Did you know that the Egyptians first started using jump ropes made of vines way back in 1600 AD? (Wonder if they knew about the amazing benefits of jumping rope!) Since then jump ropes have undergone a major evolution.
Today you have skipping ropes made from fabric, steel, leather, PVC, nylon, rubber, and so on. Some jump ropes come with weighted handles, ball bearings, interchangeable ropes, calorie counters, jump timers, etc. You even have “cordless” jump ropes these days.
But with so many different types of jump ropes, you might be pretty stumped about which one to get. But not to worry! We’re here to break it down for you.
In this article, we’ll tell you about 7 different types of skipping ropes and how you can select the type that best suits your needs.
Here we go!
Types of Skipping ropes based on functionality
1. Basic Skipping Ropes
If you’re new to the world of skipping, then basic jump ropes are meant for you.
Basic jump ropes are usually made of plastic or PVC cables and have rubber or foam handles that give you a good grip. They come in varying types and thicknesses and are very affordable.
Basic skipping ropes are thicker than speed ropes but thinner than weighted ropes, making it easy for beginners to perform simple jump moves.
They are quite durable and can even be used outdoors on hard surfaces.
Basic skipping ropes by Burnlab
- Premium-quality PVC cable
- Soft foam handles
- Weight: 0.160 kg
2. Speed Skipping Ropes
If you’re an advanced jumper with speed being your goal, then look no further than these babies.
Speed skipping ropes are usually made of thin plastic or PVC coated steel cable and weigh anywhere between 50 to 200 grams. The light weight of these ropes helps users exert less energy and thus helps them train for speed.
In most of these skipping ropes, the cable is attached to the handle at a 90-degree angle, thus making it simple to rotate and tangle-free.
The handles can be constructed of two types of materials: plastic or aerospace-grade aluminum (in the case of premium quality speed ropes). The plastic-handle versions generally have a plastic bushing inside, while the aluminium handle ones are fitted with 1 to 2 precision ball bearings per handle. These bearings contribute to high speed and zero friction.
Speed jump rope handles are relatively shorter than other types of ropes and can range between 5 to 7 inches. Short handles allow the tip (part of the rope which is attached to the handle) to be as near as possible to your body’s center resulting in quicker rope rotations and minimal effort from you.
Speed jump ropes are great for increasing your agility, stamina, footwork, and conditioning skills. Use them in your CrossFit workouts or to flaunt your jump rope tricks including double and triple unders, double side swipes, double criss-crosses, and more.
Avoid using these ropes on rough surfaces as this can wear away the cable.
Speed skipping ropes by Burnlab
All our speed ropes are of adjustable length and are replaceable.
- Textured Aluminium Anti-slip handles
- Perpendicular handles
- Plastic-coated steel cable
- Weight: 0.178 kg
Our ropes come in both 2.4 mm and 4 mm thicknesses. The former is suitable for intermediate to advanced users, while the latter is great for beginners.
- PVC coated cable
- Anti-slip Handles
- 360° Swivel system
- Weight : 0.174 kg
- PVC Coated Steel Wire
- Lightweight Handle
- 360° Swivel System
- Rope Length: 8ft
- Handle Length: 6.5in
- Weight: 0.096 kg
3. Weighted Skipping Ropes
If you want to build speed, power, and endurance all at once, then go get yourself a weighted skipping rope.
Weighted skipping ropes, a.k.a. heavy jump ropes, have additional weight – around 0.45 kg to 3 kg – either in the handles or distributed throughout the cable. The cables can either be a braided PVC cable or a thick PVC coated steel cable.
All this extra weight means you have to exert more energy per jump, resulting in a more strenuous workout, more strength-building, more grip strength, and almost double the calorie burn!
Weighted cable ropes are great for exercising your core, chest, upper back, arms, and shoulders, while weighted handle ropes give your forearms a challenging workout.
These skipping ropes are best suited for advanced users as they pack in extra resistance to your training. Think of it as holding 4-5 pound dumbbells in each hand while jumping rope. Sounds intense, right?
But weighted ropes are terrific for beginners too. Why?
Cause they slow down your rotations to the right point where you can get a feel of the rotations. This feedback helps you work on your timing, coordination, and form.
These ropes can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Weighted skipping ropes by Burnlab
All our weighted ropes are of adjustable length.
These are our weighted cable ropes.
- Weighs 280g
- Soft foam handles
- PVC plaited rope
These are our weighted handle skipping ropes. These ropes are quite versatile; you can switch out the cables, and add or remove the weights in the handles.
- PVC-coated steel cable
- Anti-slip handles
- Ropes of two thicknesses: 2.5 mm and 3.5 mm
- Handle weight : 0.22 kg
Types of Skipping ropes based on material
4. Fabric skipping ropes
Want a skipping rope that is kid-friendly and easy on your wallet? Pick up a fabric skipping rope!
Made of cotton, nylon, or polyester, fabric skipping ropes have plastic or wooden handles and are braided to stop them from tangling.
These are great for children (and maybe even adult newbies) as they turn quite slow and don’t hurt much even if they hit your legs.
We recommend using these ropes indoors, as they could unbraid when used outdoors for longer periods. Using them in wet weather could also cause these ropes to absorb water, becoming much heavier and thus affecting your jumping.
5. Leather skipping ropes
If there’s one type of jump rope that boxers swear by, it’s the leather skipping rope. (If Muhammed Ali used ‘em, they have to be legit, right?)
Leather jump ropes not only increase your coordination, leg speed, and agility but also helps build some serious muscle.
Leather skipping ropes are a lot thicker than other types of jump rope materials and generally don’t get twisted too much. These ropes are much quieter than beaded skipping ropes and are heavy as their wooden handles are weighted.
Genuine leather skipping ropes are expensive and are more durable than most jump ropes. They can be used outdoors as long as you aren’t jumping on wet surfaces.
We recommend these jump ropes only for advanced jumpers as mistakes on a leather jump rope can be pretty painful. (Imagine getting whipped!)
Other types of skipping ropes
6. Beaded skipping ropes
Beaded jump ropes are perfect if you want to inject some fun and color into your jump rope routine.
Popularized at rhythmic jumping competitions, beaded skipping ropes a.k.a. segmented jump ropes typically have long handles and consist of nylon, PVC, or steel cord sheathed by colorful plastic beads.
These jump ropes are great for beginners. They aren’t as aerodynamically efficient as PVC or steel cable ropes and hence rotate slowly. This slow rotation coupled with the sharp sound that the beads make when they hit the floor, makes it easy to get your rhythm and timing down.
The beads also make these ropes heavier, offering more resistance while you jump and hence giving you a more challenging workout.
These ropes hold their shape well and are hence perfect for your jump rope tricks. They can also be used on outdoor surfaces such as concrete.
7. Digital skipping ropes
Curious about how many calories you burn while jumping rope? A digital skipping rope could tell you all that and more!
Digital skipping ropes feature a small counter on their handles that can count calories, jumps, and more. The cord on these ropes is usually made of premium-quality PVC and can be detached and adjusted for various users. The handles can be plastic, foam-covered, or contoured for better grip.
There are various models of digital skipping ropes out there.
The lower-end models typically have 1 or 2 features such as a timer and a jump counter. So if you want to keep track of how long you’ve been jumping or if you want to hit a certain number of jumps, then these digital skipping ropes could come in handy.
The higher-end models of digital skipping ropes show you the number of calories you’ve burned during your workout session and can also help monitor your fitness goals. If you’ve ever wondered about how much distance you would have traveled if you weren’t skipping in place, some models show you that too!
Additional features include stopwatch functions, memory of personal profiles and weight, and so on.
Some digital jump ropes are cordless. All they have is two handles with a digital readout. So if space is a huge constraint for you, then cordless ropes are the way to go. You get all the benefits of jumping rope without the actual rope!
How to choose the best skipping rope
The choice of jump rope depends on various factors.
1. Proficiency level
- Beginners: PVC ropes, steel cable ropes of 4 mm thickness, or beaded jump ropes.
- Intermediate to advanced users: Thin (2.4 mm) PVC coated steel cable speed rope, or a weighted skipping rope.
2. Goals and intended use
- Upper body strength: Weighted skipping ropes.
- Weight loss and stamina: Weighted skipping ropes.
- CrossFit and functional training: Speed skipping ropes of 4 mm (beginner) or 2.4 mm (advanced) with aluminium handles.
- Practicing tricks: Beaded and speed jump ropes.
- Martial arts training: Leather and speed jump ropes (4mm).
3. Type of surface
- Hard abrasive surfaces: Beaded and weighted skipping ropes.
- Speed & strength-training combo: Skipping ropes with interchangeable cables.
- Calorie counting and tracking: Digital skipping ropes.
To know more about how to select a jump rope, check out our detailed post here.
Now that you know the different types of skipping ropes and what exactly to look for when buying one, there’s nothing stopping you from grabbing one ASAP!
Check out our premium collection of skipping ropes and make the right choice today!