If you’re into health and fitness, you already work out. You might lift weights to build muscle and tone or run to improve endurance and cardiovascular health. But variety can be the spark needed to reenergize your workout when things get stale — and that’s why we love the jump rope. Jumping rope isn’t just an intense cardio exercise, it’s also a full-body workout: shoulders, arms, abs and legs. Plus you can stash a jump rope almost anywhere, including your suitcase when you’re on the road. There are more jump ropes out there than you could possibly need, but choice turns out to be a good thing. Lighter ropes are great for stamina, medium ropes are calorie burners and heavy ropes are for the Arnold Schwarzenegger wannabes. These five ropes will cover all of your calorie-burning needs.
Best for Working Out: A great interchangeable jump rope for those who constantly switch up their workouts, the Crossrope 2.0 is available in nine different weighted models that range from the Sprint Rope (2 ounces) to the Titan (3 pounds). It’s available in two weighted handles (Quick or Rugged) and comes in a spectrum of colors. Jump ropes can be bought as a set or in individual parts. We recommend starting with either Burn or Zip sets.
Sophia Smart Rope
Most Innovative Jump Rope: Sophia is a smart jump rope that keeps track of jumps, speed and measures calories. It links with a smartphone app (iPhone and Android compatible) and allows exercisers to set fitness goals and even challenge friends. Sophia has ergonomically shaped handles that magnetically lock together for easy storage. The rope comes in either polymer or leather. And since it’s a Kickstarter project, early backers get sweeter deals.
SR-1 Rogue Bearing Speed Rope
Best Speed Jump Rope: The SR-1 can achieve incredible speeds for two reasons: rotating handles and a coated steel cable. These allow for more rope revolutions, and therefore a better cardio workout. The SR-1 is ideal for guys who love lifting weights and can’t stand getting their cardio by running.
Kaufmann Mercantile Euro Leather Rope
Best Vintage Trainer: With hand-carved wooden handles from the French Alps and a rope made out of European leather, this jump rope is for men who value both style and function. It’s beautiful, durable and made entirely in France. And since it’s mounted on ball bearings, users can jump rope at accelerated speeds.
PowerMax Beginner Speed Rope
Most Budget-Friendly: This is a great jump rope for beginners. It’s lightweight (3.2 ounces), comfortable to handle and comes in several neon colors. If you want a simple and budget-friendly workout alternative, this is it.