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Jump rope Datasheet - Elster - 11-04-2017 08:55 AM

So I figured I'd try to drop a data sheet on a very peculiar easily over looked fitness item.

Warnings & Disclaimers:

I'm not a professional athlete and I have no specific discipline that I follow, furthermore like everyone else I am a unique and particular individual so what works for me might not work for others.
I'm basing this datasheet on my own empiric knowledge which is most likely extremely flawed BUT it works for me

What's it used for?
>Cardio -> weight loss and endurance training
>Coordination (very important for fighters but useful for other disciplines)

What are the main demographics that use jump ropes?

Mostly fighting sport enthusiasts.
Some people that are trying to lose or control weight (usually spurred by a personal trainer) and those weird folk who do that "cross-fit" thing

What are the advantages of a jump rope?

>It's relatively cheap (at least when you start out,later on when you start upgrading some costs might incur but they are still extremely affordable.
>You can use it pretty much anywhere where you have a solid surface and it takes a much lighter toll on your knees than running (strangely enough)
>Amazing calorie burner (you burn about 500 calories roughly on a half an hour workout- numbers vary with your intensity of course)
>Improves coordination
>Solo training

Why do "proper" jump ropes have handles?
Can't I do as a kid and just grab any piece of cord?

If you are going to jump regularly and for more than a few minutes you will definitely want a handle of some sort.
The reason is that the movement of the rope will have an abrasive effect on your skin,specially your fingers (you could wear gloves or bandages but their lifespan is going to be dramatically shortened).

What types of jump rope are there?

There's actually quite a few types out there! Such as:

Your average lightweight cheap silicon rope
[Image: boxers-speed-rope.jpg]
An amazing dirt cheap way of starting, these ropes will probably last between 1 and 3 months depending on the intensity and regularity with which you jump.
Recommended for beginners and casual users given their low replace cost and gentler adaptation curve.
It's very likely that once you get experienced jumping they will break on the handle area instead of on the middle as you'll hit the ground less often.

Beaded jump ropes:
[Image: JzDksrBm.jpg]
I've no personal experience with these.
But supposedly the beads slow down the rope to stimulate cordination and a bit of muscle (from the extra weight). SOme sources say the coordination improvement comes from trying to not hit yourself with the rope as the beads hurt like a MOFO.
As with normal handled ropes, very likely that once you get experienced jumping they will break on the handle area instead of on the middle as you'll hit the ground less often.

Leather jump ropes
[Image: dAgCYtMm.jpg]
These are the traditional standard you'll find in any boxing gym. Leather makes for a trustable hardy material with a a strong fast swing and which used to be more affordable( it still is, but not as much as cheap polymers).
The main problem with leather ropes is that you have to oil them every once in a while or they'll grow brittle and break easily.
They also hurt like a whip when you hit yourself.

Speed jump ropes:
[Image: boxers-jump-rope.jpg]
Only tried them a few times as I don't favor speed.
These are extremely lightweight ropes with a cord that is made of a very tight material to increase the speed of the swing as much as possible.
You will notice the cord is fixed to the handles on a 90ยช angle.
This facilitates the swing and reduces wear and tear damage to the rope a normal handle would do from the swiveling.
I suppose it's a favored type for high intensity fighting training.
They are more likely to break by impact on the middle area.

Weighted Jump ropes:
[Image: UMd3DKNm.jpg]
My personal favorites, the handles are weighted on these models.
Most usually than not the weights are about 110 gr each.
A model meant for fighting sports I recently acquired here in Europe has two sets, one of 110gr and another of 250 gr (half a kilo of extra weight!)
These ropes make your jumps a bit slower (specially if the rope itself is broad or made of a tougher material) but will put your capacity to endure fatigue to the test as well as work out your shoulder strength in the process. If you have issues with your shoulders you should avoid weighted ropes.
The one I use right now is one of the heavy ones with a broad cord, and it does hurt a lot more when it hits the skin.
Warning: I read a boxing blog or two where these ropes are absolutely shat on, their arguments sound reasonable but I'm not a fighting pro and I enjoy it

There are many fusion and customized variants out there too:
for example a weighted rope i once bought in the USA had a leather cord that made it swing faster than what I was used to. Later on in Europe, I combined the handles of a weighted rope with the silicon cord of a casual model to obtain a similar effect.

-Can I make my own rope?
Yeah it's pretty easy if you have the time, and you can get to choose what materials to use.

For the bare basics You can get a preferably strong rope from a hardware store and wrap some tape around the "handle area" and itll work, just make sure there is distance between the swiveling rope and your hand skin.

I recommend you at least get strong rope like the type you'd use for fixing stuff to a truck or for really heavy duty hiking as the braiding will be stronger and jumping makes the rope hit the ground a lot which will compromise its solidity eventually.

You can also get metal cording for a fast swinging rope (Warning: It'll hurt like a bitch when you hit yourself)

You could cut a PVC pipe and put a hole to pass the rope through, you can then fix the length with a knot or with a metal ring that is obviously bigger than the whole, additionally you can add some weight into the pvc handle before you close it.

What types of jump are there?

There's a lot of jumps,with time you can probably improvise your own ( I climb up and jump down ramps and large steps jumping) But this video has a good index of jumps:

The trick is the more types of jump you know, the easier it will be to connect them and increase your duration as many types of jump actually allow you to "rest" ( a good example is the famous "criss cross" jump, which shifts the weight of your body reducing the impact)

I got a rope now but I'm an absolute beginner/I only jumped as a kid.
What do I do?

Make sure you DON'T jump with flat feet, or straight knees and elbows (bend the latter two a bit to avoid joint damage).
Anyway you know how to jump taking this warning into account is good enough for starters.
In my long tenure using the rope I've verified that 90% of the work is muscle memory. Meaning there is no way around jumping and failing *regularly* in order to learn new ways of jumping.

One more thing:

About me and ropes:
I started jumping rope like most everyone when i was a kid, I learned to jump with two feet properly when I was 11, at 15 I got into boxing and learned the ropes (bad pun intended) properly.
Take into account this was Small neighborhood Buenos Aires so we didn't exactly have proper professional facilities and items.
I discovered I wasn't half bad with the rope, despite being a clumsy bastard, and kept at it until my mid twenties- by which I had really started pushing my limits to 45 min and 1 hour work-outs.
Now 6 years later I'm back at it full time and have amply exceeded my personal marks from when I was younger.

RE: Jump rope Datasheet - Digital007 - 11-05-2017 03:12 AM

Which muscles are you finding this is hitting and developing mostly? I guess calves? Been doing heel raises for my calf muscles but I can imagine this may be better.

RE: Jump rope Datasheet - Steelex - 11-05-2017 04:11 AM

If your bodyweight is low enough, jumping rope is great cardio and great for athletes that need to be light on their feet. It builds whole body endurance.

In my teens I used to compete at a fairly high level in a combat sport and found jumping rope to be the most applicable cardio I could do. I would usually jump rope for 45 mins after weight training.

If you sit at a higher bodyweight, be cautious of it. You can easily cause some inflammation/tendonitis around your knees and feet, due to the repetitive impact.

RE: Jump rope Datasheet - Elster - 11-05-2017 04:58 AM

(11-05-2017 03:12 AM)Digital007 Wrote:  Which muscles are you finding this is hitting and developing mostly? I guess calves? Been doing heel raises for my calf muscles but I can imagine this may be better.

Yeah, Calves are where you will see the most obvious changes (and feel the most fatigue).
Which brings me to point something out in my case with this handy graphic
[Image: AF9VsnP.png]
The Tibialis anterior might get really sensitive after a while (i,e:your macrocephalic canine crashing against when playing)

Interestingly enough, the other part where I noticed a great development was in my shoulders, but the experts say that you get to work out your entire body (biceps and triceps and forearms as you shift your arms in different jump shifts)

(11-05-2017 04:11 AM)Steelex Wrote:  If you sit at a higher bodyweight, be cautious of it. You can easily cause some inflammation/tendonitis around your knees and feet, due to the repetitive impact.

Good to know, thanks!
Even in my worst phase I was never too extremely on the heavy side so I haven't experienced it.