A staple of the playground and the boxing ring, skipping – or jump rope, if you prefer the American term – is a straightforward but rewarding exercise that can be used for everything from a quick warm up, an intense fitness session, or simply performing tricks and having fun.
But before you head out and buy a skipping rope for yourself, there are certain things you should look out for to ensure you pick a rope that’s suitable to your skill level and that helps you develop good technique. Not only will this enable you to reap the rewards of more efficient cardio sessions and avoid injury, but it will help you to incorporate new tricks into your routine as you become more confident.
To help you master everything from basic jumps to side swings, crossovers and double unders, The Recommended spoke to three skipping experts to find out what you should look out for (and avoid) when shopping for a skipping rope. You can read their expert advice in full at the bottom of this page.
The best skipping ropes at a glance:
- Best jump rope for beginners: Dope Ropes Signature Beaded Jump Rope
- Best skipping rope for cardio: The Dope Rope 2.0 – Cardio Fitness Jump Rope
- Best intermediate jump rope: TORQ Ropes Current
- Best skipping rope for families: MoKo Jump Rope Soft Beaded Skipping Rope (2 Pack)
- Best minimal skipping rope: Alfya Skipping Rope Adult
- Best jump rope for building muscle: Mirafit Battle Jump Rope
- Best skipping rope for fancy footwork: EliteSRS Boxer Jump Rope 3.0
- Best jump rope for speed: Beast Gear Speed Skipping Rope Adult for Women and Men
- Best budget skipping rope: Gritin Skipping Rope
- Best for multiple jumpers: MoKo 16ft Jump Rope
The best skipping ropes
Best rope for beginners: Dope Ropes Signature Beaded Jump Rope
Great for learning new tricks
Dope Ropes’ signature beaded jump rope comes recommended by two of our experts, who say its 1-inch beads provide great feedback for beginners learning new skills and tricks.
Our experts also rate this rope’s short handles, which help new jumpers develop correct form and its no-kinking design, which helps maintain the rope’s shape as it moves around your body. This rope is available in a nice range of colours and is adjustable in size, so is great for beginners and professional skippers alike.
Best skipping rope for cardio: The Dope Rope 2.0 – Cardio Fitness Jump Rope
Get your heart pumping
Recommended by our expert Sarah, this 100g PVC rope moves quickly in the air while still providing good feedback and feel; ideal for anyone wanting to incorporate skipping into their cardio routine.
The Dope Rope 2.0 has a durable 5mm PVC cord reinforced with a nylon core, which is designed to promote longevity on rough indoor and outdoor surfaces. It is also fully adjustable and features 5-inch handles made from so-called “unbreakable” low-density polyethylene, and contoured to fit nicely in your hand.
Best intermediate jump rope: TORQ Ropes Current
Ideal for picking up speed
From our expert Tori’s jump rope company, TORQ Ropes, this PVC rope is a great choice for anyone graduating from a beaded rope and wanting to pick up speed and advance their skills.
This 10-foot skipping rope features an easy resizing system with snap-lock cord ends and will fit any skipper up to 6’ 4” tall. The rope itself is made from PVC plastic with a string core, and is designed to not kink when hung up and not snap in cold temperatures.
Best for families: MoKo Jump Rope Soft Beaded Skipping Rope (2 Pack)
A fun set of ropes
Fully adjustable in length, this set of two 110-inch beaded ropes from MoKo is a great option for families.
The soft and durable beads on these ropes are designed to provide added sensory feedback during skipping and prevent tangling, which is ideal for beginners. It also features an anti-slip, ergonomic handle and comes in a fun choice of colours.
Best minimal skipping rope: Alfya Skipping Rope Adult
Despite its minimal design, Alfya’s adult skipping rope features a PVC cord, plastic handles and is adjustable in size, ticking a lot of our experts’ boxes.
This rope also does well in avoiding many of the characteristics that our experts say you should steer away from. Made from plastic instead of wire, this rope doesn’t come with counters, which our expert Sarah said are gimmicky, nor does it have ball-bearings in the handle, which can promote bad form.
Best for building muscle: Mirafit Battle Jump Rope
Great for working out
This weighted skipping rope from Mirafit is designed for strength and endurance workouts and is available to buy in a choice of weights ranging from 1.1kg to a hefty 3.9kg.
Our expert Nicola recommends weighted ropes if your main goal is to work muscles and burn calories. This rope is made from a durable, black polyester weave and is available in a choice of lengths and thicknesses.
Best for fancy footwork: EliteSRS Boxer Jump Rope 3.0
Great for performing tricks
5mm PVC ropes such as this one from EliteSRS provide great feedback and are easy to whip around your body, which helps to time jumps correctly when performing tricks, according to our expert Sarah.
This rope features 5.5-inch handles and an ergonomic design to promote grip. The 5mm PVC cord has a string core, which helps prevent the rope from breaking. It is also fully adjustable and has an easy resizing system with snap-lock cord ends.
Best for speed: Beast Gear Speed Skipping Rope Adult for Women and Men
For experienced skippers
While all of our experts recommend avoiding wire ropes if you are new to skipping, if you’re an experienced jumper looking for a decent fast rope, then this one from Best Gear is a solid choice.
Beast Gear’s speed skipping rope features a 2.8mm thick and 3-metre-long aluminium cable, which is adjustable in length. Its handles rotate on ball bearings which are designed to help aid speed and whip as the rope travels smoothly around your body.
Best budget skipping rope: Gritin Skipping Rope
A good all-rounder
This skipping rope from Gritin has anti-slip soft memory foam handles, is adjustable in length and features a tangle-free PVC coated steel cable.
While our expert Sarah suggests avoiding ropes with ball-bearings in the handles if you are beginner, if you have already developed good skipping form, or you’re not too fussed either way, this lightweight rope is designed to travel smoothly as it whips around your body.
Best for multiple jumpers: MoKo 16ft Jump Rope
Great for groups
At 16ft in length, this beaded rope from MoKo can accommodate up to five jumpers at once, making it a great option for groups.
This rope is also made from an environmentally-friendly TPU material and features soft and flexible beads, which should give feedback and feel to the rope. It is also adjustable in length up to 17.3 feet, including both handles.
Our jump rope experts:
Our three experts are some of the most knowledgeable skipping experts in the world, helping aspiring skippers learn new skills and tricks online through their social media accounts, personal training sessions and guest appearances on some of the biggest tv shows in the world.
Tori Boggs is a 31-time Grand World Jump Rope Champion, multiple US National speed and power record holder, captain of Team USA, and the current Triple Unders World Record holder. She has performed on The Ellen Degeneres Show, ESPN, Robin Meade’s Morning Express, NBA Halftimes, TEDx Events, and on America’s, Britain’s, and Italia’s Got Talent. Tori is a performer and choreographer with companies such as Flip Fabrique, Cirque du Soleil, and in theatres around Europe, and for over 20 years has travelled the world competing, teaching, and performing across 30 countries.
Sarah Louise – aka Skipping with Sarah – started sharing progress videos of herself learning to skip on social media during lockdown in May 2020. Having quickly picked up skipping, Sarah gained over 170k followers on Instagram and TikTok. Sarah’s ultimate goal is now to share her joy for skipping with her followers, sharing tips and tutorial videos to help teach people how to jump rope for fun and fitness.
Nicole Danielle is a UK-based personal trainer with over eight years of experience “transforming mindsets and bodies”. Her love for fitness began at a young age when she competed as an international swimmer before taking that passion into the personal fitness world. Nicole has been a skipping coach for one year now, using skipping with her clients to help them improve their cardiovascular fitness and learn new skills and tricks from beginner-level upwards. She says, “fitness should be enjoyable and doesn’t have to be a conventional workout; try jumping around, learning new skills and twirling a rope for 30 minutes – you will soon break out in a sweat!”
What should you look for when buying a skipping rope?
All three of our jump rope experts recommend a beaded rope if you are new to skipping. “From the weight of the rope to the thick colourful beads and the audible sound of them hitting the floor, beaded ropes give you so much sensory feedback,” says Tori.
Sarah agrees, adding that beaded ropes are most likely to see you progress quickly as a beginner. “They are durable, tangle free, and the beads add enough weight so that you can feel where the rope is in the air, which helps with timing your jump properly,” she says.
Beaded ropes are also a great option as you develop into a more experienced skipper, says Nicole. The added weight of the beads slopes the rope down, “making it easier for you to learn new skills, get the correct form, learn footwork, and for more advanced jumpers to perfect freestyle rope tricks”.
When graduating from a beaded rope, Tori advises considering a PVC rope, which will allow you to pick up speed and start doing more difficult skills. Sarah adds that 5mm PVC ropes will “provide enough feedback, so you know where the rope is, but are easy to whip around as they cut through the air”.
Weighted ropes are great if your goal is to work muscles and burn calories. “They range from 500g to 900g and really ramp up the calories,” says Nicole, “and they work all the muscles in the shoulders, back, arms and even core.”
What should you avoid when looking for a skipping rope?
All of our experts are unanimous in advising against a wire rope if you are new to skipping, quoting their unsuitability for learning proper rope control, whipping around too quickly, hurting your body when you make mistakes, and breaking easily when tangled.
Choosing a rope that is adjustable in size is also a top priority, says Tori, as “you are going to want to change the length of your rope from what it was at purchase and as you improve your technique”. Anything too long, Nicole adds, will encourage poor form and bad habits, so choosing a rope that you can adjust the length of will help you develop good form from the outset.
Sarah explains that you should also avoid ropes with counters on: “The handles are just a gimmick, in my opinion, and generally aren’t great quality, so won’t last very long.” She also recommends that you avoid anything with ball-bearings in the handle, which “are likely to hinder your ability to learn the correct form and technique to progress on to speedy skills and footwork as they rotate on their own”.
Finally, you shouldn’t spend too much money on a skipping rope, advises Tori, who says, “a lot of the expensive jump ropes are actually ones that us pros would never recommend”. Instead, she advises that you look for affordable ropes that are adjustable in size, adding that PVC cords with plastic handles are the best.
If you would like to read more expert-recommended fitness round-ups, check out our Fitness page for a full list of recommendations, including the best exercise mats, recommended by personal trainers, and the best yoga mats, recommended by yoga teachers.