But those aren’t the only kind of ropes that have seen sales spike since 2019. Jump rope revenue has risen, too — and quite significantly.
Read on for the lowdown on this fitness trend. Trust that by the end of the article, you’ll be
running, jumping or skipping your way to your local sports store to buy one.
So many reasons!
Jumping rope = safe, convenient, and effective
“Due to social distancing orders and gym closures, new populations became interested in the safe, convenient, and effective training tool,” says Newman.
In addition to those reasons, jump ropes are also:
1. Space efficient AF
Even if you’re one tall-ass dude or dudette, you need no more than a 6-by 3-foot splotch of space to skip. (For a frame of reference, that’s about the size of a parking spot).
So, even if you are in a city or apartment complex, you’ve got room to rope, making them pandemic and vacay gold.
Classic cardio equipment costs considerably more than jump ropes.
A treadmill can put you out $2,000 buckaroos. An assault runner can rob you of twice that. Even a basic rower or stationary bike will put you out $800 big ones. Jump ropes, on the contrary, ring up to around $15 to $55.
And Fam, the ones that are 50 cents are all-caps NICE. We’re talking colorful handles, carrying cases, and bend-proof lanyards.
3. Fitness level agnostic
These kiddies aren’t just financially accessible. They’re also accessible to a variety of fitness levels and abilities.
“You don’t need a background in sports and fitness to be able to use these,” says certified strength and conditioning coach Mia Nikolajev, CSCS.
You can vary the speed and weight of the rope, as well as the number of times the rope goes under your feet per hop, and whether or not you do tricks to enhance your routine.
Generally, slow single-unders with a light rope are going to be easier compared to fast double- or triple-unders with a weighted rope.
Similarly, Newman notes that ropes are typically less intimidating compared to other cost-sensitive cardio workouts like trail running.
“It’s an activity most of us have had experience with since we were children,” he says.
“Longer bouts of casual skipping can be used for warmups, while hard and fast jumping can be used in interval training to build cardiovascular capacity,” he says.
And because ropes can be used for different styles of jumping, Meg Reardon, owner of Wags and weights, 3-time CrossFit Games athlete and Spartan master coach notes that it’s a great investment for people always looking for a new challenge in their routines.
FTR: These perks existed pre-pandemic, and will exist far after we’re touting herd immunity.
1. Toughen up your ticker
“Because jumping rope cranks up your heart rate, using them can give you an excellent cardiovascular workout,” says Nikolajev.
A study tracked 240 boys between ages 10 and 12. Half of them skipped rope during class, and half didn’t. The study found that after 10 weeks, the skippers had greater speed, strength, and VO2max (a common measure of cardiovascular output) gains, compared to the nonskippers.
Lest you think the exercise is only heart-healthy for elementary-aged kids, a second study noticed the same results amongst collegiate athletes.
2. Strengthen your legs
“The rope is primarily a lower-limb strengthener,” says Nikolajev.
The leg muscles that jumping rope directly affects include your:
“Skipping rope also works all the tiny stabilizing muscles in your feet,” she says. And the softer the ground, the more those minimuscles are worked.
“A lot of martial artists and boxers, for example, jump on padded flooring which requires greater foot muscle activation,” she says.
3. Bulk your biceps
Just because your lower-bod gets the bulk of the work, it doesn’t mean your upper-bod gets to snooze. “People are always surprised by how much work jumping rope requires of the lats, forearms, and biceps,” says Nikolajev
The biceps in particular, she says, help the rope rotate around your body.
Given that the average person can complete 60 to 120 rotations per minute, 5 minutes of rope work can add up to 600 reps of bicep burning goodness!
If you’d like to join the fray, identifying the right rope for you requires more attention than you might think. It’s not like back in elementary school when the nearest rope would do.
Ultimately, the best rope for fitness varies based on factors like your:
- current fitness or skipping level
- fitness goals
Nikolajev typically recommends starting with a classic PVC rope. “These low-cost, low maintenance ropes — which you can find at your local WalMart or Target — are a great way to develop the skill set of jumping.”
Also, the Evo G-1 Matte Black or the Erin Oprea Signature Rope are good options if you’re looking for a rope that’ll carry you seamless and speedily through a high intensity interval training or as many reps (or rounds) as possible.
Gabrielle Kassel (she/her) is a queer sex educator and wellness journalist who is committed to helping people feel the best they can in their bodies. In addition to Healthline, her work has appeared in publications such as Shape, Cosmopolitan, Well+Good, Health, Self, Women’s Health, Greatist, and more! In her free time, Gabrielle can be found coaching CrossFit, reviewing pleasure products, hiking with her border collie, or recording episodes of the podcast she co-hosts called Bad In Bed. Follow her on Instagram @Gabriellekassel.