- Jumping rope is a great way to include cardio exercise into your fitness routine, and can easily be done either from the comfort of your home, at the gym, or while you're traveling — so long as you own your own.
- The best jump ropes are built to last, come with plenty of extras, include replacement parts, and are backed by a lifetime warranty.
- Our top pick, the Crossrope Get Lean Set, comes with multiple rope weight options, an easy-to-use handle changing system, and a companion app with a variety of workouts and how-tos.
Everyone has at least one memory or another about jumping rope growing up. Be it a jump-a-thon contest to raise money for your school or a grueling junior high workout, the humble jump rope's been a part of almost everyone's upbringing. Despite whatever feeling you have about them today, the fact remains that jumping rope is an excellent cardio exercise.
But forget about those bulky, segmented jump ropes of day's past. Today's jump ropes are precisely engineered to cut through the air with the slightest flick of your wrists — tangling is virtually unheard of, too. The best jump ropes also feature a coated steel cable attached to comfortable, lightweight handles with ball bearings that allow for seamless rotation of the rope. In the world of jump ropes, this is considered high-tech.
What makes this exercise even more appealing is that it's easy to get done no matter where you are. Whether you're at home or on-the-road, a few minutes of jump rope gets your heart pumping and lets you break a quick sweat — so long as you have your own jump rope on hand.
How to shop for a jump rope
Before we get into the best jump ropes to own, let's cover how to find the right fit. You'll first want to make sure the jump rope you're using is sized properly to your height. Too long of a jump rope gets in the way of your workout while too short a rope can easily catch on your feet and send you tumbling.
To size your rope, start by standing in the middle of it with your foot. Next, adjust the length so the handles are at your armpits. From there, test out the rope and decide if you want it to be shorter or longer. Once you have a length you're comfortable with, we recommend using a wire cutter to clip the ends of the cable so you don't have annoying and unnecessary lengths of cable hanging off.
Based on proven performance, affordability, and durable design, we chose five jump ropes that excelled in various categories such as the best for speed work, the best for beginners, and, of course, the best overall.
Here are the best jump ropes:
- Best jump rope overall: Crossrope Get Lean Set
- Best jump rope for speed work: WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope
- Best jump rope for beginners: Fitskuad Jump Rope
- Best jump rope for double unders: Survival and Cross Jump Rope
- Best budget jump rope: XYLsports Jump Rope
Updated on 10/15/2020 by Rick Stella: Updated the section on how to shop for a jump rope, added a rundown of how exactly we tested each rope and what we looked for, checked the availability of each recommended jump rope, and updated the prices and links where necessary.
Crossrope reimagines the tried-and-true jump rope by offering multiple weighted rope options, an easy-to-use handle clipping system, and a companion app with workouts and insight.
At $99, Crossrope's Get Lean Set isn't exactly inexpensive but it's not just any traditional jump rope. Rather, the brand specializes in a few features that set its jump ropes apart from the pack (and give it that premium price tag).
First are its ergonomic handles. Lightweight and easy to hold, the handles feature a quick clasp system that makes it easy to swap them in and out of the ropes. Each handle also has a soft grip that won't slip out of your hand, even when you start sweating — we've tested this in the humidity of NYC and the comfortable, tacky grips are a very welcome sight.
The other feature that makes a Crossrop an attractive choice is its variety of rope weights. The Get Lean Set, specifically, comes with both a 1/2-pound rope good for advanced cardio exercises and a 1/4-pound rope that works well for HIIT routines and endurance training. As mentioned above, the handles just click in and out of the end of each rope for easy swapping.
Crossrope also offers a companion smartphone application that comes standard with workout inspiration and routine guidance. The Lite version is completely free whereas premium access runs $10 per month.
Pros: Ropes come in multiple weight options, easy-to-swap soft handles, companion app has great workout guidance
Cons: ExpensiveThe best for speed work
When speed and long-lasting performance are your main concerns, the WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope is your best option.
The WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope comes with an extra cable, replacement hardware, and a nylon drawstring carrying bag. The cable is 2.5 millimeters thick and is made of coated steel. It comes at a length of 11 feet, which you can easily adjust. The handles are 6.75 inches long and are made of a nylon resin that tapers at the end for a better grip.
This speed rope uses a patented four-metal ball bearing system in the handles. There is a bearing on the tip of each handle to hold the cable and another bearing in each handle for smooth rotations. This model is currently available in nine colors, including black, grey, purple, and orange.
WOD Nation says the jump rope comes with a "100% lifetime guarantee," but we were unable to find the specifics of this policy. On its website, WOD does state that it doesn't offer exchanges or refunds if fourteen days have passed since your purchase. Of course, if you order through Amazon, you get 30 days.
Pros: Comes with an extra cable, features a smooth bearing system for speed work
Cons: Susceptible to wear when used on hard surfacesThe best for beginners
The Fitskuad Jump Rope comes with a lot of extras that are ideal for someone just getting started with jump rope workouts.
Much like our top pick, the Fitskuad Jump Rope comes with an extra cable, additional attachments, and a carrying bag. It also comes with a free ebook titled "The Secret to Mastering Double Unders" for people new to jumping rope. The cable is ten feet long and coated with a PVC sleeve for durability. Meanwhile, the handles are six inches long and feature comfortable foam grips.
Fitskuad has a lifetime warranty on this jump rope. The company will send you a new unit if there is ever a problem with yours for any reason.
The biggest concern is that the screws that keep the cable attached to the handles can easily become loose. We recommend checking the screws before each workout to make sure they're tight.
Pros: Durable coated cable and long, comfortable handles
Cons: The screws may not stay tightenedThe best for double unders
The Survival and Cross Jump Rope was designed for speed with its right-angle ball bearing construction and lightweight handles.
The Survival and Cross Jump Rope is the one I own. I bought it ten months ago to get a good cardio workout when Mother Nature made running or cycling unbearable. When I ordered it, I was a little surprised that Survival and Cross reached out to me multiple times to provide me with various resources to improve my workouts. I didn't use any of the resources, but it was a nice touch for users starting from scratch.
The Survival and Cross rope doesn't come with an extra cable, but it does come with extra hardware, a carrying bag, and plenty of online manuals and ebooks. The cable is ten feet long (good for people up to about 6'4" tall), and the handles are five inches long.
The only issue I've had with the rope is that the bearings don't move smoothly all of the time. This caused the cable to wrap around a handle while I'm jumping, eventually forcing me to stop and unravel it.
Pros: Excellent ball bearing system for speed
Cons: Handles may be too short, history of handles breakingThe best for those on a budget
When you're on a budget yet want a high-quality rope to up the intensity of your workouts, the XYLsports Jump Rope is your best bet.
The XYLsports Jump Rope may be the most affordable option on our list but it doesn't skimp on features. This model has premium-quality bearings in the handles to allow for smooth swinging and a cord that's thick enough to stand up to the elements yet nimble for speed workouts.
The rope is 9'8" long at its longest, which makes it great for taller people, and you can adjust it to fit your frame. Compared to most cable ropes, the XYLsports model is slightly thicker, which helps avoid tangling and doesn't hurt as much when you whack your shins.
The company also offers a 100% money-back guarantee and a lifetime warranty.
Pros: Affordable, smooth rope swing, durable, comfortable grips, lifetime warranty
Cons: Difficult to adjustHow we test
Each jump rope featured in this guide went through a series of tests to see how well they stacked up across these four categories: Ease of use, versatility, durability, and value. Specifically, here's how each category factored into which jump ropes ultimately made this guide:
- Ease of use: Jump ropes should be easy to use right out of the box (so long as you have your timing and rhythm down), but through the course of testing for this guide, we realized there's plenty to a jump rope that can make it easy to use. First, is how comfortable the handles feel in-hand. We also considered the flexibility of the rope, if it rotated cleanly on the handle, and if it avoided getting tangled too easily.
- Versatility: There are a variety of workouts you can do using a jump rope, and they're not all just the standard motion you first think of. Whether we were doing double under, crossing the rope, or any other variation, we looked at how well the rope moved along with us at every turn. Even if our own jump roping technique wasn't flawless, we still were able to see how versatile the rope was able to be.
- Durability: Much of our jump rope tests occurred outdoors where the rope would constantly hit the cement beneath our feet. Because of this, the part of the rope hitting the ground would naturally start to file down. After spending several hours jumping rope with each pick, none of those we featured ended up snapping or even filing down dangerously close enough to breaking.
- Value: Jump ropes shouldn't cost much to begin with but it is important not to just buy whatever the cheapest on the market is. Keeping in mind the three categories above, as well as a jump rope's actual sticker price, is a great way to judge the overall value. Our top pick is even $99, which seems like a lot for a jump rope, but considering everything it comes with, and the fact it scored the highest in terms of ease of use, versatility, and durability, it's worth every bit of that investment.