Jump Rope Guide: Don’t Get the Wrong Jump Rope

Jumping rope is an excellent but often overlooked way to keep fit. Among the many jump rope benefits, using a jump rope provides a cardiovascular workout while improving agility, coordination and strength. A jump rope is a fantastic piece of exercise and fitness equipment. When deciding which jump rope to buy, consider many different factors to determine the best types of jump rope for your individual needs.

>> Who will use the jump rope?

When determining which jump rope to buy, the first consideration should be who will use the jump rope.

• Child: Playing with jump ropes is a traditional childhood past time, and there are many different jump rope games. Because P.E. and fitness classes take advantage of the many jump rope benefits, jump ropes are often kept as part of a school's fitness department's sports and outdoor supplies. When deciding which jump rope to buy for children, choose a cloth jump rope that is about six feet long. If the jump rope is going to be used outside, consider one with a little weight to counteract wind.
• Adult: For adults, the best jump rope to buy will depend on the intended use. Many adults use jump ropes as part of their fitness routine and keep one or more with their exercise and fitness accessories. In addition, many adults purchase jump ropes with fitness kits and accessories. When choosing the best jump rope to buy for an adult, determine what it will primarily be used for. A weighted jump rope is a good choice as a grip exerciser and will give the arms and hands an intense workout, whereas a speed jump rope will provide more of a cardiovascular workout.
• Mixed ages: There are many different types of jump ropes, and each is intended for a different type of use. A good, all-around style jump rope for mixed ages is a cloth or a PVC rope about seven feet long. However, this may be too long for smaller children.

>> Consider how the jump rope will be used

When figuring out which jump rope to buy, decide what the main jump rope uses will be. There are many different types of jump ropes, and some work better for certain types of activity than for others.

• School and play: When you are considering which jump rope to buy for a school playground, the best jump rope to buy is a shorter handled rope between six and seven feet long. Age and height play a big part in choosing the right types of jump rope for children; a rope that is too long may trip younger jumpers.
• Fitness training: When determining which jump rope to buy for fitness training, look for a jump rope made for speed and durability. These types of jump ropes have long handles, are lightweight and are seven to ten feet long. The best jump rope to buy for fitness training will provide an intense workout while toning the body and optimizing calorie burning and weight loss.
• Competition: Although many people may think that jumping rope is a child's game, the activity's reach extends beyond play. Jump rope competitions that feature professional jump rope athletes are held throughout the world. When thinking about how to buy a jump rope that is competition worthy, look for a rope that allows for maximum performance and increased RPMs. The best jump rope to buy for this level of activity is one that will build endurance and help you get into better shape. Features of a competition-style rope include durability, speed, long length and long handles.
• Double Dutch: Double Dutch consists of two jump ropes and two jumpers. This is a great way to encourage teamwork in children while enhancing their health, coordination and activity levels. Double Dutch jump ropes should be cable, cloth or beaded, and should be long to accommodate two jumpers.

>> Consider types of jump rope

Jump ropes are made from many different materials, and different types of jump ropes work best for different situations:

• Cloth: The simplest type of jump rope is constructed of braided cords of nylon or cotton. Some cloth jump ropes come without handles and have knots at each end instead. Others have handles made from wood or plastic. This type of jump rope is ideal for children and beginners.
• Beaded: Plastic beads strung together on a nylon cord are attention grabbing and great for Double Dutch. However, they can become awkward to use and turn slowly.
• Weighted: This type of jump rope uses weighted handles and is made from leather or PVC. This jump rope is perfect for almost all types of workouts and fits into many exercise routines with exercise bands and exercise machines. Although a weighted jump rope gives the upper body an additional workout, the additional weight makes it less than ideal for a cardio workout.
• Leather: A great choice for serious workouts. A leather jump rope has wooden or plastic handles and a thin strip of leather for the rope. It turns quickly and gives a good cardio workout.
• PVC: A thick PVC cord for the rope and plastic handles turn fairly fast, which makes for a good cardio workout. The PVC jump rope is perhaps the best jump rope to buy for a beginner who wants to work out.
• Speed rope: This type of rope rotates very quickly and often has swivel handles to eliminate friction and drag. A speed rope is an excellent choice for fitness training.
>> Consider jump rope length and size

Length is very important when determining the best jump rope to buy. This chart recommends the best length rope for an individual's height.

Jump rope length Individual's height 6 feet 4 feet 5 inches or shorter 7 feet 4 feet 10 inches to 5 feet 5 inches 8 feet 5 feet 5 inches to 6 feet 10 feet Taller than 6 ft You can check the length of a jump rope by stepping on the middle of the rope and raising the handles as high as they can go. For the right size, the handles should reach your shoulders.

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