There’s a great debate going on right now about whether or not using a jump rope is better for you than using weighted jump ropes.
Some people swear by the benefits of jumping rope as an exercise, while others find that adding weight to the rope makes their workout more intense and beneficial.
So, which is better? Let’s take a closer look at both options and see what comes out on top!
Jumping Rope Isn’t Just For Kids
Everyone remembers as children jumping rope at school on the playground or outside with friends.
It’s fun, but it’s always been a workout.
As adults, we often chalk rope jumping up to child’s play, dismissing it and its health benefits.
Which is a mistake.
Jump rope workouts are one of the most effective and fun exercises you can do that can have real benefits to your mind and body while also supplying real results.
There is a reason Rocky Balboa did jump rope: it works.
The Benefits of Using a Jump Rope For Exercise
First of all, jump rope is a great cardio workout. It gets your heart pumping and can burn a significant amount of calories in just a short amount of time. Plus, it’s low impact on the joints, making it a good option for those with joint issues or injuries.
Additionally, jumping rope helps improve coordination and balance. It also strengthens and tones muscles in the arms, shoulders, legs, and core.
Another benefit of jump rope is that it can be done almost anywhere with minimal equipment. All you need is a jump rope and a bit of space to jump, making it easy to fit into any schedule or lifestyle.
Lastly, jumping rope is a great way to improve mental focus and concentration. Constantly counting and coordinating the jumps helps engage the brain, improving cognitive function.
Overall, jumping rope offers many benefits for both physical and mental health.
The Advantages of Using a Weighted Jump Rope
But what about using a weighted jump rope?
The Benefits of Using a Weighted Jump Rope
One benefit of using a weighted jump rope is that it can increase the intensity of your workout.
The added weight forces your muscles to work harder, increasing muscle strength and toning.
Weighted jump ropes can also improve cardiovascular endurance by making your heart and lungs work harder during exercise.
A weighted jump rope can also help with coordination and balance like a regular jump rope.
Lastly, weighted jump ropes can add variety to your workout routine, keeping it interesting and preventing boredom.
Regular and weighted jump rope offer their own benefits for exercise and fitness. While some may prefer the intensity of the weighted option, others may prefer the simpler, low-impact nature of regular jump rope.
Ultimately, it’s up to personal preference and goals for fitness.
Whether you choose a regular or weighted jump rope, jumping rope is an excellent option for increasing physical health and mental focus. So grab your jump rope and get jumping!
What Does The Science Say About The Differences?
In 2011, a 12-week study was done to test whether weighted jump rope workouts provided additional benefits to an athlete over traditional rope workouts.
The study was done with adolescent volleyball players.
After 12 weeks, it was found that the group using the weighted jump rope had greater coordination and eccentric endurance gains, predominantly in the lower extremities.
Another study done in 1993 tested the efficacy of weighted jump rope against 2 other forms of activity; maximal vertical jump training and stretching exercises.
At the end of the 10-week study, it was found that the control group using the weighted jump rope made significant improvements over that time in the bench press, leg press, and Sargent jumps.
At the same time, the other 2 groups made minimal improvements in those same categories.
Using Each Rope: Is There A Difference?
Yes, very much so.
The good people over at Limenamics recently hooked me up with a jump rope set of new weighted ropes to test and try for myself.
It didn’t take long before I realized that while both the regular and the weighted options were jump ropes, the experience and use for each were very different.
I was sent a 2.6lb weighted jump rope (slightly shorter length) and a heavier 5.3lb version.
I first tested the lighter rope, and it was evident within the first couple of twirls that this would require a different approach.
Even at only 2.6 pounds, the rope required more strength for a full rotation and a slower jumping pace since the rope wasn’t spinning around my body at the same rate of speed as a traditional rope.
I then tried the heavier 5.3 pound rope. Just as the upgrade from the traditional to the 2.6 pound required more effort to move the rope, the same was true with this weight increase.
I had to use more arm strength to generate more arm speed, and then I had to adjust my jump pace to accommodate the slower rotation of the heavy jump rope.
My upper arms and shoulders immediately noticed the change during both tests and were burning through the early rotations.
With a traditional rope, I do get arm burns, but only after extended sessions and many minutes of activity.
The grip is also wildly different between these weighted jump ropes and the regular jump rope.
Due to the wider weighted jump ropes, the handles are also wider, which requires more hand and forearm strength to maintain a proper hold while spinning the heavier weight around your body.
There is no doubt the studies mentioned above ring true with my initial testing in that the amount of increased effort and energy required to exercise with a weighted jump rope is an accelerated workout that can lead to some great results.
Which Jump Rope Is Right For Me?
Deciding which type of rope is the right jump rope for you will depend on a few factors.
First, what are your goals?
Regular jump ropes are the right choice to promote general fitness, lose weight, and increase cardiovascular health.
However, if building strength and muscle is your goal, and increasing overall physical endurance is your goal, then a weighted jump rope might be what you are looking for.
It’s also worth considering your current level of physical fitness.
A weighted jump rope might be more of what you are looking for, but perhaps you must build up some general endurance and balance with a traditional rope first so that the weighted jump rope can be done correctly and successfully.
Or consider that you might have plenty of ability to spin the weighted jump rope but perhaps lack the proper skill to jump rope.
In this case, a traditional jumping rope might be a great starter option to help you get your feet underneath you (no pun intended) and get some experience with the exercise on a basic level.
Once that has been achieved, perhaps graduating to a weighted jump rope might be in order.
Final Thoughts On The Difference Between Jump Ropes and Weighted Jump Ropes
Undoubtedly, a weighted jump rope workout is a different beat than a normal jump rope circuit.
But it is a full body workout, and more effort is needed to make the heavy jump rope spin around your body.
In the traditional sense, jump rope is very cardio specific, geared towards quicker movements and longer bouts of activity.
The weighted jump rope, however, is a strength and endurance workout which can lead to muscle growth, weight loss, and body toning for those looking to get strong.
Jump Rope and Heavy Rope FAQ
Rob is a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. For the past 10 years, Rob has been navigating the health and fitness landscape in a quest to better himself and those around him focusing on tools such as calorie and macro counting, intermittent fasting, and HIIT training techniques.