Jumping rope is a traditional exercise that provides a total body strength and conditioning workout. With the ability to burn up to 1,000 calories per hour, you can use the jump rope to improve strength, agility, coordination or endurance. A common question about the effectiveness of jumping rope, however, is the selection of the jump rope and choosing between a weighted jump rope or a speed rope.
A weighted jump rope and speed rope both provide the same basic benefits, which include improved coordination, agility, footwork, quickness and endurance. Using a speed rope, however, focuses on speed and quickness and is better for developing coordination and conditioning by increasing the speed of the rope. Weighted jump ropes, on the other hand, burn a significant amount of calories and can be effective for increasing strength and promoting weight loss.
Beginners should start with a basic lightweight speed rope before progressing to a weighted jump rope, according to Ross Enamait, professional fitness trainer. The durable plastic jump rope allows you to perform basic jump rope exercises and workouts to develop speed, agility and endurance. Also, the speed ropes are better at developing overall fitness and conditioning to complement a wide range of workout and training programs.
A speed rope is ideal for beginners but can be used by elite athletes to develop footwork, coordination and conditioning. For example, boxers use a speed rope during their general strength and conditioning workouts. After learning the basic techniques for using the speed rope, you can progress to advanced exercises such as double unders. Double unders are a jump rope pattern that includes making two revolutions with the rope for every one jump and requires a significant amount of speed, coordination and endurance.
Use a weighted jump rope if your fitness goals revolve around strength or weight loss. The heavy ropes require upper body strength to continue spinning the rope for repeated jumps. You can choose from 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 lb. weights to match your individual fitness and strength levels. Adjust the length of the rope to match your height and use the weighted jump rope to complement your normal strength training workouts.