When you think of a jump rope (or skipping ropes as they are more commonly referred to in the UK) then you may think back to your childhood and have memories of playing with them on the playground, but these ropes and more specifically weighted jump ropes are one of the most effective accessories no matter what your fitness goal is. Whether you are looking to improve your stamina, strength, flexibility, speed or are in search of weight loss – weighted jump ropes can be highly effective in achieving all of these aims.
We are going to be taking a look at the best weighted jump ropes on the market and will examine what makes them so special and which fitness goal each one is best suited to.
So what’s the difference between a weighted jump rope and a standard skipping rope? The main variable is the added resistance found in a weighted rope. The weight is held either in the handles at either end of the rope or within the rope itself and it doesn’t need to be a lot to create a much more intense workout – often somewhere between 1/2lb and 1lb being enough to elicit meaningful gains as a result of your training.
Benefits Of Weighted Jump Ropes
We have already touched on some of the key benefits of adding a weighted jump rope workout to your fitness regime as the exercises that it allows you to perform will have a significant impact on your ability to improve in the core areas of fitness. However, there are some additional benefits to using jump ropes.
Jump ropes are fun and accessible – There is a reason why kids play with skipping ropes – they are fun! Any time we can add enjoyment in to a workout then it is a huge plus as it means we are more likely to sustain an exercise plan over the longer term. We are not all gifted with hard as steel willpower so if using a jump rope is fun for you then it is a no-brainer. Weighted jump ropes are pretty accessible too – there are fewer barriers to entry when compared with other exercise equipment as they are easy to store and most of us have some idea of how to use one.
Easy to increase difficulty – Although the initial learning curve is pretty low there are a plethora of different exercises you can perform to increase the difficulty in terms of skill but also in terms of speed, stamina and strength training. This not only keeps the activity interesting, it also makes it more effective over a longer period of time.
Affordable – When compared to the benefits, the cost of weighted jump ropes is relatively little. You can pick up a good rope for between £15 and £30 and all of the ropes we feature on this page will fall within that price bracket.
Portable – Another barrier to entry is removed in the fact that skipping ropes are highly portable. They are easy to store away at home, you can put them in your bag and take them to the gym or if you are going away you can even pack them in your suitcase and use them in your hotel room or on the beach if it’s that sort of getaway. What could be better?
How To Choose The Perfect Weighted Jump Rope
When it comes to choosing the best weighted jump rope for you and your needs then you’ll need to take a few factors in to consideration. They key elements to consider are the length of the rope, the weight of the rope and the material the rope is made from.
Length – The length of rope you choose should be in relation to your height. More specifically, we would suggest measuring from your armpit to your feet and then back to your armpit – so pretty much the distance from the floor to your armpit multiplied by two. This should give you ample rope to work with but not be too long that it will cause you issues within your workout. As a rough guide we would suggest the following lengths of rope based on height:
- 5’5″ tall – 8’4″ rope
- 5’9″ tall – 8’10” rope
- 6′ tall – 9′ rope
- 6’3″ tall – 9’4″ rope
It is also worth pointing out the benefits of an adjustable rope – not only will this remove the fear of buying one too small or too big, but it may also allow you to perform a more varied range of exercises and can be used by more than one person.
Weight – The weight of rope you choose will be determined by both your own personal needs and your goals. If you are looking to predominantly use your rope to build strength then a heavier rope is going to be better suited, whereas if cardio is going to be your main focus then a lighter rope would be more appropriate. Most weighted jump ropes will carry around 1lb of extra weight but it is not uncommon to see ropes with as a little as 1/4lb-1/2lb and as high as 8lb. If you are a beginner then we would suggest starting with a lighter weight even if you are planning to use it to build muscle. For those looking to increase muscle mass and/or strength using a weighted rope then it might be appropriate to buy ropes with different weight levels to allow you to adopt a progressive overload or varied load approach.
Material – The material of your jump rope is going to be important for two reasons – durability and speed. Most ropes come in one of four materials; fabric, leather, vinyl and steel cable. Fabric ropes will be slower and can be better suited to beginners but they are also the least durable. If you are going to be using them outdoors or on overly abrasive surfaces then you may be better off opting for a leather or vinyl rope. Steel cable ropes are generally the fastest and allow more advanced manoeuvres to be performed.
Our Top 6 Weighted Jump Ropes
Now you are well versed on what to look for let’s take a look at our top 6 weighted skipping ropes. All of these ropes have been tested and we have also taken online research in to account when compiling our top 6.
1. Pulse Weighted Jump Rope (1lb)
The Pulse CrossFit Jump Rope was our clear favourite for a number of reasons. First and foremost is the build quality and comfort level afforded by the Pulse. It features memory foam handles that are both comfortable and breathable so you don’t experience clammy hands, even during longer workouts. The ergonomic design is perfect for performing a range of rope based exercises and the bearings in the handle allow for a greater range of motion when compared to some other cheaper models.
The Pulse really does have a premium feel to it and it also adjustable. Suitable for anyone 6ft 6 inches and shorter, the Pulse will be fine in terms of size for most people. The size can only be adjusted by cutting the cable (and clear instructions are provided to aid with this) so be careful not to cut the rope too short. You can always cut it shorter if it is still too long.
With a weight of 1lb we think the Pulse will be a good all-rounder for most beginners and intermediates or for more advanced users who are looking to use it for cardio and speed. The vinyl rope is 6mm thick which allows for good speed and it is highly durable so is perfect for indoor and outdoor use.back to menu ↑
2. Valour Strike Leather Jump Rope (1.1lb)
For those who like the old school feel of a leather jump rope the Valour Strike is an excellent option. However, it is not just the premium quality leather rope with top notch wooden handles that give this rope second billing on our list… it has one killer feature that we think makes this one of the best weighted jump ropes full stop – it features removable weights. This feature alone makes the Valour Strike one of the most versatile pieces of fitness equipment we have ever reviewed and certainly puts it top of this list for versatility.
Everything about this rope screams high end and the two 250g steel weights allow you to train with no added weight or just over 1lb of weight. This means that for beginners and intermediates this rope can truly be used for both cardio and strength training. The 360 degree bearings are well made and offer a completely free range of motion and work fluidly at high and low speeds alike. The rope is extremely well made from high quality leather and although we only tested it for a couple of weeks the reports from other users are that it is highly durable.
Valour Strike have listened to early feedback from their users and improved the rope by adding some extra length to the handles which should suit both men and women well. The handles are comfortable and as they are wooden you find you have less sweaty palms than with more rubber and plastic based handles. They also feature 8 well position grooves for improved grip.
This rope is fully adjustable and can be used by anyone up to a height of 7ft.back to menu ↑
3. AUTUWT Jump Rope (1lb)
This PVC jump rope is not necessarily going to set the world alight but it does the job well and has a raft of positive reviews from its users. The one aspect of this rope that we didn’t like were the plastic handles as they were a little difficult to grip for longer workouts – for strength training purposes they are fine though. The ball bearing system that connects the handle to the rope itself is particularly smooth and allowed for a lovely flowing range of movement.
The relatively cheap price point of the AUTUWT rope means that it is both accessible and affordable for many and the fact that it is adjustable and suitable for users up to 6ft 6inches puts it almost on a par with the Pulse which is a little more expensive.
There is a lifetime guarantee with this product so if you can buy worry free. This rope also comes in a full range of colours.
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4. Bemaxx Jump Rope (0.44lb)
The Bemaxx skipping rope is not strictly speaking a weighted jump rope in its own right, however you can purchase additional weights when ordering the rope to add up to almost half a pound of additional weight. This may sound like a bit of a faff but it actually means you end up with a product that is very similar to the Valour Strike but with wire ropes rather than leather ones – and you actually get two different ropes of varying thickness with this set which makes it exceptional value for around the same price as the Valour Strike model.
The anti-slip handles and professional quality ball bearings are among the best we tested and this product has also been featured in Mens Health. The two steel ropes that are supplied are both adjustable in length and will suit someone up to 6ft 6 inches tall. The thickness of the ropes are measured at 2.4mm and 3.4mm thickness to allow you to mix up your speed a little. For beginners, this package also includes a 12 week beginners plan that is sent in PDF format via email so be sure to look out for that.
The Bemaxx is a little on the light side for us at under half a pound and it will most likely appeal most to those who want a light weighted rope for cardio – for that, the Bemaxx is ideal.back to menu ↑
5. MIRAFIT Heavy Rope (Up to 8lb)
If you are solely looking for a heavy weighted rope for muscle and strength building then the Mirafit is a high quality option that is sure to leave you with the feeling of having had (or endured perhaps) a good workout. This rope is available in 2.8m and 3m lengths and is available in a range of thicknesses from 1 inch to 2 inches. The lightest rope weighs in at 2lbs and the heaviest weighs in at 8lbs so this rope is certainly not for those just starting out. We would only recommend the thickest rope for those who have been working out for at least a year and have a good level of strength already.
It could pay to buy two or even three of these ropes at different sizes so that you can progressively overload your training. Having said that, one rope will certainly suffice and you can mix the exercises up to ensure you give yourself a proper all-body workout.
The rope is made from woven black polyester with rubber coated handles which are very comfortable. There are no bearings on this rope so you will need to have a good level of skill to use it effectively.back to menu ↑
6. JAKAGO Jump Rope (1.4lb)
The Jakago weighted rope is a little heavier than some of the others we have tested (the Mirafit aside) but it is also the the most expensive. Although it is well made and has some good features, unless you specifically want a thicker rope then it is hard to justify the price of this rope compared to the Pulse or the Valour Strike. The 5.5mm rope is made of PVC and PP and has a luxury feel to it. The handles are well made and comfortable and the rope overall has 1.4lbs of weight which will for some may be too much. This rope is certainly veering towards the side of strength but experienced users may find this suitable for a hard cardio session too.
The handles feature ball bearings that do the job well although they don’t feel quite as fluid as the Pulse model.
Overall, this is a good buy if you need a heavier (but not too heavy) rope but if 1lb is enough for you then there are better options.