Whether you enjoyed skipping rope on the school playground or not, this comeback activity might elevate your current fitness routine.
And upleveling to a heavier jump rope can supercharge the full-body perks of jumping rope. Most weighted jump ropes range from 1/2 pound to 2 pounds. That weight can be a major plus when it comes to building strength and stamina.
Want to boost your heart health, burn more calories, tone muscles, and improve bone density, coordination, and balance? Here’s the science of weighted jump rope benefits.
Here are all the perks of reaching for a weighted jump rope.
1. Improves cardiovascular health
Using a weighted jump rope is a quick and effective way to increase your heart and respiratory rates.
Like many other forms of aerobic exercise, repetitive jumping gives your cardiovascular system a workout, strengthening your overall heart health. Jumping with a weighted rope just takes it up a notch.
Bonus: All that cardio helps you burn calories, too.
2. Boosts bone density
Did you know that sometimes a bit of stress on the bones can be a good thing?
According to one small 2021 study involving female Olympic-level athletes, weight-bearing exercise — like jumping with a heavy rope — a couple times a week can improve bone density.
3. Improves balance and coordination
Using a weighted jump rope can improve coordination and joint repositioning, according to a small 2011 study involving teen athletes.
Jumping rope can feel super tricky at first — but as your balance improves, the activity gets a whole lot easier. Don’t be surprised if you notice an improvement in stability after a few weeks of jumping with a weighted jump rope.
4. Builds muscle strength
Using a weighted jump rope = using your forearm, shoulder, and upper arm muscles, among others. And a small 2017 study said that’s great for building upper body strength.
But that’s not all. Jumping with a weighted rope also builds strength in your legs, hips, and abs. Basically, it’s a stellar full-body workout.
5. It’s fun!
There’s a reason jumping rope was so popular on the playground. It’s pretty dang fun.
Sometimes finding a genuinely enjoyable workout is all you need to start adding more movement to your day. Exercise doesn’t need to be miserable to be effective, right?
Short answer: The weight. 😉
TBH, a weighted jump rope is the same as a regular jump rope, except for added weight in the handles or rope itself. Most weigh somewhere between 1/2 pound and 2 pounds. But some come as heavy as 5 pounds.
Using a weighted jump rope really fires up your whole body, including your:
“The heavier weight provides a greater level of resistance, which means your muscles have to work harder in a sustained state,” says Rob Whitfield, owner and personal trainer at Leading Results Fitness Gym in Ashford, England. He says this also improves posture and muscle endurance while torching more calories. 🔥
Depending on your current health and fitness level, sure.
1. It may flare up some injuries
“People who deal with repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel or tennis elbow are going to have a hard time with weighted jump ropes,” says Caroline Grainger, a certified personal trainer by the International Sports Sciences Association, at FitnessTrainer. “In some cases, they may even exacerbate these types of injuries.”
2. It could put stress on your ankles and knees
Jumping rope is a high impact exercise. That can add stress to joints like your knees and ankles. Improper form or jumping for a long time without taking a break can exacerbate problems.
Whitfield says learning proper form, taking regular breaks, and incorporating warmups and cooldowns can mitigate the risk.
“Be mindful of your body and take appropriate recovery measures when needed,” she says.
3. Reckless jumping could injure folks around you
Weighted jump ropes can get a bit unwieldy. If you’re not in control of your jump rope, you could accidentally swing it around and injure your workout buddy.
“Make sure you have plenty of space when you’re using one,” advises Grainger.
Grainger suggests using a weighted jump rope just like you would a regular jump rope: as part of a varied fitness routine.
Some personal trainers suggest exercising with a regular jump rope before upgrading to a weighted rope. This will help you develop baseline coordination, footwork, and controlled breathing skills.
When you do move on to a weighted jump rope, Whitfield recommends starting with jumping for 5–10 minutes just 2–3 times per week.
Once you grow confident and develop some strength, stability, and coordination, you can increase the amount of time or frequency of the weighted jump rope workout.
Jumping with a weighted rope is a fun and effective way to boost cardiovascular health, improve balance, and boost bone density. It also burns more calories than using a regular jump rope.
A weighted jump rope can be trickier than it looks. If you have stress injuries or have difficulty with balance, start with an unweighted rope. And don’t hesitate to enlist the help of a physical trainer or fitness professional.