within the jump rope handles evenly distribute the weight of the rope throughout the rope’s rotation and allows for a smoother movement, which all translates into easier and more efficient jumping for you.

So, now we know why jumping rope is such an awesome part of CrossFit training and we’ve seen some things to consider when looking for a rope to match your needs, let’s have a look at the best jump ropes to buy for CrossFit and where to buy jump rope.

Rogue Custom Rx Jump Ropes

Rogue Fitness

Rouge fitness make a seriously good Rx jump rope that is available in custom lengths and weights. These ropes all have plastic, ergonomically molded handles with patented ball bearing weights and a swivel cable attachment. These ropes come in five different plastic rope weights from heavy for beginners to ultra-light for the double under masters and lengths range from 7 feet to just shy of 10 feet. While custom Rogue Rx jump ropes have everything you need when looking for a new jump rope for CrossFit, the absolute best thing about them is the ropes are interchangeable. So, if you buy a heavy rope to start out learning on, as your fitness increases, you can easily switch to lighter and faster ropes on the same handles. Brilliant.

The Rogue Custom Rx Ropes sell for $34.95 from Rogue.

Rogue Rx Custom Jump Ropes

Pros – Custom rope options can be interchanged on same handles

Cons – The plastic rope can wear quickly for advanced users.

Valeo Speed Jump Rope – Deluxe

best jump ropes for crossfit

The Valeo Deluxe Speed Rope is a great choice for beginners. The rubber plastic rope comes at a ten foot adjustable length and while it doesn’t have a swivel mechanism like to Rogue fitness jump rope, the Valeo is given a fair amount of free rotation through plastic cuffs on the handles. The foam handles are soft and comfortable and weighted with a ball bearing system to allow for smoother movement. While the Valeo won’t last you for years, for that low price you can probably afford to wear one out as you’re learning before progressing to a more advanced rope.

A Valeo Deluxe speed rope will cost you around $75 from Amazon

valeo deluxe speed rope

Click on the picture to check out the Valeo on Amazon

 

Pros – Cheap.

Cons – Rope will wear quickly, especially for more advanced users

SR-1 Rogue Bearing Speed Rope

Rogue Fitness

The SR-1 Rogue speed rope is the ultimate in jump ropes for advanced CrossFitters and one of the best jump ropes for double unders. This speed rope is made of a metal 3/32″ cable coated in a plastic sheath, and  is easily adjustable to your rope length needs. The six inch tapered handles are glass filled and nylon resin coats which means they’ll last pretty much a lifetime. Each handle is weighted with two ball bearings and has a swivel rope attachment providing a smooth and clean rotation. The only drawback to the SR-1 is the plastic cable sheath will wear out over time, particularly if you’re jumping on concrete or a similar surface, leaving you with an exposed metal cable. If that does happen though, Rogue also stocks relatively cheap replacement cables that are easily fitted to the handles.  If you’re after a shorter handle, Rogue also makes the SR-1s Speed Rope.

rogue sr1 speed rope

The Rogue bearing speed rope is $21.98 and replacements cables are available for $7.50 from Rogue. Click here or on the picture above to purchase.

Pros – highly durable handles with long and short options avaialble, well designed for smooth action

Cons – plastic coating on cable wears out

Powermax Jump Ropes

Rogue Fitness

Powermax jump ropes from Rogue are a good option if you’re just starting out with a metal cable rope or a curious to see how they perform. The rope here is a 3/16″ vinyl coated steel cable which makes it heavier than the SR-1 but a better choice for intermediate cable users. The Powermax handles are 5.5” and made of soft grip foam. Each handle has a single ball bearing to aid movement, and a basic swivel attachment. The ropes come as either 9’ or 10’ lengths. The Powermax aren’t the best in ultra speed cable jump ropes, but they are a great option for cheap jump ropes for more advanced CrossFitters.

The Powermax jump rope will cost you $11.50 for the 9′ and $12.50 for the 10′ lengths from Rogue.

powermax jump rope

Pros – Cheap. A good introduction to jumping with a cable rope

Cons – lack of adjustment options makes for a less personal rope than other brands

SKLZ Weighted Speed Rope

sklz

The SKLZ weighted rope provides a different approach to handle weighting, with two removable steel bolts which add an additional 1.2lbs to the rope for a more effective swing and cardio workout. The rope is adjustable to users up to 6”6’ tall and is made of smooth rubber tubing. The rope does move nicely through the rotation but as it is so soft, you’re not looking at too long a long lifespan on this rope. The handles don’t have a swivel attachment or ball bearings. The SKLZ will be one of the best weighted jump rope options for beginners and those looking to refine their form and coordination before moving up to faster ropes. SKLZ are also good jump ropes for CrossFitters looking for a rope with adjustable handle weight for more varied training.

You can pick up a SKLZ weighted rope from $15.37 from Amazon.

SKLZ weighted speed rope

Click on the picture to check out the SKLZ weighted speed rope!

Pros – Removable handle weight adds variation to jumping.

Cons – soft rubber tubing rope will wear out with heavy use.

The Verdict

What’s the best jump rope for CrossFit? One of the best ropes CrossFit athletes can find for all round performance is the Rogue Custom Rx Jump Rope. With excellent quality materials and a fantastic range of custom options to suit all skill levels, the Custom Rx is a no fail choice when you’re looking to buy a jump rope.

Rogue take it again for the best jump rope for double unders in CrossFit with their SR-1 Rogue Bearing Speed Rope. This steel cable jump rope is one of the best speed jump ropes CrossFit

The best jumping rope for beginners at the best price is the Valeo speed rope deluxe. With adjustable rope length and a decent jump rope speed, the Valeo is a solid choice.

If you’re looking for a rope with an adjustable weighted rope option, the SKLZ speed rope is the best and most affordable option out there.

So now you know what to look for when shopping for the best jump ropes for CrossFit, you’ve got no excuse but to get on out there and start whipping out those double unders like never before.


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