An affordable and compact piece of exercise equipment, the jump rope is a perfect staple for any home gym or gym bag. This small but mighty pick can completely transform your workout. That’s why we sat down with the jump rope queen herself,psychologist and fitness trainer Dr. Janine Delaney, known for her sculpted physique and impressive jump rope moves on Instagram, to learn more about the sport and what to look for when choosing the ultimate jump rope.
“Jumping rope is a great way to lose weight and burn fat and calories while having fun,” Delaney says. “Most people think of jumping rope as a sport for children, but it has many benefits for adults as well, especially for individuals over the age of 40.” Delaney herself actually started jumping rope at the age of 43, mainly because she wasn’t a fan of running and was looking for another form of cardio.
When it comes to the benefits of jumping rope, the advantages are vast. “Jumping rope increases your natural endorphins, which puts you in a good mood and increases your energy and libido,” Delaney says. “What most people don’t realize is that jumping rope will actually burn more fat and calories than running, swimming, or biking. It not only puts your cardiovascular system to use, but also helps to build muscle strength, improve coordination, and even boost metabolism.”
Delaney says that you don’t have to be athletic or coordinated to start jumping rope, but adds that making sure your rope is sized correctly to your height is critical as well as maintaining proper form and a little practice. If you’re a jump rope beginner, Delaney offers these important tips:
- Arm positioning: Keep your chest up, core engaged, and arms close to your body. If your arms are too wide, it will shorten the length of the rope and you’ll likely trip.
- Utilize your wrists: Jumping rope is all about recruiting your wrists to do the work instead of moving your arms.
- Keep your head up: Jumping rope is about timing, and if you look down and wait for the rope to pass you then you’ll likely trip. A better approach is to look straight ahead and jump as the rope crosses your line of sight, which will guarantee better rhythm as you skip.
- Take a video of yourself: Practice makes perfect, and just a little bit of practice each and every day will help you get better and better. Watch YouTube videos of tutorials to help you visualize the proper movement, and take a video of yourself to check your form.
- Properly size your rope: To size your rope, stand on the middle of the rope with one foot and bring both handles up to your shoulders. The rope should come up to your shoulders, no higher and no lower. Make sure to buy a rope that you can either cut to your size or one that comes according to height.
Now that you know the basics, it’s time to select that perfect jump rope to add to your fitness repertoire. Delaney and fitness experts in the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Wellness Lab rounded up the best jump ropes for all types of fitness, whether you’re looking for the best jump rope for beginners or top picks for boxing. “The type of rope you purchase will be dependent on what your goal is,” Delaney says. Here are the best jump ropes of 2020: