Do you really know what a weighted jump rope is? What kinds of weighted jump ropes you can find in the market? In this article, you will find the definition of a REAL weighted jump rope. Also, we will give tips on buying for beginners.
In our last article, we shared some tips regarding how to get started with weighted jump ropes. It’s one of the latest fitness trends and can be very beneficial to your workout. However, given the hype around it, some sellers might take advantage of the momentum and sell you what they call “weighted jump ropes” but what are essentially gimmicks.
As such, it becomes important to know what a weighted jump rope is so that you know you are buying the proper equipment to enhance your workout. Indeed, from the weight load to the weight placement, several factors are involved in making a weighted jump rope a proper one.
This article is dedicated to helping you understand what is a weighted jump rope. We’ll also compare it with other types of jump ropes as well as share some tips for you to get started with using such a tool.
How to define what a weighted jump rope is?
Technically, a weighted jump rope is defined as a jump rope that weighs anything above 150g. Below this threshold, jump ropes are either regular ones or so-called speed jump ropes; but we’ll get to those later. In practice, weighted jump ropes usually start from 250g and these can weigh as much as 5kg! Importantly, the weight placement should be in the ropes and not in the handles as the latter doesn’t do much to add to your workout.
If you cannot tell a jump rope’s weight, for example, if you are window shopping or cannot touch the equipment, even then you can tell a weighted jump rope from its other counterparts. That’s because they are visually distinct and have thicker cables. Additionally, the handles are also relatively bigger than other jump ropes’ and are around 7-8 inches. So with those two aesthetic features, you can tell that you are looking at a weighted jump rope. You know what is a weighted jump rope.
But just the looks and the weight aren’t the only things defining what is a weighted jump rope. Several other aspects help define one. There are a rotating connection, ropes, and handles.
In the next section, we will take a closer look at each of these parts of a weighted jump rope.
Parts of a weighted jump rope
Now that you can properly define a weighted, let’s see the different parts and their function in detail. We will also highlight some features that you should favor as they can make a significant difference to the weighted jump rope that you invest in.
The rope or cable is the middle portion found between the two handles. In a properly weighted jump rope, this component carries the weight. The material of the cable also varies and commonly used ones are steel, silicon, or PVC. The latter two will be cheaper and could be lighter for more portability but have a shorter lifespan as they break relatively easier.
Instead, you should favor steel ropes instead. These can be bare steel or a coated steel cable and will last much longer than silicon or PVC ropes. They can hurt a bit if you miss a jump and whip yourself but as you’ll get better, this won’t be a problem.
Like any other skipping ropes, weighted jump ropes are held with a handle in each hand and are located at each end of the rope. For weighted jump ropes, the handles are bigger than regular ropes to accommodate the fact that when rotating, your hand is a bit further away from the body. On average, the handle size is 7-8 inches.
Since you will be holding the handles for dozens of minutes while using it, it is important to choose a weighted jump rope whose hand is comfortable. This means that they must have a good grip and ergonomic design so that they won’t slip if your hands get moist while working out.
Moreover, the handles should be made of durable material so that they won’t break easily if they fall as workouts can get hectic and dropping equipment every so often is quite common, as you might attest yourself.
This refers to the point at which the cable joins the handle. In a weighted jump rope, the cables join in line with the handles. In comparison, speed jump ropes have their cables joining the handles at 90 degrees.
When choosing a weighted jump rope, you should opt for one with a smooth ball-bearing system where the handle and cables meet so that the rope rotates smoothly. It also avoids tangling and there is a less physical strain with such a mechanism.
You should have a pretty good idea as to what weighted jump ropes are and what they look like. But how does it differ from other ropes? This is what we explore in the next section.
Comparison against other types of ropes
When you go on the market for a jump rope, you’ll find several of those with different adjectives attached to the name. There are basic ropes, beaded ropes, speed rope, weighted rope, and more. In this section, we will take a look at the most common types of jump ropes that you will find on the market and help you tell them apart from each other.
Basic jump rope
As the name suggests, basic jump ropes don’t pack anything special. These are the ones you might be the most familiar with and don’t have adjustable weights or cables.
They are the most cost-effective, with rubber or foam handles and the ropes are usually made of PVC. They are thicker than speed ropes but lighter than weighted ropes.
Speed jump rope
These are made lightweight so that you can skip with them fast and have an intense workout. For this purpose, the cables are noticeably thin and usually made of a thin vinyl cord. Since they are thin, they are best used indoors, on a mat to limit wear and tear.
A distinctive feature is that the cables are attached at 90 degrees to the handles for quick and easy rotation. As for the handles themselves, they are rather short, around 5 to 6 inches in size, so that they are held closer to the body to help in rotating the rope faster with less effort.
Weighted jump rope
As we talked about earlier, a weighted jump rope fitness weighs above 150g and the weight is found on the cables, rather than the handles for the best effects. Using them adds more resistance to your workout and makes you use more muscle groups.
The cables are thicker and heavier, and the handles are also bigger, with a size of around 7-8 inches.
Beaded jump rope
Beaded or segmented jump ropes are named as such since they have an inner nylon cord that is covered by outer plastic beads. The latter adds some weight to the jump rope but aren’t heavy. While they can be used by beginners, they are typically used for rhythmic jumping and competitions.
A distinctive feature of beaded jump ropes is that they make a sharp noise when the beads hit the ground.
Leather jump rope
Leather jump ropes aren’t as common as the aforementioned types but they are known for being quiet and also durable. The rope is made of leather, hence the name, and the handles are usually made of wood.
Since the ropes are made of leather, they can be used on almost any type of surface, whether it’s indoors or outdoors. But the material does tangle sometimes. Additionally, given the leather component, these are usually pricier.
Cloth jump rope
You might also be familiar with these types of jump ropes. The rope is made of cloth or some sort of fabric, hence lightweight, while the handles are usually made of some cheap plastic, and this reflects on the price as well as these jump ropes are very affordable. They aren’t very durable though and are best used indoors.
Weight placement in the ropes vs in the handles
We’ve been through the different types of jump ropes on the market but there are two different types of weighted jump ropes, and the difference is in the weight placement. Some will have the weights in the handles which will be interchangeable. Others have the weight on the cables themselves, which can also be swapped for other cables of different weights.
We cannot stress this enough: you must choose weighted jump ropes with the weights on the cables rather than on the handles. The latter will feel heavy but they won’t add much to your workout and are essentially gimmicks.
However, with the weight placed on the rope itself, the jump rope will add more resistance and get you to exercise more muscle groups. good weighted jump ropes will allow you to change the ropes and adjust weights to your needs. If you are a beginner, a good place to start is half a pound as it gives proper feedback so that you can time your jumps well. From there, you can incrementally increase the weight to get accustomed to using it in your workout.
As for the benefits that the added resistance gives to your workout, we’ll see those below as well as other reasons regarding how a weighted jump rope can enhance your workout.
Why you should use a weighted jump rope?
Using a regular jump rope as a workout routine is known to be beneficial from increasing cognitive functions to increasing the elasticity of lower leg muscles. So why should you switch to a weighted jump rope? Well, the reasons are multifold as we expand upon below.
Activate more muscle groups
The added weights in the cable of a weighted jump rope add more resistance. As such, you will need more force to swing the rope around your body, which leads to the activation of more upper body muscle groups, in particular of your back, shoulders, and arms.
Subsequently, this will help develop and strengthen your shoulders and upper body power.
Use more calories
Given that the extra weight requires more force which is provided from more muscles, this eventually leads to the need for more energy, which is provided by burning more calories. In fact, using weighted jump ropes is comparable to a full-body workout and can help you reach your daily exercising goals with just 20 minutes of rope skipping.
Enhances health benefits
We mentioned that using even a basic jump rope has health benefits but if you use a weighted jump rope instead, those benefits are enhanced since you are exercising more muscle groups.
Those benefits include increasing elasticity and resiliency of lower-leg muscles, which in turn help in reducing the risk of lower-leg injuries. Since you are also learning new patterns while skipping the rope, this exercise helps to improve coordination and hence cognitive functions.
Weighted jump ropes might not initially appear to be equipped for beginners but in fact, they are well adapted for newcomers to rope skipping. This is because the added weight in the cables makes rotations slower, allowing new jumpers to focus on better timing their jumps and adopting a proper form.
However, when starting out with weighted jump ropes, pick one that is on the lighter side of the spectrum. You could start with one that weighs 250g. You should also choose a weighted jump rope that allows you to swap the cables so that you can incrementally increase the weights of the cables as you get used to the exercise. It’s also recommended to use a mat under you while rope skipping to prevent damage and reduce wear and tear.
And now you must know what is a weighted jump rope. Be sure to check out our dedicated article on how to get started with weighted jump ropes in 2021!