Looking to boost your home workout?
It’s time to talk about weighted jump ropes (or weighted skipping ropes as they’re also known as).
An elegantly simple bit of workout equipment, with the ability to touch on so many areas of your fitness, weighted jump ropes offer up some seriously impressive statistics when it comes to burning calories and building muscle.
They have become increasingly popular in recent years, largely due to the boom in home exercise, and with brands like Crossrope championing their effectiveness, it’s no surprise weighted rope jumps are at the top of many people’s home gym wishlist.
But would you actually benefit from using weighted jump ropes in your workouts? And what muscles do they even work anyway?
Fear not, we’re here to help you get the swing of things (quite literally!) and ultimately decide if this trending product is worth the money or not.
What is a Weighted Jump Rope?
A weighted jump rope is a piece of exercise equipment that uses additional weight in either the handles or the rope itself, so that more strength is required to hold and swing the rope.
Placing the extra weight in the rope, as opposed to the handles, is going to provide more benefits, and is generally the more popular choice.
The concept of weighted jump ropes is nothing new, but they’ve recently made a comeback and become one of the most searched for home fitness products in the last year.
You’ll likely remember jump or skipping ropes from your school days, but as far as fitness equipment goes, sometimes simplicity is the way to go. Weighted jump ropes are an effective way to burn calories, build strength, improve coordination as well as a whole host of other benefits (discussed later on).
The weights vary from product to product, usually between 0.5lbs – 10lbs. Although a rope that is just 1lbs heavier than a normal rope may not sound very “weighted”, after a few minutes of swinging it in full circle you’ll definitely notice the difference. Even if you can lift a lot in the gym, this is a different kind of weight, whereby there is no rest for the muscles, so if you’ve never used a weighted rope before, don’t go too heavy as you won’t be able to keep it up for a whole workout.
Weighted Jump Rope Benefits
Easier Than a Speed Rope/Regular Jumpe Rope
A weighted jump rope is actually much easier to get started with than a speed rope, making it ideal for beginners.
The extra weight means that the pace of each rotation is going to be much slower, giving you more time to work on your coordination and footwork.
With a regular rope or speed rope, if you try and slow down the pace too much, the rope will lose momentum and gravity will ultimately kick in, resulting in the rope falling downwards.
In contrast, a weighted rope can handle a much slower tempo, so if you don’t want to keep stopping and starting because the rope got caught in your feet, a weighted rope should reduce this from happening.
Burn Calories and Build Muscle
If you’re looking to burn calories, it’s hard to beat a weighted jump rope.
Crossrope recently reported that a weighted jump rope workout can burn up to 1074 kcal/hr. To put this in perspective, that beats pretty much every other type of home fitness equipment, including walking, running, cycling or rowing.
As a result, if burning calories is at the top of your agenda, weighted jump ropes shouldn’t be overlooked.
Shoulder Strength and Mobility
The extra weight of the rope helps to build strength, in particular, shoulder strength.
Your shoulders require more force to swing the rope around. This is ideal for strengthening and toning your shoulders and arms.
But realistically, there are lots of ways to strengthen your shoulders, including using dumbbells or bodyweight movements. So where weighted jump ropes pull away from the pack is in the ability to create better shoulder mobility.
Stiff shoulders will likely lead to limited mobility and difficulty to perform lots of upper body movements. Weighted jump ropes help to improve the natural rotation of the shoulders, helping to promote better shoulder range of motion.
Additional Muscles Engaged
The additional weight means that muscles like your back become more engaged during the movement, compared to a regular rope.
The extra weight means your back is needed to keep the rope swinging, so this is yet enough muscle group that you can target with your single weighted rope workout.
Using any type of jump rope (weighted or speed) will naturally promote good posture.
It’s very hard to use the equipment without naturally having a straight back and keeping your shoulders upright.
If you struggle with bad posture or need to give your body a bit of TLC after a long day slouched over a desk, a few minutes of using a jumpe rope could be a great way to reset your posture.
Weighted jump ropes lend themselves to all sorts of workouts and you can vary up how you use them based on your goals.
From HIIT sessions, to longer endurance workouts, the humble jump rope is ready to support you whatever your goal is. Whether you want to do aerobic or anaerobic exericse, the same rope offers you all sorts of opportunity.
They can also be used during a warmup or cool down before other workouts, such as weightlifting.
Maybe it’s the association of a piece of fitness gear many of us used in childhood, but there is something naturally fun about using them.
There’s also the excitement of using one for a few minutes without tripping over your feet that never gets old!
Things to Consider
It’s important to follow correct form when using a jump rope.
Many people will discard the equipment due to having “bad knees” or “weak ankles”… but if done correctly, the jump should involve a very soft landing on the balls of your feet, which isn’t a high impact movement.
However, if you don’t follow correct form, the exercise could very well become a high impact movement that could cause discomfort in your joints. Therefore, it’s worth taking the time to practice good form and not to assume just because the equipment looks so simple, that you don’t need to take the time to learn how to use it properly.
If you do have any pre-existing knee or ankle problems, it would be worth consulting with a doctor before embarking on any intense jump-based fitness plan.
Also, as a potential drawback compared to a regular jump rope, it’s a lot harder to do crossovers and other “tricks” with a weighted rope… not impossible, but definitely harder than with a regular rope.
Weighted Jump Rope Muscles Worked
Especially compared to a regular jump role, the weighted variation will target your shoulders a lot more. Your shoulders won’t really get a rest and will be engaged for the whole swing, meaning you’ll really feel the burn after a few minutes.
This is perhaps the biggest difference between the muscles worked in a weighted jump rope workout compared to a speed or regular rope.
Due to the additional weight, your back muscles will also be engaged for the whole duration of the movement, whereas this muscle group doesn’t really feature when doing regular skipping workouts.
Your biceps and triceps are required to keep the jump rope stable during the movement. This helps to strengthen and tone these muscle groups.
Your core is also going to feature quite heavily in the movement. The core will be engaged to keep you balanced and stable during the swing and jump.
Due to the extra weight, your glutes will be activated on impact with the floor to soften your landing.
Quads and Calves
Like regular jump rope workouts, the quads and calves are pivotal for the jumping movement, launching your body up from the floor during the jump.
They should also be engaged to help soften the landing and avoid putting unnecessary pressure on your joints.
If you’re looking for an effective home workout that burns calories, builds strength and tones muscles, a weighted jump rope is genuinely hard to beat.
It’s a simple piece of workout gear, but it opens up a whole host of workouts to keep you fit and healthy.
Whether you use it to do quick HIIT workouts, or long endurance routines, or simply as a way to warm-up, the weighted jump rope is something that may well be ready to transform your next fitness workout!