Jump Rope Exercising for Fitness

Several years ago I watched a demonstration by a middle-aged woman on exercising by jump roping. I was very intrigued and thought that looked like an easy way to get in shape. I remembered having a lot of fun jump roping as a child. I bought a quality jump rope, the type with swivel handles like she suggested. I have moved that jump rope with me all over the country and my children can probably never remember me even using it.

So while reading the March 2009 Consumer Report, I came across an article about exercising. And what do you think their #2 suggestion was to buy? Yep, a jump rope. So I got out my jump rope and tried to use it. It was as impossible as it was years ago. The article was very helpful in letting me know what my biggest problem was. The jump rope was way too long for me, and this jump rope was not adjustable. So I bought a new one. These are suggestions to consider when selecting a jump rope.

  • Make sure the jump rope is the correct length for your height. You will probably need to purchase an adjustable one, unless you are almost 7′ tall. While standing with your feet together in the middle of the rope, the end of the handles should just reach your underarms.
  • Plastic ropes are suppose to be better and move faster than other types.
  • Some jump ropes have built-in or removable weights in the handles, producing a harder work-out.

I suppose if you shop on-line or have a variety of stores in your area that carry quality jump ropes, you might find exactly what you want. In the one store I had available to me, I only found one that was adjustable. I had to cut nearly 18″ off of it to make it the correct length, and I’m not a short person. No wonder my old one didn’t work very well for me.

TIP by Consumer Reports: “Keep elbows slightly bent and hold the handles at hip level with your palms forward. Keep your hands close to your body and turn the rope from your wrist and forearm.”

After cutting my jump rope to the correct length and mounting the handles back on, I was ready for a work-out, little did I know. Jump roping is much harder than I remember, and I’m not nearly as coordinated as I thought I was. But that is okay, it’s the type of exercise that gives you immediate feedback on your progress. My 6-year-old granddaughter informed me that I am skip roping not jump roping. Pardon me, but I must go skip rope right now.

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