Skipping is one of the best forms of cardiovascular and conditioning training going. Jump ropes are able to spike your heart rate almost instantaneously whilst working co-ordination and lower leg endurance and ankle strength.
However, it can be a little rough. It’s tough on the joints – and the ropes themselves can be rough on your flooring.
Luckily, there is a fantastic answer to this issue – a jump rope mat. Able to give you a supportive yet shock-absorptive surface on which to train, a good jump mat will remove most of the stress and strain whilst leaving you with all that is good about skipping. A safe, fun, taxing workout – what more could you need?
In this article, we’re going to round up some of the best jump rope mats available today.
Benefits Of Using Jump Rope Mats
There are two main benefits to using a jump rope mat, broadly speaking. First, you have the protection it will afford you. Second, it will protect your jump rope itself.
If you’re on any kind of hard surface – your concrete patio, a wood-floored dojo, even hard-packed earth – you risk doing a lot of damage to your joints over time as repeat, intense micro-traumas shoot through your ankles, knees and hips. In the short term, the impact can lead to debilitating shin splints, which will cause your training to flounder for days or even weeks at a time.
In addition, a big advantage of using a jump rope is co-ordination. The flip side is that is takes co-ordination. One misstep and you could be on your backside – not too much fun on concrete.
Obviously, having a nice, padded, shock-absorbing mat beneath your feet would therefore be incredibly helpful.
Secondly, the wrong surface can degrade your jump rope itself. This may not be the biggest deal in the world – jump ropes are far easier to replace than shot knees and hips, after all – but it is worth considering as a bit of a deal sweetener. Your jump ropes – some of which are not as cheap as you might think – will last longer for using a jump rope mat.
Top Jump Rope Mats Reviewed
We’ve gone through plenty of jump rope mats, half-ruining our calves and lowering our resting heartrates by a good few bpm in the process. Four came up trumps, standing head and shoulders above the rest.
Crossrope LE Mat
A surprisingly simple feature makes the Crossrope LE Mat stand out from the crowd. It’s ovular. That’s it. But this simple, seemingly meaningless fact is terrific when you actually come to use it. It’s long enough to protect your rope without taking up too much room, looks fantastic and, thanks to the newly tapered edge, is incredibly stable.
I like it a lot.
The dimensions are:
Length: 54 inches
Width 36 inches
Thickness: ¼ inch
Weight: 6.5 lb / 3 kg.
The custom material formulation makes the LE mat pretty heavy, at 3 kg / 6.5 lbs. It also makes it more durable (and, realistically, thumping a heavy mat on the ground will always make you feel more secure and ready to work hard than allowing a thin little waif of a mat to float to the floor). It’s reassuring. This added weight makes it sturdy, so that you can really go to town with heavy rope workouts, but it can still be rolled up and transported pretty easily.
You get a 60 day return guarantee, so that you can test the mat and ropes. If they are the wrong size, don’t work out for you, or if you simply find that you don’t like them (highly unlikely, in my opinion), you can simply send them back for an exchange or for a full refund. No fuss, nothing. You also get a lifetime guarantee on any jump rope handles that come with the mat, or that you buy in addition to it, so they will replace anything that wears down or breaks.
It is made by Crossrope which is one of the leading weighted jump rope manufacturers in Europe and their mats really are as good as their ropes.
The design, build quality, durability and customer care evident with the LE mat make it a firm favourite. I really am quite impressed by this one.
EliteSRS Jump Rope Mat
This is a far lighter offering for those who value convenient portability without sacrificing too much by way of robustness – the EliteSRS Jump Rope Mat. It’s a lightweight yet tough vinyl foam workout mat that is easy to roll and carry about, for those of you who like to head out and about for your training.
It will do what it needs to do admirably – place it on any surface to keep yourself safe, with decent shock absorbency to keep your ankles, knees and hips safe, and a non-slip surface to keep you happily upright, while also protecting floors and carpets from your skip rope – and will be easy to pack away afterwards. It also does a very good job of muffling impact noise, so that you can push hard without worrying about housemates or neighbours complaining.
The design leaves a bit to be desired with regards aesthetics, but this hardly matters when your heartrate is at 90% and the world is a sweaty blur anyway.
Talking of sweaty blurs, the EliteSRS Jump Rope Mat is super easy to clean.
The dimensions are:
Length: 48 inches
Width 36 inches
Thickness: ¼ inch
You should be very satisfied with the EliteSRS Jump Rope Mat. Use it day after day with whatever footwear you like (or even no footwear) and you’ll still feel fairly fresh. The level of support you get is fantastic. However, you don’t get any kind of cushioning effect, like you might get with a Judo mat. This means that you will be able to move quickly, without any power dissipating, which is perfect.
The EliteSRS Jump Rope Mat will also get rid of any kind of rope bounce if you tend to smack it into the floor (I do, especially after a couple of minutes!) All in all, this leads to a fast-paced, safe, comfortable workout.
Proworks Padded Exercise Mat
In fact, there is a great range of utility to be had from the Proworks Padded Exercise Mat, which is perfect if you incorporate a range of training styles into your general routine. It is equally well-suited to yoga, gymnastics, Pilates, stretching, abdominal exercises, grappling and general workouts.
As it’s incredibly portable, you can use the Proworks Padded Exercise Mat at home, at the gym, at a studio, outside, or wherever, knowing that you will be able to commit to a range of training styles in safety and comfort.
The Proworks Padded Exercise Mat is non-slip and incredibly comfortable to use. Unlike cheaper latex or rubber mat alternatives, they are made from specially designed 10mm thick NBR foam, completely latex-free. Because of this, they provide optimal cushioning, giving maximum comfort and providing fantastic support rep after rep. Your knees and hips will thank you in the long run.
They also don’t curl up at the edges. Ask any yogi about this and they will tell you it’s a godsend to find a mat that unrolls and stays flat from the off.
However, what makes the Proworks Padded Exercise Mat good for jump rope also act as a bit of an impediment to yoga or any kind of upright balancing work. It is perhaps a little too cushioned, which will throw you off-balance slightly in standing poses. In fact, the material can pucker a little and can even stretch if you push too hard with your hands and/or feet.
They are perfect for all other forms of exercise, especially jump rope.
Proworks Padded Exercise Mats are easy to keep clean – simply wipe it down and carry on with your day. When dry, it can be rolled up and easily stored, or else carried about with its very own strap holder (included).
They are available in black, purple or blue.
The dimensions are:
Length: 183 cm
Width 60 cm
Thickness: 1 cm
Aklamater Indoor Non Slip Mat
The Aklamater Indoor Non Slip Mat is super cheap for what it does and for what you get. For less than a third of the price of some of the other offerings on this list, you get a high-functioning, well designed and well-made exercise mat that will keep you safe and comfortable through a range of different training styles.
It’s also made from space-agey, environmentally friendly tech. I know this may not be everybody’s priority, but it’s important to me and so I was incredibly pleased – I was already predisposed to view the mat favourably. The material is a polymer of TPE, which is non-toxic and contains no PVC, phthalates and any harmful chemicals. This does mean that it shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunlight, but the mat is perfect for indoor use or use in a shady outside area.
The foam is also fast-drying and more moisture-resistant than PVC, and is textured for superior grip, which will all help to prevent you from sliding or tripping during a sweaty workout – which, let’s be honest, a good jump rope session should be.
It is hygienic and easy to clean, and provides greater support and stability when practising complex positions and stretching or taking part in high-impact exercises, like repetitive jumping.
The dimensions are:
Length: 130 cm
Width 63 cm
Thickness: 0.8 cm
Any of these jump rope mats will serve you incredibly well, whether they are purpose built or aimed at a more general range of exercises. They will keep you safe, your joints safe, and your floor and rope safe. You will have a far better jump rope workout for using one of them.