THE BEST EQUIPMENT FOR YOUR TRAINING
If you experienced the recent double under workout, you know that double unders are a challenge no matter what level you’re at. If you’ve never done one before, they can be extremely frustrating to get the first one. And even when you have some experience with them, the farther into the workout you get, the harder they seem to be.
A possible solution to this problem might just be: go buy your own rope!
A jump rope has the possibility to be the single best piece of personal training equipment you can buy for your fitness. And it may seem trivial, but borrowing a community rope at the gym isn’t the most ideal way to master the double under, and there are two reasons why.
EVERY HUMAN IS UNIQUE
News flash: people come in all shapes in sizes. As such, each person is going to need different things from their jump rope. Your size and skill level play a big part in choosing a rope that’s right for you. But the two biggest factors to consider when choosing a rope is length and weight.
- Length: This may seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of times people struggle to do single and/or double unders because their rope is entirely too short for them! A general recommendation for sizing your cable length is to consider your height and add 3 feet. So in my case, I am looking for a cable length of about 8’5” because I am 5’5” and I did the simple math of adding 3’ to my height. (5’5” + 3’ = 8’5”)
Another simple test to make sure your cable is long enough is to step on the center of the cable with one foot and pull the handles up towards your armpits. The point where the handles connect to the cable should come to your armpits. A sized rope cable!
- Weight: When buying a jump rope you also need to consider the weight of the whole rope — both the handles and the cable.
If you have mastered single unders and are working on double unders, try to find a rope cable that weighs about 3-4 ounces. This weight is heavy enough to give you solid feedback on your rotations while still being light enough to avoid forearm and shoulder fatigue. As your skill and coordination increase, a lighter cable is recommended for efficiency. Beyond cable weight, rope handles come in different grip sizes and weights, which also contribute to feedback and control throughout your rotations.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
You hear this all the time as it pertains to frequency and quality of training, but the second reason you should have your own rope is because using a consistent tool produces quicker results. Jumping rope is a very neurological task, meaning it requires a lot of coordination and muscle memory, in addition to physical skill. Most people who struggle jumping rope do so because they have not spent the time training the neurons in their brain to time the bound of their jump with the swing of their rope.
Just as you would train your aerobic capacity, jumping rope is a skill that you must train your brain to do, too. If you take out your consistent factor – length, weight of your rope – and find yourself constantly training double unders with different ropes – it’ll take your brain a lot longer to establish the coordination needed to master the skill. So it’s important to have your own rope so that you can be consistently using the same tool to nail the basics and develop the movement. Once the basics are there it becomes much easier to pick up any old rope and jump.
Go out, find a rope that works for you, and make it your new best friend!
- Coach Amanda