Simple, effective workouts have been a blessing during months of disruption and we’re always looking for affordable equipment that we either can shove in our gym bag or use to work up a sweat in the comfort of our living room. Enter stage: the humble skipping rope.
Gone are the days when skipping was the preserve of boxers or a pastime for children. Skipping is a simple full body workout, which can strengthen your legs, tone muscles, boost stamina and improve coordination.
With more people than ever buying equipment to use at home, the market is booming. But there are some things to consider when buying a rope for the first time.
The first is material. Leather ropes used to be superior due to their durability, but coated wires now seem to be a top choice for many skippers, especially if you're all about speed.
You should also think about length. It sounds obvious, but if you're tall, you’re going to need something a bit longer. Look out for adjustable ropes to give you options. Once you've made your choice, you'll need to get the perfect fit by standing on the middle of the rope with one foot and then pulling the handles straight up so that the rope is tight. The top of the handles should be somewhere between your armpit and nipple.
To make life easier, we’ve tested ropes from across the market, from those that simply do what they say on the tin to smart skipping ropes, which guide you through sessions and tell you the number of calories burned. We’ve rounded up the best below – so whether you’re trying to get fit or just want to fit in with the kids, we guarantee you’ll find the perfect product.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Beast Gear beast rope pro
We’ve been testing Beast Gear’s ropes for a couple of years now and we’ve been impressed time and time again by their quality. This time around, we turned to the brand’s next generation beast rope pro – and found it still performs head and shoulders above the rest.
The rope is fast, durable and pretty nice to look at. It includes a double bearing system, which enables a smooth rotation, and a locking mechanism to prevent the cable from slipping, even during the fastest workouts. The steel coated cable is ultra-strong and can withstand users putting it through its paces in HIIT sessions, interval training and longer aerobic workouts.
We loved the smaller, lighter handles, which are hollow, and found it aided our sessions (although some beginners might prefer something a little chunkier). Plus, the rope is easy to adjust and you get a nylon bag for storage. The market has boomed over the last year – but there is still no better place to buy a rope. You’ll be beasting your training in no time.
Tangram Factory smart rope pure
Everything about Tangram’s smart rope pure is extra. Unlike most other ropes, it has two sets of ball bearings in each handle. The complementary app not only includes basic counts, such as jumps jumped and calories burned but also allows users to challenge their friends, view leaderboards and select fitness sessions such as interval training, which are based on skill level and fitness goals. Plus, there’s no need to worry about the rope running out of battery mid-swing – it will last for 45 hours of active training.
The result is a modern rope, which satisfies even the most serious of skippers. It is light at only 250g and fast, with a smooth, natural motion. It genuinely only takes around a minute to set up with an iPhone, iPad or Apple watch and the user journey on the app is simple. It is also adjustable in line with height and jump stance, and the handles are nicely shaped. We know this rope is a bit pricier – but we think it’s worth saving the pennies for.
Meglio skipping rope pro, gold
Sometimes it’s good to go back to basics. If you’re a fan of the simpler things in life, then this is the rope for you. The gold aluminium handles are slim and comfortable, while the stainless steel ball bearings enable a smooth rotation. The 9ft cable rope is adjustable, so once you’ve set the rope up the first time then you’re good to go (just remember to keep the black end caps so you can pop them back on after cutting the rope). This jump rope is slightly less durable than some of the other products on the market, so we’d recommend that you stick to using it indoors or on a yoga mat as suggested by the brand. Overall, this a high quality, low-cost rope that will have you feeling like a champion in no time.
Sundried skipping rope
We use a few products from Sundried and are always impressed with the brand. This skipping rope is no different. If you’re a seasoned gym goer who is looking to up the sweat in your sessions, then this rope offers a quality spin. The lightweight, super slim cable slices through the air and is helped along by precision ball bearings in the handles, enabling a seamless spin. Although the handles are quite long, we found the thumb grooves stopped our hands from slipping and boosted our confidence during workouts. This jump rope isn’t recommended for prolonged use on concrete, but as long as you take good care of it then it is durable. Plus, it looks super sleek and the price includes a spare cable and a carry case – perfect if you want to shove it in the bottom of your gym bag.
Crossrope get lean set
Crossrope is an American brand with an American attitude. Order one of its sets and you’ll get a leaflet, welcoming you to the “Crossrope family”. “It is you, the everyday hero, that inspires us to challenge the fitness status quo,” the leaflet adds. So, with all this talk, are the ropes really that good?
In short: yes. We tested the get lean set, which included 1/4lb and 1/2lb ropes. The “fast clip” system meant we could quickly change the handles between the light and heavy ropes, leading to a more versatile workout, while the pro-grade ball bearings made every swing seamless. The ropes’ braided steel interior meant these were among the most durable of the products we tried, barely showing any signs of use even after a tough couple of months in the gym.
In order to make sure you get the most out of the product, there’s also a free app for iOS and Android, which includes tutorials, workouts and challenges. The ropes come in a range of sizes, depending on your height, with a small starting at 4ft 9in and the extra-large catering for up to 6ft 9in. There’s also a get fit and get strong set, too. These are the most expensive ropes we tried, but if you’re serious about skipping, you can’t get much better.
Wicked Mania mega jump single jump rope
Are you bored of your everyday workout and looking for something more fun? Do you want to master the double under in your lunch hour? Then this low-cost jump rope could be a good option. It has been designed for jumpers who are looking to learn tricks at the same time as getting fit. While sadly we are no closer to being a pro than we were a month ago, we did have a lot of fun using the brand’s skipping tutorials while getting to grips with the rope. At just £8, we found it offers the same benefits as some other products on the market, including ball-bearing axles, a thin cable and textured handles to help increase grip. The rope (which is just under 10ft) is also adjustable, with the cap of each handle easy to remove so you can access everything you need. Our only tiny complaint was that the ball bearings rattle on each swing – a minor issue in an otherwise good product.
Dope Rope 2.0 cardio fitness jump rope
For a brand that combines jump rope expertise with retro pop culture, look no further. Dope Ropes ticks all the boxes, offering premium ropes that perform time and time again. We tested the Dope Rope 2.0 – a cardio fitness jump rope that is one of the brand’s best sellers. And it’s easy to see why. This rope was nicely weighted, turning faster and smoother than some of the beaded options on the market. The PVC cord isn’t too thick at 5mm and has a string centre, making it tangle-free and increasing its durability which is ideal if you tend to workout outside. The handles are comfortable and don’t slip, while the brand is so confident that they won’t break it offers a lifetime guarantee. We dug the vaporwave aesthetic but if you’re not a fan of the pink there are three other big and bold colours to choose from.
Gold’s Gym speed rope
This is a low cost, no thrills option for those who want a simple product that will last. The 9ft, PVC rope is lightweight and durable, especially if you stick to using it indoors, and it turns easily for a seamless spin. The handles are slightly thinner than some of the other products on the market, but our grip remained strong throughout workouts. It is worth noting that the rope worked well for us (we’re 5ft 6in) but for those over 6ft it was a bit short. It is also worth getting this rope out of the packaging as soon as you receive it as it takes a while to straighten out. While there are better quality ropes on the market, Gold’s Gym’s offers value for money and is a good choice for beginners.
Beachbody bod rope
“Use the bod rope ONLY with firm grip and control. Never swing or throw the bod rope,” so reads the accompanying pamphlet for the cordless indoor jump rope from fitness experts Beachbody. We’ve got to admit we had fleeting visions of accidentally smashing the new TV – but, in reality, the rope was super easy to use and revolutionised our workouts. It turns out that not having a rope helped us concentrate on our speed and form, leading to big improvements in our skipping stamina even over a couple of weeks. It also removed any concerns we had about falling over or tripping, so we were able to test our limits time and time again. The handles are super comfortable, especially in comparison to some of the other minimalist products on the market. Plus, it’s easy to store and you (obviously) don’t need to worry about it tangling. If you’re looking to dial up the intensity of your workouts in a measured way, then look no further.
Pro-Box wire speed rope
Aimed at boxers, this rope is great if you’re looking for a faster session. Its light construction, steel interior and plastic coating means it turns fast and is super durable, so you can put it through its paces without fear of damaging it. The bigger handles – which are grippy even in the sweatiest of workouts – and addition of bearing swivels only increase the swiftness of this rope, making it extremely easy to rotate.
Although the rope is not adjustable, it does come in four different sizes (from 7ft to 10ft), so make sure you use the guide on the website to purchase the right one. Whether you think you’re the next Anthony Joshua or you fancy seeing how quick your footwork really is, this is a decent rope for a good price.
Wolverson Fitness fitness skipping rope
We were extremely excited about testing Wolverson’s products, not least because the brand promises its skipping rope is “tangle-proof” – and we certainly weren’t disappointed. The 10ft coated rope, with a stainless steel interior, sounds the same as many of the other models on the market, but there are some subtle differences that make it stand out. The rope is thin (3.5mm) and very light (200g), making it amongst the best for speed and control.
It is adjustable for heights up to 6ft 6in – but unlike some other products, you aren’t left with the risk of excess rope getting caught around your hands. Instead, the brand recommends users find the perfect length before cutting off the excess rope, reinserting the removable rubber caps on the end once done. The handles are a bit longer and heavier, but they are extremely grippy. Plus, you get a spare wire, rubber end caps, nylon bag and adjusting screw for a very reasonable price. We’re sure you’ll be mastering your triple unders in no time.
The verdict: Skipping ropes for fitness
We continue to love Beast Gear’s products, which are both high quality and reasonably priced. The jump ropes from Dope Ropes and Sundried gave the brand a good run for its money, offering high quality products that looked and performed really well. For those looking to spend a little extra, you can’t go wrong with one of Crossrope’s sets.
For the latest discounts on sports accessories and other activewear offers, try the below links:
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.