What Jump Ropes are Hanging in Your Gym?

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What jump ropes are hanging in your gym?

As a gym owner, you need equipment that’s durable, efficient, and simply the best for your athletes’ training regimens.  Jump ropes  have moving parts, which makes them susceptible to breaking, and speed ropes, in particular, are difficult to carry and maintain as they require a wide range of lengths and can fray and kink easily.  I’m sure right now you have a number of speed ropes hanging up with a variety of different lengths and with kinked or frayed wire.  We know this because we see it and have experienced it for ourselves in our own gym as well as our travels to CrossFit gyms across the country!   

As coach of the largest jump rope team in the nation and now a huge advocate for CrossFit providing expert guidance in the sport of jump rope, in particular the double under, I can give you my advice as a coach and as an athlete as to ropes should be hanging in your gym.

Speed Ropes are the last step in an athletes’ progression. 

Hanging wire speed ropes in your gym can be detrimental to your athletes’ growth in learning the double under.  Quite often speed ropes are too light, too rigid, and too fast for most athletes’ use.  Upwards of 85% of the CrossFit population are new to jump rope and the double under is considered one of the most difficult skills to master – don’t make it harder for them by providing hard-to-control ropes.  The light weight of a speed rope causes an athlete to select a jump rope that is longer than they need, which leads to poor form, inefficient jumping, and overwhelming frustration in the skill.  Additionally, speed ropes are hard to maintain: the cable kinks or frays leaving the owner to either purchase new ropes or cable.

A jump rope NEEDS to be adjustable on the fly.

I’ve been a competitive jumper for 28 years and I make adjustments to my rope constantly.  CrossFit athletes are no different: their jumping form will depend greatly on the WOD they will be jumping in.  Workouts involving overhead squats or HSPU’s, just to name a few, will greatly fatigue an athlete’s upper body – extra rope length in this case is needed.  Workouts that don’t involve much upper or lower extremities, like Annie for instance, allow for a shorter, more energy-efficient rope length.  Having a rope that can be adjusted depending on the workout is critical to an athlete’s success.  Additionally, an athlete WILL progress with their form as they strive to be more efficient in their work, their rope should adjust with this progress.  Consequently, the needed rope length will change with time.

So I ask, “Do you own a custom jump rope?  Is it custom to one WOD or are you just timid to progress towards becoming a proficient jumper?”  A question I ask during our Double Under Seminars is “If you were learning to run, would you be content with running a 10 minute mile every day, or do you want to strive to get faster?”  Don’t let one custom rope size be the end of end-alls in your training to become proficient and awesome.

Lastly, as a cost-conscious owner, carrying two types of durable adjustable ropes is considerably more effective than carrying six or seven non-adjustable types!

Your rope needs to move with you!

JumpNrope has conducted over 70 seminars in the past 12 months and has collected some very useful data.  The data collected proved that about 85% of CrossFit athletes were able to achieve, feel, and work with a jump rope that was made of flexible PVC as opposed to a more rigid steel cable.  This flexible (non-stretchy) cord allows for the perfect weight and drag and provides an inertial reference for a jumper, whereas speed ropes are fast and hard to feel.  The bottom line: find a rope you can FEEL, combine it with a handle that provides a frictionless / lightweight experience and the result is a happy athlete who can progress in the skill.

What ropes do you hang in your gym and what ropes go in an athletes’ bag?

Once the gym owner / coach is educated on this system, they can now implement the appropriate ropes in their gym.  There are 1,000’s of happy athletes and gym owners out there now because of their new-found knowledge in the sport of jump rope through the JumpNrope progression method.

R3: Beaded Rope

R3 Beaded Ropes – The beaded ropes are becoming a hot trend in CrossFit gyms.  Big distributors in the CrossFit community have just caught onto the need for this type of training / teaching rope that JumpNRope has developed.  The R3 rope comes unassembled and can be cut to size and is fully “on the fly” adjustable. (Beaded ropes can be color-customized for each athlete and gym!) This rope is also outside friendly, withstanding months of use on concrete!

Don’t be fooled by beaded ropes that come with low-end handles, be sure the handle is a frictionless bearing-system handle! While the function of the rope may change, the handle should not!

  • Warming up – The R3 Beaded Rope is obviously a heavy rope and is used to warm up the entire body.  Combined with a variety of footwork movements, this rope can provide for a nice 5 – 8 minute full body warm up.
  • Conditioning – Used now in dozens of gyms as a newly-prescribed rope in workouts, this rope is heavy and requires additional output from the athlete.  CrossFit is all about challenges and preparing for the unknown, right?  These ropes should not be used prior to competition- rather, be used as an “unexpected” addition to your programming to increase strength and to condition the athletes overall stamina and challenge their technique.
  • Technique Training – The added weight of the beaded rope is a great training tool for athletes learning their double unders.  The additional weight helps the athlete focus in on feeling the rope.  This rope is also a great tool for those still using single unders in a WOD, again the added weight will allow for feeling technique during their workout, rather than spinning a near weightless speed rope.

Suggested Sizing and lengths that hang in our gym and gyms across the world

  • Small Length Rope (fits 5’8” and under): Cut the cord to 9’1” length and put on about 50 beads.
  • Large Length Rope (fits 5’9” – 6’4”): Cut the cord to 9’8” length and put on about 50 beads as well.
  • Leave an additional 3” tail of cord on each side of the rope to allow for on-the-fly adjustability by simply adjusting the knot.

R2: Trainer Rope

R2 Trainer Ropes – The trainer rope is THE jump rope every gym should be, and is now, carrying.  On-the-fly adjustable and flexible (no-stretch) PVC cord works with all levels of athletes, combined with the patented-technology handles.  This rope is outside friendly!

  • All-Purpose – The trainer rope is the perfect weighted cord / rope accompanied by the world-renowned patented handle technology, providing athletes with a near frictionless experience while jumping.  The trainer rope is not considered a “competition” jump rope, however it is considered one of the most durable “in the gym” ropes and provides a flexible and on-the-fly adjustable experience for beginners all the way up to the most experienced athlete (this rope was used in Molly Metz’s famous 1400+ consecutive double unders in a row challenge).  This rope just works for everyone!
  • Statistics Proven - JumpNrope has conducted over 80 seminars in the past 12 months and has collected data that proves that about 85% of CrossFit athletes were able to achieve, feel, and work with a PVC cord best - the R2 Trainer Rope.

Suggested Sizing

  • Small Length Rope (fits 5’8” and under): Cut the cord to 8’10” length.
  • Large Length Rope (fits 5’9” – 6’4”): Cut the cord to 9’4” length.
  • These ropes are fully adjustable on-the-fly by simply putting knots in the PVC cord.  Knots do not result in kinked ropes- EVER!  Outside use? Yes!  Beat them up, we dare you!

R1: Speed Rope

R1 Speed Ropes (also known as the “Revolution Rope”) – Considered the fastest speed rope in the world.  I created this speed handle technology five years ago with the intent to provide the competitive world of jump rope with a frictionless, durable, adjustable, and incredible speed rope.  It is now used by the fastest speed & power champions of the world!
 

  • Unparalled Speed – This rope has broken world records- literally.  The world’s fast speed and power scores were broken using this technology!  This handle has revolutionized the sport of jump rope and is now providing athletes from CrossFit an opportunity to jump rope competitively with their double unders. Note: this rope is not particularly “outside-friendly” as it can wear and tear easily.
  • Personalized Jump Rope – A speed rope is a very personal rope.  It is a rope that requires care, and can kink/fray if not taken care of.  Gym owners may cut and hang them up in the gym for the athletes to use, however most gyms are now offering the speed ropes for sale to their athletes or as part of their “on ramp” or introductory packages.  It is suggested that the gym owner ensures that the athlete perfects their form and function of single/double unders with the beaded and trainer rope before moving on to the speed rope.  Below is a guide to use with your athletes.  This gives them a goal and challenge to work on until they graduate to their speed ropes.
  • Sizing - If you choose to hang speed ropes in your gym, try using the sizing guide listed with the trainer ropes and add a few additional sizes as you see fit.  The R1 Speed Rope is adjustable by simply moving the position of the sizing collar with a flathead screwdriver.

Double Under Progression Guide Below is a suggested guide you can use with your athletes.  It gives them a goal and challenge to work on until they graduate to their speed ropes.

R3 Beaded Rope Guide – Athlete should be able to perform the following:

  • 100 single unders consecutively (without exhausted effort and focused form)
  • A combination of 2-4 consecutive footwork movements (8 counts of each, focused form) with minimal mistakes and minimal exhausted effort.
  • 10 – 20 backwards jumps consecutively (proper form)
  • 1 double under (Non-consecutive, with single jumps in between)

R2 Trainer Rope Guide – Athlete should be able to perform the following:

  • 150+ single unders consecutively (without exhausted effort)
  • 1 minute of speed steps with less than 3-4 mistakes (focused on proper form) and an average score of 60 – 70 jumps per minute. (Score is counting right foot only.)
  • 30+ double unders consecutively

1-Year Handle Warranty

ALL of JumpNRope’s handles have a 1-year warranty.  If the handle parts or pieces break, just email us and we will replace the handles for free.  Please note: cord, wire, and string is not under warranty – handles only.

JumpNRope Mission

At JumpNRope we strive to provide you and your gym with jump rope solutions for every purpose an athlete needs.  JumpNrope is owned and directed by Molly Metz, a 28+ year competitive jumper, 5-time world champion, CrossFit athlete, and most importantly a coach / trainer.  Her inspiration for JumpNrope is to provide proper education and tools to coaches and athletes around the world on how to properly work and train with jump rope(s).  The JumpNrope mission is to get the world jumping rope by creating a fun and addictive community for people of all ages through education and inspiration.

Molly Metz holds two U.S. patents on this world-renowned jump rope handle technology.  These ropes are used by a majority of the world’s competitive jump rope community and are considered the only progression-based jump rope training tools in the world.  Her technology has contributed to the world’s fastest speed and power records.  Her education and passion surrounding the sport is contagious.  Molly’s biggest desire is to ensure that every kid and adult in the world finds a lifetime of happiness from jumping rope. 

More information:

JumpNRope Selection Guide: www.jumpnrope.com/ropeguide.htm

The Science of Jump Ropes: www.jumpnrope.com/A0101_Just_Right_Jump_Rope.htm

JumpNRope Homepage: www.jumpNrope.com

JumpNRope Facebook: www.facebook.com/JumpNRope

What makes a jump rope just right? - Part 3 of 3: The Handle

“What makes a jump rope just right?”
John Obrecht, Ph.D.
VP – JumpNRope, Ltd.
www.jumpnrope.com


Part 3 of 3: The Handle

 

Until this point, I’ve only mentioned the properties of the jump rope cord that one should consider when selecting the just right jump rope.  However, just as important as the jump rope cord is the jump rope’s handle technology.  The handle is not just a means of holding the cord to your hands; the geometry of the handle greatly affects the efficiency with which you jump, and ultimately results in faster, more-competitive jumping skill.

 Patented Jump Rope Technology

The most efficient handle system created to date has come from the mind of 5-Time World Jump Rope Champion, and JumpNRope founder, Molly Metz.  With her decades of experience in the competitive jump rope world (28 years), Molly discovered a need for faster, more-efficient jump rope handles, and subsequently invented (and patented) a jump rope handle technology that revolutionized the sport.  She not only added the dual-bearing shaft technology concept to the jump rope handle— a critical component, she also added one of the most important features of a competitive jump rope’s design: the pivoting-ball element, which gives the jump rope cord the ability to pivot at a variable angle from the handle’s rotating central shaft.

 

The dual-bearing shaft technology allows for a fluid, near-frictionless turn of the rope’s cord as you drive the rope with your hands and wrists.  In fact, JumpNRope has posted a video clip where we show our handle system spinning for 10 seconds from a single, applied spin!  The main point of the handle’s bearing technology is that it is fast & smooth and allows the user to put their efforts elsewhere in jumping— not losses to friction in the handle.

 Patented Jump Rope Technology

The pivoting-ball element also helps a jumper maintain an efficient form due to the fact that it allows the jump rope’s cord to be decoupled from the angle that the hands hold the jump rope’s handles.  This means that a jumper who holds their hands at strange angles (up, down, or both!) can jump a cord that has the same shape as a jumper who holds their hands at normal angles!  The pivoting ball accommodates for this and self-corrects for the jumper’s goofy form!

 

Jump Rope Handle Size

Lastly, it should be stated that the size of the jump rope’s handles can really make a difference with regards to one’s performance in jumping rope.  Elite athletes will tend to like the short, light-weight handles, as the smaller handles not only weigh less, they also allow for a closer, tighter grip— almost contouring to the shape of your hand, providing control and access to greater speeds.  Others, however, will like the length of a longer handle, as the extra length can allow for increased leverage, providing an advantageous boost to the flicking action of the wrists.

 Light Jump Rope Handles

 

To put this all together, one should realize that a lot of thought can be put into the choices that you make when choosing a jump rope.  At JumpNRope, we’ve spent years designing (and patenting) high-performance jump ropes that cater to all athletic levels: from elite Jump Rope Champions, to beginning jumpers and kids!  We have a full range of rope types that will allow you to progress your skills in jump rope.

  • Dr. Obrecht did his Ph.D. work in Atomic Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder with Nobel Laureatte Eric Cornell.  He is currently the Vice President of JumpNRope, Ltd.

What makes a jump rope just right? - Introduction

“What makes a jump rope just right?”
John Obrecht, Ph.D.
VP – JumpNRope, Ltd.
www.jumpnrope.com

In this three-part series Dr. Obrecht explains what makes a jump rope just right from the scientific perspective of a Ph.D. Physicist.  In Part 1 of 3: The Cord, we learn about the variety of jump rope cords, and how careful selection can lead us to a better jumping experience.  In Part 2 of 3: The Size, we learn about how to become efficient in jumping by choosing the proper cord size.  Finally, in Part 3 of 3: The Handle, we learn about the most important part of the jump rope, namely the handle technology that makes your rope turn efficiently.

  • Dr. Obrecht did his Ph.D. work in Atomic Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder with Nobel Laureatte Eric Cornell.  He is currently the Vice President of JumpNRope, Ltd.

What makes a jump rope just right? - Part 2 of 3: The Size

“What makes a jump rope just right?”
John Obrecht, Ph.D.
VP – JumpNRope, Ltd.
www.jumpnrope.com


Part 2 of 3: The Size

 

In part 1 of this 3 part series, I discussed the different variables of a jump rope’s design and I outlined the key points that one should look for in a jump rope’s cord, namely the cord’s weight and flexibility.  In this part of the series, however, I will focus more on efficiency in jumping, and how to reach a level of jumping at which double-unders become a breeze.

 

Let’s now look at the thickness of the cord.  Most jumpers are not going to truly notice the thickness of the jump rope’s cord unless they’re performing jump rope with high-intensity.  They may notice the fact that thicker ropes are typically heavier than thinner ropes, but you generally won’t notice the aerodynamic drag created by the thickness of the cord.  A good rule of thumb is this: unless you can hear the whistling noise created by the speed of the cord, you’re likely not bumping up against aerodynamic drag as your main challenge in jumping.  Therefore most of us aren’t going to need to factor the aerodynamic cross section of a jump rope cord into our decision-making process when selecting an appropriate rope. Jump Rope Cord Thickness

Others, however, like those competing in the CrossFit Games or the World Rope Skipping Championship, are going to be selective with the thickness of the cord.  In the case of reducing aerodynamic drag, thinner is always better, obviously.  What can end up becoming an issue with thinner cords, however, is the durability of the cord, as thinner cords will tend to have a higher risk of bending, breaking, fraying, or any other casualty of jumping rope.  There’s a simple trade-off that comes along with a lower-profile cord, and finding that can be challenging.

 

  • An example of a durable, low-profile cord is the blue-coated and uncoated stainless steel cord of the JumpNRope R1 Speed Rope.  This rope is used by the fastest jumpers in the world!
  • The absolute fastest jumpers in the world use a very special, lightweight steel cord for speed events.  Though not recommended for the general public, JumpNRope supplies these jumpers with these custom-made R1: Speed Ropes!

 

Along the lines of efficiency in jumping, comes a discussion on the length of the jump rope’s cord.  When it comes to a jump rope’s length, shorter is typically better, up until that point at which you can’t jump it comfortably anymore.  Short ropes are efficient, as you don’t have as much cord to throw around (weight), and the cord you do throw around doesn’t travel far from the axis of rotation (the centrifugal force that your arms work against). Jump Rope Length Adjustment

Efficient jumping comes then from small movements of the wrists and feet controlling a relatively small rope (small being relative to the user’s size).  It may happen from time to time, however, that fatigue has set into your body and your arms aren’t able to control the rope the way that they do when they are fresh.  This is why it is important to be able to adjust the length of your rope (at least a small amount).  Adjustment can come from either tying a knot in your cord (if it is flexible- like PVC), or moving a sizing collar up or down along your steel cord.  The ability to change the rope’s length to adjust for your fatigue level is important to consider in choosing your just right rope.  If you plan to be using your arms a lot in a workout, make sure you allow for a few inches of room in your jump rope’s cord!

 

 

Putting this all together, the key thing to look for in the dimensions your jump rope’s cord are (1) short, yet comfortable, length, with (2) a thickness of the cord that is commensurate with your skill level—thin profile for skilled jumpers, and (3) the ability to adjust the length of your cord at a moment’s notice!

 

In Part 3 of this 3 part series, I will be discussing the most critical part to your jump rope’s design, the handle.  A properly-designed handle will facilitate easy jumping and allow for an effortless turn.

  • Dr. Obrecht did his Ph.D. work in Atomic Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder with Nobel Laureatte Eric Cornell.  He is currently the Vice President of JumpNRope, Ltd.

…for more information on the different types of jump ropes available, please visit the JumpNRope Jump Rope Selection Guide webpage.

What makes a jump rope just right? - Part 1 of 3: The Cord

“What makes a jump rope just right?”
John Obrecht, Ph.D.
VP – JumpNRope, Ltd.
www.jumpnrope.com


Part 1 of 3: The Cord


I’m constantly surrounded by competitive jumpers.  My business partner, Molly Metz, is a 5-Time World Jump Rope Champion, and the entire JumpNRope staff is composed of champions as well.  Our company conducts trainings on double-unders and speed-step jumping— trainings at which we are privileged to meet hundreds of CrossFit jumpers ranging in skill level from “Never got a double under” to “I’m training to be on ESPN”.  If there is one constant across the entire range of skill levels that each jumper looks for in a jump rope, that constant is comfort; every last jumper chooses a jump rope that feels just right to them, no matter how different it may be from others’.


From a high-level view, there really aren’t that many differences between jump ropes, you may think—‘so long as the rope isn’t too long or too heavy, it’s probably going to work well for me’.  This mentality is wrong.  There are several variables that factor strongly into the design of a jump rope- each with its own purpose.  Let’s start with the jump rope’s cord.  The four main variables that one can adjust are the cord’s (1) length, (2) thickness, (3) stiffness, and (4) weight (or more accurately weight per length).  However, since we are discussing the type of cord to use, let’s not consider the length for the time being.  I’ll cover sizing a rope in a later discussion (Part 2 of 3: The Size).  This leaves only thickness, stiffness, and weight.

Flexibility Jump Rope Cord

The stiffness of a jump rope’s cord is a measure of the cord’s ability to adapt to changes - more flexible, means more adaptive.  Note: here I’m speaking about the flexibility of a cord to bend, not stretch.  Finding a cord that bends just enough, but doesn’t stretch is difficult, but achievable (we’ve done it!).  Just as there is a large range of athletic skill in jumping rope, so is there a large need for a jump rope to be adaptive.  Higher-end athletes have great control of the rope as they jump, as well as good jumping form— meaning they rarely need the rope to adapt to mistakes and form adjustments on the fly.  This means that they tend to like stiffer jump rope cord as it provides repeatability in the jump- small changes don’t change the rope’s shape.Flexibility Jump Rope Cords

Newcomers to jump rope tend to like cords that are more flexible, as flexible cord can accommodate their mistakes and improving jump rope form.  Don’t, however, get caught with the notion that flexible cords are ONLY used by beginning jumpers, as there is ALWAYS room for improvement for athletes jumping rope.  Additionally, training with heavier, flexible cords can be quite advantageous, as it provides just enough resistance to quick jumping, but allows for enough speed in your step that you’re training with fast feet.  

  • An example of “stiff” cord is the 1/16” stainless steel cord used in the uncoated and blue-coated JumpNRope R1: Speed Rope.  This cord has been championed these past five years by JumpNRope and the competitive jump rope world for speed and power events.  Note: the coating on the cord provides a nice barrier to general wear-and-tear.
  • An example of “flexible” cord is either the black coated steel cord used in the coated JumpNRope R1: Speed Rope (used heavily in CrossFit and elite athletic training), the PVC cord used in the JumpNRope R2: Trainer Rope (used for training everywhere by everyone- flexible, but not stretchy), or in the beaded cord of the R3: Beaded Rope (used for warming up and strengthening arms).

The weight of a cord is also, without a doubt, a central factor to deciding upon the right jump rope.  One might think, in fact, that since a heavy rope is more difficult to throw around that, conversely, a lighter rope is always better.  Well, lighter is NOT always better.  Imagine the case in which you jump with a near-weightless rope.  It would be quite difficult to judge by feel whether you should jump or not— you wouldn’t really know where the rope is in relation to your bounding body—weight helps the user gauge the rope’s location.  Additionally, a super-light rope is much less controllable— just a small amount of flicking of the wrist will propel the cord around your body wildly.  Therefore, there’s a trade-off between a light rope and a heavy rope: fast & hard-to-control or slower & stable.  Finding that balance in weight is a jumper’s preference.  A skilled jumper with experience will likely choose a lighter rope, because they have the rhythm of jumping under control, while a beginning jumper will be much better off with a slightly heavier, more stable rope.

JumpNRope R3 Evolution Series Jump Ropes

Combine this analysis with what we’ve learned from the stiffness of the cord, and we find that a great beginning jumper will likely find success in a slightly heavier cord, with plenty of flexibility, while the more-experienced jumper will prefer either a semi-flexible stainless steel cord or a flexible coated steel.

  • The JumpNRope R1: Speed Rope features either the semi-flexible steel cord or a flexible coated steel cord.  Both ropes are super-fast (used by World Champion jumpers!) and should be considered ‘competition ropes’ to work towards.
  • The JumpNRope R2: Trainer Rope, which features the flexible PVC cord, is slightly heavier than a thin steel cord, and provides a nice stable jump rope for beginners, or a nice fast-paced resistance for higher-end athletes.
  • For a great arm burnout or overall athletic warmup, the JumpNRope R3: Beaded Rope provides weight via 60 colored beads, and is great for a very stable jumping experience.

 In Part 2 of this 3 part series, I will discuss the two variables of the jump rope’s cord that we haven’t discussed- the thickness and the length.  This discussion will focus on both the aerodynamics of the cord, along with how to become an efficient jumper by playing with the rope’s length.

  • Dr. Obrecht did his Ph.D. work in Atomic Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder with Nobel Laureatte Eric Cornell.  He is currently the Vice President of JumpNRope, Ltd.

…for more information on the different types of jump ropes available, please visit the JumpNRope Jump Rope Selection Guide webpage.

Coming Soon…

JumpNRope will soon be posting jump rope & fitness related articles on this page in the hopes of educating the public on this emerging sport.  From time to time Molly Metz and her staff of World Jump Rope Champions and Record Holders (one of whom is a Ph.D. in Physics) will weigh in on jump rope related topics, whether it be on proper jump rope mechanics, fitness activity, or what jump rope is right for you, JumpNRope will be there. 

Please stay tuned!