Once upon a time choosing a jump rope was easy … you had a choice between the beaded one or the leather one. Now, as rope jumping has grown in popularity for fitness and as a sport, you have seemingly endless varieties and styles of ropes to choose from.
In fact, we get calls and questions all the time from people who want help picking the right rope. Here are the questions to ask yourself before picking a jump rope:
Will this jump rope be used indoors or outdoors?
All jump ropes work indoors, but many jump ropes will wear out very quickly on hard surfaces like concrete. This makes it important to pick a rope that can hold up on rough surfaces. The most durable outdoor jump ropes use a PVC or beaded cord.
Top outdoor rated ropes:
Most Popular Outdoor Jump Rope
Top Rated Outdoor Exercise Rope
Thick Cord for Serious Workout
Are you speed jumping?
Many ropes now are built exclusively for speed because of the popularity of double under workouts in CrossFit. These double under speed ropes are incredibly fast, but more difficult to use if you're a beginner or just use a jump rope casually. They also won't do crossing moves well if you plan to work in freestyle elements.
Our top double under speed ropes:
Economy Cable Speed Rope
Best for Learning Double Unders
World's Fastest Jump Rope
Or are you just working out in the gym?
If you just want a jump rope to get your sweat on in the gym, look for a jump rope that has handles with comfortable grips, a thicker PVC cord, and an easy size adjustment system.
Thicker cords help with setting a rhythm and getting your heart rate up faster. They also don't tangle or kink like speed cables and beads .... this rope will probably live in your gym bag, so you don't want to spend time undoing a spider web every time you want to jump.
As you improve your jump rope skills you will typically shorten your rope to accommodate faster speed ( related: see our jump rope sizing guide).
Our top gym ropes:
Most Popular Beginner Gym Workout Rope
Most Popular Athlete Training Rope
Premium Gym Rope for Serious Jumpers
Jump ropes for kids don't need to be extra fancy. A good combination of quality, cost and that "fun" factor is what's important. These ropes are all made of very durable materials (so you won't worry about them breaking or getting tangled up), they will last a long time even if jumping out on the playground or the street, and they're all reasonably priced.
Anna's Rainbow Rope - website
Why we love this rope: Big and soft foam-grip handles fit comfortably in little hands, and the ultra tough nylon-woven rope won't wear out, even on the toughest concrete surfaces. Super easy to resize with a screw on the top of the handle. Choose from an assortment of "rainbow" colors kids love.
Signature Beaded Rope - website
Why we love this rope: This is essentially the same rope as the single beaded rope, just with more options for customizing bead colors and patterns. With this rope, your color combinations are endless as you can choose from a big variety of handle colors and customize the colors and layouts of the beads. You can also purchase it with 8" long handles, which gives you an edge when performing intricate crossing moves. Made with ultra light beads for a quicker spin.
Rainbow Flashing LED Jump Rope - website
Why we like it: Ok, so this one is a little pricey for a children's rope, but it's just so cool! (We give it a 10 out of 10 on the "fun factor.") This rope lights up and looks great in the dark (see a video). It's powered by a battery in the handle and offers a variety of different flashing modes. Handles are very durable, and the rope itself is surprisingly durable as well. Comes with a 90-day warranty.
About the Author
Matt Hopkins is a former competitive speed jumper and jump rope coach. Matt has won numerous national championships in speed jumping, and his athletes have won several national speed and freestyle titles and have broken world and national speed records. He also taught middle and elementary school PE in Leavenworth WA for 23 years.