What You Need to Know About Jumping Ropes
Jump rope enthusiasts have a lot of information to wade through when choosing which jump rope to use. They have to choose the right routine, the right rope, and the right regularity with which to jump rope, all to make sure they maximize the benefits they receive from a remarkably simple piece of equipment.
The Benefits of Jumping Rope
I’m a jump rope enthusiast myself, and we all know the benefits of skipping rope. According to scientists, 10 minutes of jumping rope produces the same cardiovascular fitness benefits as 30 minutes of jogging, 2 sets of tennis, 18 holes of golf, or 2 miles of cycling. According to Science Daily, “This aerobic exercise can achieve a ‘burn rate’ of up to 1300 calories per hour of vigorous activity, with about 0.1 calories consumed per jump. Ten minutes of jumping rope can roughly be considered the equivalent of running an eight-minute mile.” Apart from the fact that compared to jogging for 30 minutes, jumping rope actually burns a greatly larger number of calories and improves your heart rate and circulation, jumping rope regularly will improve your coordination and muscle strength, increase bone density, lead to a leaner body, greater mental strength and so on.
The Right Routine
The right jump rope workout routine is one that will make you feel great all over, of course. Your simple routine as a beginner could consist of:
20-30 seconds of jumping
30-60 seconds of rest
Repeat this 6 to 10 times. Give yourself enough recovery time between intervals to slow your heart rate and catch your breath. Later on, start with fewer and shorter intervals with more rest time, and work your way up to doing more intervals for a longer period of time with less rest.
For all the benefits of a great cardio-muscular workout, make jumping rope a part of a circuit training routine as well—or add in some double-unders as you progress!
The Right Rope
But just like there are many different benefits to jump rope workouts there are also different types of jump ropes out there to choose from depending on the type of training you’ve set your mind to and on whether you are a beginner or a more advanced rope jumper. There is the length of the jump rope to consider, though this isn’t as big an issue when you have an adjustable jump rope. Also, whether you want the jump rope to be made of licorice, PVC plastic, cloth, beads, cable, or wire. Handles can either be short, regular or long. Ergonomic or not.
One of the most important considerations is the handle to rope connection, of which there are three types: the regular connection where the rope goes straight into the handle, the 90 connection where the rope is attached to the handle at a 90 degree angle, and the ball bearing swivel where a ball bearing at the end of the handles connects the rope end to the handles.
Jump ropes with the regular connection are the standard, inexpensive jump ropes you see everywhere. However, with less rotation provided, beginners should avoid them. The 90 degree connection style, a newer style of jump rope, generally allows for faster jump roping. The ball bearing swivel connection is found in the premium, more expensive jump ropes. These are the best as they ensure less friction and thereby very smooth rotation.
So, What Are Ball Bearings?
A ball bearing is a type of ball that maintains separation between two parts of a machine. Its purpose is often to reduce rotational friction, and it achieves this by using two tracks to contain the balls and transmit weight through them.
In most cases, one track is stationary and the other rotates, which causes the ball bearings to rotate as well. Because the balls are rolling they have a much lower coefficient of friction than if two flat surfaces were sliding against each other, which can have numerous benefits depending on where they’re used.
In jump ropes, ball bearings are often located between the inner and outer rings of the jump rope handles and help the rings, and thus the rope, rotate smoothly while preventing tangling of the rope.
Why Are They Important?
Jump ropes with ball bearing handles are a great for rope jumpers at any level from beginner to advanced because they help evenly distribute the weight of the rope throughout the rope’s rotation and allow for a smoother movement. They allow the rope to easily change angles while you are jumping and ensure smoother rotation, as thanks to them there is less friction and thereby more fluid and better control of the handles and the jumps. As ball bearings also provide for free rotation in any direction,they ensure more efficient jumping with improved jumping speed.
All of this makes a jump rope with such handles the proper choice for double unders when you need to prolong your jump. Jump ropes with ball bearings are pricier but lack of friction and wear extends the jump rope’s durability making them a sound investment in terms of money and not to mention quality exercise.
Making the Right Choice
A durable jump rope such as one with ball bearings will make your workout routine even more fun and you’ll be burning more and more calories as your skill level increases. Ball bearing handles allow for such dexterity that as your routines become more complex your memory will sharpen as well thanks to the development of the left and right hemispheres of your brain. You’ll grow calmer as rope jumping is the perfect way to relieve stress. Your breathing will become more even and relaxed as well.
Make the right choice today and invest wisely in your favorite fitness activity and you’ll be happy hoppers for years to come, proudly showing off your jump rope skills on whatever surface you choose.