If you haven’t used a jump rope since you were in elementary school, you’re missing out on one of the best (not to mention cheapest) workout tools.
Jump ropes provide excellent cardio training, improve coordination, and burn calories. They can even tone your upper body — especially if you use a weighted jump rope.
Never heard of a weighted jump rope? Then read on, because once you try a weighted rope, you may never go back!
What Is a Weighted Jump Rope?
A weighted jump rope is what it sounds like: A jump rope that either has a thicker, weighted rope or, more commonly, has a weight inside the handle, explains Cody Braun, CPT, Assistant Manager of Fitness at Beachbody.
Most weighted jump ropes have a one- to three-pound weight, he says, but some have up to a five-pound weight.
Why Use a Weighted Jump Rope?
Weighted jump ropes provide the same benefits as a regular jump rope, but with that extra weight comes extra benefits.
1. They’re easier to use (sort of)
Well, in some ways. When there’s additional weight in the rope, it moves more slowly around your body and retains its shape better.
That can equal less tangling and tripping, so you may be able to hop for longer.
2. They’re also harder to use (but that’s a good thing)
Weight in the handle or the rope increases the intensity so you have to work harder to flick the rope around you.
“This means that your cardiorespiratory system has to work harder to deliver more blood and oxygen so you can sustain the intensity,” Braun explains.
And more intensity means more results in less time.
3. They work more muscle groups
Any type of weighted jump rope will recruit more muscles, particularly in your shoulders, arms, and core. So you’ll get a little strength training along with your cardio.
4. They help you burn more calories
By engaging more muscles and upping the intensity, using a weighted jump rope also elevates your heart rate more, and that leads to a greater calorie burn, Braun says.
Weighted vs. Speed Jump Rope
Now, don’t confuse a weighted jump rope with a speed jump rope. Although speed jump ropes also have their perks, you won’t see the same benefits.
“A weighted roped is designed to add intensity via resistance, while a speed rope is designed for faster revolutions,” Braun explains.
Whereas a weighted jump rope challenges your body more without being more complicated to use, speed ropes usually take some skill and time to master.
That’s because — as you might guess — the pace is a lot faster.
Each jump rope is best for different goals. Braun suggests using a weighted jump rope as a cardio burnout between sets or as an entire cardio workout performed at moderate level intervals.
And if you consider yourself a jump rope pro and want to take your workout up a notch, “the speed rope is a great tool you can use to push the pace and work at higher intensity intervals,” he says.
Want to try a workout that gives you more chances to perfect your jump rope skills?
Try #mbf, the latest program from Beachbody Super Trainer Megan Davies. The #mbf Muscle Burns Fat program works with two different types of jump ropes for double the fun.